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COVID-19: Government faces legal action over care home resident’s death

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The daughter of a care home resident who died from COVID-19 has launched legal action against Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock.

Dr Cathy Gardner launched a High Court claim after her father, Michael Gibson, was infected following the discharge of a COVID-19 positive patient from hospital to his home, The Guardian reported.

Ms Gardner said she wanted to focus attention on the ordering of care homes to accept hospital discharges, as wells as their inadequate supplies of PPE and lack of testing.

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“By the time the government said they were going to introduce testing [for hospital discharges on 15 April] people had already died,” Ms Gardner said.

“My father died on 3 April. The time to protect the care homes was at the beginning.

“I want to hold them [the government] to account and this seems to be the best way of doing it. We are looking for an admission of wrongdoing and policies to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The letter initiating her claim accuses Mr Hancock of a “litany of failures” and misleadingly stating the government had “thrown a protective ring” around care homes.

The claims accuses the government of breaching the European Convention on Human Rights, National Health Service Act 2006 and the Equalities Act and highlights PHE guidance that was withdrawn in March stating that is was “very unlikely that anyone receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected”.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it did not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.

 

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The author Lee Peart

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