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PM says care home crisis is ‘bitter regret’ as he prepares to ease lockdown

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he “bitterly regrets” the continuing care home COVID-19 crisis while also revealing plans to ease the current lockdown.   

Speaking during PM’s Questions yesterday Mr Johnson said the government was making a “huge effort” to combat the crisis and there had been a “palpable improvement” in recent days.

Mr Johnson said it had been “enraging to see the difficulties we’ve had in supplying PPE to those who need it”, adding the government was “engaged in a massive plan to ramp up domestic supply”.

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The PM’s comments followed the latest official figures this week which revealed that more than a fifth of COVID-19 related deaths were taking place in care homes.

The figures show that the number of COVID-19 related deaths were continuing to rise in care homes as they fell in hospital. Care home deaths related to COVID-19 are now half the level of those seen in hospital.

The ONS added that COVID-19 related fatalities were on the rise in care homes and in recent days had accounted for over a third of overall deaths.

Nadra Ahmed OBE, executive chairman of the National Care Association, told CHP: “It is good to see the PM acknowledge the failing of his government and now he must act without delay. We don’t need words or broken promises we need action. Trust has been broken with funding released thus far so now he must ring fence any funds for social care.”

MHA CEO, Sam Monaghan, said the PM’s move to ease lockdown restrictions from next week would be “reckless” without a comprehensive plan for the care sector.

“We know that in those countries where they have been able to control the spread of the virus in care settings, it is because they have up and running effective contact tracing and testing and this has decreased the spread of the virus in the general population,” Sam said.

“The sooner this happens here, the sooner we will also be able to re-open homes to friends and families, re-connecting residents to the people who love them. But we can’t do this until infection rates decrease and we have measures in place, including routine testing which will lead to enhanced infection control.”

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The author Lee Peart

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