Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come in for fierce criticism after saying too many care homes had not followed the correct procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mr Johnson was speaking to the BBC in response to Sir Simon Stevens’ call for social care reform within a year.
He said: “We discovered too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in a way that they could have but we’re learning lessons the whole time.”
Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, said the PM’s comments were “neither accurate nor welcome”.
Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said the PM’s comments were a “slap in the face for those workers after they have given and sacrificed so much” during the pandemic.
Mike added: “We hope he will reflect on those comments and see the incredible work the care sector has done in the recent months to care for older and vulnerable people, with late and conflicting advice and poor support in terms of PPE and testing during this awful pandemic. And we hope it will spur him into long-promised action to reform the sector and end the crisis in social care which left us so vulnerable to a virus like COVID-19.”
Jonathan Cunningham, registered care manager of Birkdale Park Nursing Home and Rosebank Care Home, said the PM’s remarks were a “kick in the teeth” for carers.
“Words completely escape me but it came as no great surprise as we were waiting for the abrogation of responsibility.
“To even imply that care homes themselves were in some way responsible for the scale of the over 20,000 deaths in social care alone is just utterly shocking.”
A No 10 spokesperson told us: “Throughout this crisis care homes have done a brilliant job under very difficult circumstances.
“The PM was pointing out that nobody knew what the correct procedures were because the extent of asymptomatic transmission was not known at the time.”