James O'Brien hears extraordinary investigation into how care home crisis was created

6 May 2020, 13:06

By Adrian Sherling

The man behind the remarkable Reuters investigation into the coronavirus care home crisis told James O'Brien that hearing the stories behind it brought him to tears.

Stephen Grey reported that the government's focus on protecting the NHS put an unbearable strain on the country's care sector.

He stated that hospitals were given priority for coronavirus tests and protective equipment, and that measures to admit only the sickest for hospital treatment put the elderly at potentially greater risk.

His article said: "Staff and managers of many care homes say they believe the British government made a crucial early mistake: It focused too much attention on protecting the country’s National Health Service at the expense of the most vulnerable in society."

James O'Brien heard the truth about care homes
James O'Brien heard the truth about care homes. Picture: LBC / Getty

Mr Grey spoke to James O'Brien about what he discovered - and the resulting interview was a real eye-opener for listeners.

He said: "We now believe that 15,000 more people have died in care homes this year because of this pandemic, which is absolutely staggering. And that doesn't include almost half of the people from care homes who did get sick, were admitted to hospital and died there.

"I was very struck by that phrase 'protect the NHS' because of course we want to protect the NHS, but that's only a second line thing. It's all there to protect lives and to protect the most vulnerable.

"And there's always a danger in public policy in having a single-minded focus on one thing because that always distorts the outcome and you put that in front of something else."

Hear it in full at the top of the page.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Lord O'Neill hails 'really cool' initiative for people to donate energy bill rebate to less fortunate

Lord O'Neill hails initiative for people to donate energy bill rebate to less fortunate

James O'Brien dissects 'baffling' US gun control opposition

James O'Brien dissects 'baffling' US gun control opposition

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'thinks he's the real victim' of Partygate

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'thinks he's the real victim' of Partygate

'I feel used!' Tearful veteran 'embarrassed' by Britain's Afghan withdrawal

'I feel used!': Tearful veteran 'embarrassed' by Britain's Afghan withdrawal

James O'Brien's 'astonishing' takedown of PM's Partygate misconduct

James O'Brien's 'astonishing' takedown of PM's Partygate misconduct

Boys at Rishi Sunak's school had 'no idea' about outside world says ex-employee

Boys at Rishi Sunak's school had 'no idea' about outside world says ex-employee

James O'Brien: Rishi Sunak's wealth 'unjustifiable' amid cost of living crisis

James O'Brien: Rishi Sunak's wealth 'unjustifiable' amid cost of living crisis

John Sweeney: I do not think that Vladimir Putin has long for this world

John Sweeney: I do not think that Vladimir Putin has long for this world

James O'Brien tears apart government's 'ideological' opposition to a windfall tax

James O'Brien tears apart government's 'ideological' opposition to a windfall tax

Most Red Wall seats worse off under Boris Johnson despite levelling up promise

Most Red Wall seats worse off under Boris Johnson despite levelling up promise

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'running scared of backbenchers' over obesity

James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'running scared of backbenchers' over obesity

Exclusive
Jamie Oliver spoke to James O'Brien on LBC today

Jamie Oliver’s Eton Mess protest on Downing St as he slams Boris for child obesity u-turn

'Is it contempt for the less fortunate?' James O'Brien blasts Tory Minister over poverty

'Is it contempt for the less fortunate?' James O'Brien blasts Tory Minister over poverty

'It's 21st century bloodsport': Columnist tracks down Oxford student 'hounded out' of UK

'It's 21st century bloodsport': Columnist tracks down Oxford student 'hounded out' of UK

James O'Brien's furious reaction to blocking of Lord Lebedev security assessment

James O'Brien's furious reaction to blocking of Lord Lebedev security assessment

James O'Brien argues the government has "massively conned" the public into thinking that it doesn't matter that "the only Covid law-making address in the country has become the biggest Covid law-breaking address... arguably in the world".

James O'Brien: Press 'conned' you that Partygate doesn't matter, I think it's worked