What is the truth on care homes? James O'Brien and Theo Usherwood investigate

29 July 2020, 14:33

By Adrian Sherling

A group of MPs said the government's decision to discharge people from hospital into care homes was "reckless", but the Culture Secretary insisted that is "categorically untrue". James O'Brien and Theo Usherwood establish the truth.

A report for the Public Accounts Committee stated that advising hospitals to discharge thousands of patients into care homes without knowing if they had coronavirus was a “reckless” and “appalling” policy error.

But speaking to Nick Ferrari, Oliver Dowden denied the claim. He said: "Actually, if you listen to what the chief executive of the NHS providers Chris Hopkins says, he said it is categorically not true that people were systematically discharged with symptoms to care homes.

"Actually 40% fewer people were discharged into care homes compared to a comparable period the year before."

So which is correct? James O'Brien asked LBC's Political Editor Theo Usherwood to look into what had been said.

After playing Dowden's comments, Theo said: "In March and April, there were only Covid-19 patients in hospital because it was impossible to go in to have an operation as all elective surgery had been cancelled.

"What Mr Dowden is saying is that if you look at discharges, actually they are lower than compared to the previous year. But of course the previous year, the NHS was doing the full breadth of services."

James stated: "They seem to toss and coin in the air and shout 'heads' and 'tails' before it lands, but is he claiming that they didn't discharge people into care homes on an epic scale?"

Theo told him: "The word I think they are relying on is 'systematic'. So it might have happened but it wasn't systematic."

Watch the full clip at the top of the page.