James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Culture Secretary: Claim government were reckless on care homes is "categorically untrue"
29 July 2020, 12:11
The Culture Secretary has told LBC that the claim by a committee that the government systematically discharged people from hospitals into care homes with coronavirus symptoms was "categorically untrue".
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.
"Of course we need to learn lessons on how we handled care homes.
"Indeed, since the outbreak, we have taken huge steps on care homes. It is now the case that everyone in care homes is tested, whether you are a resident or whether you are staff."
Nick pointed out that one of the issues was that that wasn't the case originally.
Mr Dowden responded: "Yes of course and we ramped up those things.
"But I don't think it is a fair characterisation to say that we discharged all these people with Covid into care homes.
"Actually 40% fewer people were discharged into care homes compared to a comparable period the year before."
Watch the full clip at the top of the page.