Blaming carers for Covid-19 spread "a new low" for Boris Johnson - Shadow Care Minister

7 July 2020, 14:59 | Updated: 7 July 2020, 15:37

Liz Kendall reflects on Boris Johnson's comments on care homes

By Seán Hickey

Boris Johnson should be trying to fix problems in British care homes rather than blaming workers, the Shadow Social Care Minister said.

"For the government to try and shift responsibility not only for their actions during the course of this pandemic but for a decade long – not just neglect but cuts to social care, I think really will stick in the core of people that work in this sector." Said Labour MP Liz Kendall, the Shadow Health and Social Care Minister.

Her comments came after the Prime Minister said that care homes didn't follow coronavirus procedures, which led to a high concentration of cases within homes. Shelagh Fogarty asked Ms Kendall for her views on Boris Johnson's comments.

"I think most people think the government was too slow to act, too slow to protect care homes. We've seen 25,000 people discharged from hospitals to care homes without any tests and staff going without vital PPE and most people think that the Prime Minister should learn lessons from what has gone wrong, and instead of blaming care workers should be trying to fix the problem."

"This attempt to blame others really is a new low." Said the Leicester West MP.

Shelagh spoke about how many care homes were "commandeered by the local authorities" during lockdown and asked Ms Kendall what she thought of the practice.

The PM came under fire for comments made on care homes
The PM came under fire for comments made on care homes. Picture: PA

"The government issued a directive that said that people should be discharged from hospitals because they wanted to free up hospital beds and I understand that." She began, but said that there was no thought about the implications of such a decision.

"There were no measures put in place for people to be tested to see if they had coronavirus or not, or even for people to be isolated within care homes."

Ms Kendall added that "the normal sources of protective equipment that care workers have were requisitioned by the NHS and this comes on top of a decade of cuts to social care that see very high vacancy rates."

"The underfunding of social care...meant that staff came in even if they were sick and therefore created higher infection rates." The Shadow Social Care Minister said, blaming the issues that care homes experienced during the pandemic mainly on government neglect of the sector for the past decade.

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