If care homes don't get support, "a real problem will emerge" - Shadow Care Minister

14 April 2020, 15:48 | Updated: 14 April 2020, 19:42

By Seán Hickey

The Shadow Social Care Minister warned that the UK is at risk of succumbing to Covid-19 if it doesn't get an idea of the scale of the issue in care homes.

Liz Kendall is the Shadow Minister for Social Care and she joined Shelagh Fogarty to shed light on the coronavirus emergency seen in the care sector.

Shelagh mentioned hearing news that many dying in social care from coronavirus cannot have it written on their death certificate as there are little or no testing facilities.

Ms. Kendall pointed out the massive lag in reporting on deaths in care, stating how the most recent figures are from two weeks ago. This means that the government will always be a fortnight behind acting on Covid-19, should they let this continue.

"Unless we get figures for deaths outside hospitals, we won't be getting an idea of how big the problem is" the Shadow Social Care Minister said.

Shelagh suggested that the care sector was "was always going to be one of the greatest pinch points" because of historic underfunding and neglect. Ms. Kendall agreed, branding the care sector as the most "fragile, fragmented, underfunded part of our system".

Shadow care minister sees "real problem emerging" if care industry strain isn&squot;t addressed
Shadow care minister sees "real problem emerging" if care industry strain isn't addressed. Picture: PA

She revealed that many staff in the industry are underpaid and not valued. The Shadow Minister stated that the sector is stretched so much that staff feel they have to go into work even if hey should be self-isolating.

Ms. Kendall said that it is paramount that the government get PPE to care workers to prevent further spread of coronavirus in care homes.

She pointed out that there is no clear command and control structure in similar to what is seen in the NHS and thus any guidance and management should be coming direct from government.

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