Several constituents have contacted me about the Prime Minister’s statement that ‘too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have’.
This is an insulting and misjudged attempt to shift blame from the abject government failure to manage the spread of Covid-19, onto care staff who have risked their lives working tirelessly to care for their patients and residents. Care staff have work in the most challenging circumstances, too often without the basic Personal Protective Equipment required to do their jobs safely.
Care home staff have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, working extended hours to cover for colleagues who have presented symptoms, and providing vital reassurance to families unable to visit their loved ones.
The Government have lied to the British public time and time again. There has never been a ‘protective shield’ around care settings. Care homes were abandoned by the Government, lacking guidance and being pressured to take patients discharged from hospital without being tested.
Care homes, rather than having a protective shield, were an afterthought for the Government, despite caring for thousands of the most vulnerable people.
At every stage, care homes have had to fight for the most basic but important service – testing. Sadly, testing of suspected cases in care homes came too late for many residents. For care staff, residents become extended family, and in recent months care teams have had to watch as residents die at an unprecedented rate.
There have been 30,000 excess deaths in care homes. Yet care home staff have continued to go to work throughout this crisis, despite not being afforded adequate protection. The decision to discharge 25,000 elderly patients from hospitals straight back into care homes without tests, the appalling lack of Personal Protective Equipment and testing capacity have put elderly residents and staff in danger. The Government will not accept any criticism of their Covid-19 response, they attack those who ask questions and now they abuse care workers who have risked their lives and died on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Care workers in East Durham and throughout the country have my unwavering support and gratitude. The Prime Minister should be nothing less than thankful for their service during a crisis that his inaction, errors of judgement and failures have made worse.
– Grahame Morris MP