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Question Time on BBC | Care Home Providers Guidance

Care home staff – not discharge – to blame for COVID infections

Transport secretary Grant Shapps yesterday blamed care home COVID infections on staff, rather than the Government’s hospital discharge policy.

Quoting chief executive of UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Dr Jenny Harries, Shapps told BBC Question Time that most infections in care homes had come from care workers coming into homes – and not from transfers from hospital.

Government claims to have put a ‘protective shield’ around social care came under fire in the programme from audience members and from National Care Association chairman Nadra Ahmed. Audience members described the shield claim as “twaddle”, and said that schools had printed visors for care homes using 3D printers due to a lack of PPE.

Ahmed said that providers had been forced to pay up to £8,500 for a week’s worth of PPE because supplies were being diverted to the NHS.

She said: “We ended up being forgotten. We were put on the altar to be slaughtered while we worked on the mantra that NHS must be protected. The protective shield is absolute rubbish. There was no shield; nothing had been done for social care.”

In response, Shapps said that the Government’s intention was to protect care homes as far as possible, and he stressed: “The idea that we did not care… is completely untrue.”

Ahmed’s comments on Question Time aired on May 27 (recording time of 11 minutes)

The panel, which also included Labour international trade secretary Emily Thornberry, writer and teacher Kate Clanchy and journalist Tom Newton Dunn, also discussed the death of George Floyd and the Eurovision song contest.

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