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Holding the government to account for Covid-19 care home deaths

(38 Posts)
GGumteenth Mon 22-Jun-20 13:27:55

Cathy Gardner's lawyers have written to the Secretary of State, NHS England and Public Health England pointing out their legal duty to protect life.

My lawyers have requested that they accept responsibility for their unlawful conduct that has contributed to the death and serious illness of my father, patients, healthcare and care workers. If the proposed defendants refuse to accept responsibility then I will commence legal proceedings.

More details of this can be found here.

I have to admit that every time I hear the government tell us that they "put our arms around the Care Homes" the more often I want to scream. Whether they could have done more for Care Home is not, to my mind, in doubt. On balance I would say it does need looking at now, while memories are fresh and, if it's found to be the case that the government was negligent it needs to be held to account.

sodapop Mon 22-Jun-20 14:59:34

The CQC needs to be held to account their part in this has been pure neglect.

May7 Mon 22-Jun-20 15:00:52

Thanks for the link I have passed this around my family and friends. I too want to scream when Mr Hancock repeatedly says they put their arms around the care home sector . Its just so blatantly untrue.

GGumteenth Mon 22-Jun-20 15:34:23

There has just been some fairly fierce questioning in one of the parliamentary committees.

Callistemon Mon 22-Jun-20 15:56:15

About 84% of care homes in the UK are own by equity firms ie private investors, bankers and by millionaire owners etc.

Where were these shadowy figures when they were needed? Why weren't some of their profits spent on the correct equipment for their staff?

rosenoir Mon 22-Jun-20 16:55:17

It was the hospitals that sent elderly back to care homes,knowing or suspecting that they had Covid. Is that being looked into.

Puzzler61 Mon 22-Jun-20 17:08:51

I am also curious about hospital discharges back to care homes rosenoir Hospitals had isolated units for patients diagnosed or awaiting diagnosis results. Care homes had no such arrangements at the beginning - nor sufficient PPE. Therefore the virus went rampant.

But the elephant in the room is as Callistemon touches on - a large proportion of Care Homes (and Home Care companies)are privately owned and the government prioritised getting PPE to their Nhs hospital staff (albeit rather slowly), and then looked to doing the same for Care Home and Carer’s sector.

I’m unsure where the blame will lie?

varian Mon 22-Jun-20 17:44:33

Today we spoke to someone who is such a fan of Boris Johnson.

He actually believes that the appalling death statistics in the UK , compared with most other countries in the world is just due to "luck" not judgement. The very many leaders all over the world who made good as opposed to bad judgements were, according to him , just lucky!

GGumteenth Mon 22-Jun-20 17:48:55

Callistemon I'm not sure what the owners could have done when there was insistence that they receive back untested patients, the government insisted that PPE ordered for Care Homes was redirected to the NHS with the cost of PPE to the homes then rocketing and the government delaying instruction on lockdown to the Homes came far too late.

Your information seems to be completely out of date. There may still be the odd home making excessive profits but I think you will go a long way to find them. Care home closures exceeded openings for the eighth consecutive year in 2019 as the number of new facilities fell to a record low rate, despite a rapidly ageing population. Most of this is because the local authorities have had so much money withdrawn they will only offer under the going rate for those who need to be in care.

Care is not only in Care Homes; it would be wrong to assume it is. Again, those carers in the community have had rates lowered so much that many companies will now not work for the LAs. Those that do are often just scrapping by and we see many of them closing too.

Callistemon Mon 22-Jun-20 19:42:16

Perhaps news from 7 months ago is slightly out-of-date, GGUmpteenth and I know things have changed rapidly but this report was from November 2019:

^Care home operators are making up to £1.5bn a year in profits with hundreds of millions of pounds going to offshore investors, a think tank has discovered.

Many of the firms that provide most of the UK’s 465,000 care home beds are owned or backed by hedge funds, while some of the biggest are based in overseas tax havens.

The Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI) estimated that £1.5bn a year – 10 per cent of the care home industry’s £15bn income – “leaks” in the form of rent, dividend payments, loans, directors’ fees, and profits – money not going to front line care. The CHPI report said it is “very difficult” to find out where the £15bn spent on care homes each year goes.^

These investors and owners have to take some responsibility.

Blinko Mon 22-Jun-20 19:51:25

So when Hancock promises to sort the social care system so that the complete shambles that has been evident in recent weeks 'cannot happen again', will he be allowed to get on with it? What are the chances?

Can we take it that the long awaited review of Social Care (mooted long before Covid-19) being continually kicked into the long grass is down to these shadowy-but-powerful hedge funds managers and their ilk?

This is the hard earned cash of older people and their families that's being syphonned off into the pockets of the rich.


Callistemon Mon 22-Jun-20 20:00:19

No, he won't be able to sort it Blinko.
Not up against that lot.

May7 Mon 22-Jun-20 20:31:07

But perhaps if you've had a family member die in that awful week in April in a care home and you hear the health minister repeatedly state that hes putting his arms around the care system you would want at the very least to know what he meant by this soundbite.

GGumteenth Mon 22-Jun-20 20:43:36

Perhaps news from 7 months ago is slightly out-of-date, GGUmpteenth and I know things have changed rapidly but this report was from November 2019:

I notice that, having complained about my source being from last November, yours is from exactly the same period!

It was the annual report from the end of 2019. Do you really think that since then the Care industry has suddenly opened masses of homes after 8 years of decline? Where is your evidence that an eight year decline did not continue into this year where the chance is that more will close as families have removed or not sent their relatives to homes because of Covid? It was a perfectly reasonable report on the statistics.

Your own evidence is insufficient to tell us anything about the conduct of the government. This seems to me your post is just a failed attempt to move the blame from the government which, presumably, you feel can do no wrong.

Let's talk about the subject of the thread which is the possible unlawful conduct of this government. If you want to have a thread about the diversity of Care Home operators why not start one?

paddyanne Mon 22-Jun-20 20:43:49

The care home affected on Skye was/is privately owned by a "national" corporation paying huge amounts of money to shareholders THEY were responsible for the people in their care and as such SHOULD have been providing PPE not complaining about the health board not supplying it,that same company imported staff from Kent during lockdown which may well have been the cause of the outbreak The owners need to answer questions and pay for this.Families spending small fortunes to keep their elderly relatives safe have been let down while the shareholders profit!

paddyanne Mon 22-Jun-20 20:44:52

Sorry ,that care home is being run by NHS HiGHLAND and Islands for now until a final decision is made about it

GGumteenth Mon 22-Jun-20 20:49:10

Can we take it that the long awaited review of Social Care (mooted long before Covid-19) being continually kicked into the long grass is down to these shadowy-but-powerful hedge funds managers and their ilk?

So you have allowed the very biased report that Callistemon quoted to make you believe that all homes are run by people making millions and syphoning it off into dubious funds Blinko, which is, of course, a long way from the truth.

What about the governments culpability? Or are you too playing the dead cat card in order to deflect them taking any blame?

GGumteenth Mon 22-Jun-20 20:56:29

THEY were responsible for the people in their care and as such SHOULD have been providing PPE

The homes were paddyannebut it was commandeered as it came into the country by the government for the NHS.

I can see a real pattern of "let's deflect from the government" on this thread which was about how they let the care sector down and the woman whose taking them to court. I have sent my few pounds to support her - you just keep supporting the Tories and never mind those poor people who died, or their relatives.

Sparkling Mon 22-Jun-20 21:28:05

What good would it serve? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, Zi genuinely think the government did their best and acknowledge mistakes were made. Let’s get out of this Pandemic, we are in a lot of debt and need to concentrate in getting the country going for our young people and a good Brexit outcome. Learn from the past but look to the future.

PinkCakes Mon 22-Jun-20 22:00:44

Hospitals had been sending Covid-19 patients back to care homes without testing them for the virus before they went back. That surely must be the fault of the hospitals

GGumteenth Mon 22-Jun-20 22:20:42

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, Zi genuinely think the government did their best and acknowledge mistakes were made.

What happens when people mismanage to this extent. They are sacked and, if people have died because of what they are done they stand trial. Why are you letting them off the hook? They are in power to manage the country and they have done it so badly far, far more people have died than needed to.

It's what they are paid for and what they volunteered to do. They have lost a great deal of trust and are likely to lose more as the details come out. It is not hindsight that meant we have one of the highest death rates. Defending our country against such things is the governments reason for being given the power to govern.

GGumteenth Mon 22-Jun-20 22:23:53

Pinkcakes, the hospitals were not provided with enough tests. Governments all over the world managed to do it, why do you make excuses for this shower? Governments do not have the second highest death rate - why do you make excuses for this lot?

GGumteenth Mon 22-Jun-20 22:28:06

Just as a matter of interest, would those who are treating the government as if they are 20 year olds in their first job say the same about Blair and the Iraq War. Governments can do things that are wrong and need to be held to account if they do. I should check your own subconscious - or possibly conscious bias.

Furret Mon 22-Jun-20 22:56:14

Of course Blair had it wrong, no question. Boris has it very wrong too.

He has in truth got rid of those with experience and is surrounded by wet-behind-the-ears bootlickers. There is only Gove and we know his game,

paddyanne Mon 22-Jun-20 23:08:04

I in no way shape or form support ANY tory ,The home owners however should be responsible for supplying PPE and should have had supplies in stock ,it certainly isn't up to the taxpayer in the area to supply PPE to a company sending huge profits to its shareholders.Surely any care provider MUST put his clients/patients first over profit ?