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Leading charity says government's response to coronavirus in care homes has been ‘shambolic’

There has been criticism of the handling of the crisis in care homes (PA)

2 min read

The Government’s response to the outbreak of coronavirus in care homes has been described as “shambolic” by a leading charity.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) also hit out at the "paltry" levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) provided for care homes since the outbreak began.

According to the BBC the charity told the Department of Health and Docial Care that mixed messages have created "confusion and additional workload” within the sector.

More than 4,000 care home residents in the UK are thought to have died from Covid-19, although the true figure is unknown.

In a letter to ministers, ADASS also said "testing for care workers appears to be being rolled out without being given thought to who is going to be tested and what we are going to do with the result".

And the charity added: "We are very concerned that there is a significant imbalance between listening, hearing, and understanding NHS England as opposed to social care."

In response to criticism of how the Government has treated the sector, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that social care workers are to be given a badge entitling them to privileged treatment.

He said any resident being discharged from hospital would also be tested for the virus before returning to their care home in an effort to limit the spread of the disease.

The amount of personal protective equipment made available for care home staff will also be increased, according to Mr Hancock.

A spokesperson for the DHSCC told the BBC: "We will continue to work closely with the social care sector to ensure they have everything they need to respond to this outbreak and receive the recognition they deserve.”

But Labour's shadow social care minister Liz Kendall called the ADASS letter "extremely worrying”, and said the comments on protective equipment “must be an urgent wake up call for ministers”.

She added: ”Coronavirus has exposed the already fragile state of these vital services. Ministers must heed the warnings from ADASS and take all necessary to halt the emerging crisis in social care."

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