The Government faces the possibility of a judicial review over their care home policy which saw patients with coronavirus removed from hospitals, and placed into care environments.
Lawyers under instruction from Dr Cathy Gardner whose father died in a care home at the beginning of April have written to Matt Hancock and heads of the NHS as they seek to bring a judicial review over the policy.
Dr Gardner alleges that both the Government and the NHS were in breach of four separate articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Her lawyers have given Health Secretary Matt Hancock 14 days to respond to their letter. They say if his response is not satisfactory, they will begin proceedings for judicial review at the High Court.
The letter stated: ‘Our client believes that the policies and measures adopted by the health secretary, NHS England and Public Health England have manifestly failed to protect the health, wellbeing and right to life of those residing and working in care homes.
‘Their failings have led to large numbers of unnecessary deaths and serious illnesses’.
The letter also condemned Matt Hancock’s claim that a “protective ring” had been thrown around care homes.
It highlighted the ‘failings of government have been aggravated by the making of wholly disingenuous, misleading and, it adds in some cases plainly false statements suggesting that everything necessary has been done to protect care homes during the pandemic’.
Dr Gardner, who is fundraising her legal fees for the case, said: “I am appalled that Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State, can give the impression that the Government has sought to cast a protective ring over elderly residents of care homes – and right from the start.
“The truth is that there has been at best a casual approach to protecting the residents of care homes; at worst the Government have adopted a policy that has caused the death of the most vulnerable in our society.
“It is completely unacceptable that this happened and that responsibility has been avoided. I have therefore instructed my lawyers to threaten legal proceedings against the Government for the harm that has been suffered by my father. “