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Matt Hancock’s Actions During The Pandemic Left The Care Sector Exposed, Says UNISON

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of leaving social care in a “dreadful state”.

Mr Hancock gave evidence earlier this week at the Covid inquiry saying that he is “profoundly sorry” for every death caused by COVID-19 and blames “doctrine” for believing the UK had things under control.

He went on to say: “The attitude, the doctrine of the UK was to plan for the consequences of a disaster. Can we buy enough body bags? Where are we going to bury the dead?

“And that was completely wrong. Of course, it’s important to have that in case you fail to stop a pandemic, but central to pandemic planning needs to be – how do you stop the disaster from happening in the first place? How do you suppress the virus?”

He added: “And all I can do is ensure that this inquiry gets to the bottom of it, and that for the future, we learn the right lessons, so that we stop a pandemic in its tracks much, much earlier.

“And that we have the systems in place ready to do that, because I’m worried that they’re being dismantled as we speak.”

However, UNISON head of care Gavin Edwards said:
“The Conservatives had been in power for ten years when Covid struck. But a range of ministers systematically neglected social care, leaving it in a dreadful state at a critical time.

“Matt Hancock is living in a different world. His actions left the care sector exposed to the devastating impact of the pandemic.

“He failed to make enough protective kit and testing available when staff and care home residents desperately needed it. His disregard for the most vulnerable cost thousands of lives.

“The government repeatedly ignored calls to improve the availability of sick pay so care workers didn’t lose out when ill or isolating. Ministers’ failure to act meant many staff continued to work, with shocking consequences.

“Nothing can right the many mistakes made by ministers three years ago. But social care can be improved drastically now so the sector is more resilient in future.
“A properly funded national care service, delivered by local councils, using better trained and fairly paid staff, would ensure good quality care to all who need it.”

 

 
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