Matt Hancock condemned for the “deluded” narrative of nursing homes during the pandemic

Matt Hancock’s recollections of how he ran care homes during the Covid pandemic have been condemned as a “deluded version” of events.

Nadra Ahmed, president of the National Care Association which represents small and medium-sized care home providers, said the former health secretary’s account “bears no resemblance to the facts”.

He added that Mr Hancock’s account, included in excerpts from his diary serialized by the Daily Mail, are words that were “peddled” by a man who “had no awareness then of welfare and its value and this shows that he has learned nothing since then ”.

Matt Hancock, then Health Secretary during a Downing Street briefing (Matt Dunham/PA)

Mr Hancock insists that the virus was mainly introduced into the facilities by infected staff members.

The government decided early on in the outbreak to discharge potentially infectious Covid patients from hospitals to care homes without prior testing.

This has been blamed on the huge number of Covid deaths in care facilities during the first wave of the pandemic.

He also suggests that there has been “scandalous” behavior by some heads of nursing homes who, he says, have allowed employees infected with the virus to work.

In his April 2, 2020 keynote speech, Hancock says negative tests would not be needed before patients are transferred to nursing homes.

He said: “The tragic but honest truth is that we don’t have enough testing capacity to check anyway. It’s a real nightmare, but it’s reality.

“Under the circumstances, we need to make sure anyone going from a hospital to a care home is kept away from other residents. I hope this message gets through and is followed up on.”

Matt Hancock returns to Parliament

Matt Hancock returns to Parliament in London for the first time since his appearance in I’m A Celebrity (Lucy North/PA)

On January 29, 2021 he wrote: “Scandalous behavior of some nursing home managers, who are using unscrupulous staff with Covid.

“Inspectors have identified no less than 40 places where this is happening.”

Mr Hancock’s voice says he was “shocked” and “points out why we have to make shots compulsory for people working in social care”.

Ms Ahmed said: “Unfortunately, Matt Hancock’s peddled account bears no resemblance to the facts.

“Those of us who have lived through some of the most harrowing periods in welfare history can only see this as a deluded version. He had no awareness of welfare and its value then and this shows that he has learned nothing since then.

“The industry has been clamoring for support that has repeatedly fallen on deaf ears. We knew testing and vaccinations were the key to containing the infection and both took their time reaching for welfare and “free” PPE which has been lauded as support some providers have deemed faulty.

“At a time when it should recognize the critical role of social care and its workforce, it has chosen to condemn us yet again to justify its notable failures and for its own financial benefit. We seem to have lived in parallel universes.”

Mr Hancock returned to London’s Parliament on Friday for the first time since his appearance in I’m A Celebrity….

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