Nursing home group accuses Matt Hancock’s diary and memoir of events of ‘nothing like the facts’, with official saying ‘it was a man who lied’
- Matt Hancock’s defense of Covid care home management sparked industry outrage
- The former health secretary explained many of his decisions in his pandemic diaries
- But industry insiders said his memory ‘is nothing like the facts’
- Hancock has faced backlash over several government decisions during the pandemic
Matt Hancock’s unwavering defense of his handling of care homes during the Covid pandemic has sparked outrage within the industry.
The former health secretary detailed in his pandemic diaries the government’s early decision-making to try to protect the country’s fragile and elderly community.
Industry insiders today said they were very frustrated with Mr Hancock’s insistence that he introduces a ‘ring of protection’ around care homes.
Nadra Ahmed, president of the National Care Association, told The Times: “Matt Hancock’s memory of the events bears no resemblance to the facts. In reality, the only ring of protection has been thrown around the NHS.
“There was no thought for social care. I think it’s a huge insult that he wrote this book as he did for his own benefit.
Meanwhile, David Crabtree, of Crabtree Care Homes, two residences in Bradford, West Yorkshire, said ‘the industry is in turmoil’ after reading several early entries from Mr Hancock’s unpublished book.
The former health secretary detailed in his pandemic diaries the government’s early decision-making to try to protect the country’s fragile and elderly community
“He was a man who lied when he said there was a ring of protection around nursing homes,” he said.
Mr Hancock has come under heavy criticism over the government’s decision in the early stages of the outbreak to send potentially infectious Covid patients from hospitals back to care homes without testing first.
Politics has been blamed by many for the large number of Covid deaths in care facilities during the first wave of the pandemic, when around 20,000 elderly residents died.
Mr Hancock insists that only a fraction of Covid cases in care homes – as few as 1.2% – have actually been caused by hospital discharges.
He says he was shown evidence to suggest the virus was ‘mainly’ brought into homes by infected staff.
The former health secretary made no secret of his mistakes in his pandemic diaries, and staunch supporters say he was given ‘a job that couldn’t be done’ and handled it as best he could that he could.
Nadra Ahmed (pictured), president of the National Care Association, said: ‘Matt Hancock’s memory of the events bears no resemblance to the facts
An ally said any decision he made throughout the pandemic was based on facts and scientific advice.
And Mr Hancock attacked the ‘outrageous’ behavior of some care home bosses whom he accused of ‘unscrupulous’ use of workers infected with the virus.
Mr Hancock also claims it was then NHS boss Sir Simon Stevens who pushed to send hospital patients back to care homes, saying he was ‘committed to making it happen’.
He admits moving them without testing first was an “absolute nightmare”, but says at the time officials didn’t have enough testing capacity to do that anyway.
In his April 2, 2020 diary, Mr Hancock noted that patients leaving hospital for care homes could not all be tested for Covid.
Mr Hancock attacked the ‘outrageous’ behavior of some care home bosses whom he accused of ‘unscrupulous’ use of workers infected with the virus
“The tragic but honest truth is that we don’t have enough testing capacity to verify anyway,” he wrote.
“It’s a real nightmare, but it’s the reality.
“In these circumstances, we need to ensure that anyone who moves from a hospital to a care home is kept apart from other residents. I hope this message will filter and be followed.
He later wrote: “The horror of what the virus has done to people in nursing homes around the world will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Mr Hancock quit his job after he was caught breaking his party’s social distancing guidelines while having an affair with aide Gina Coladangelo.
Recently, he appeared on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, which caused him to lose the party whip.
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