Bedford MP quizzes Health Secretary over ‘care home shield’ claims

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The Secretary of State responded to Mr Yasin's question on behalf of Mrs Barker, the headteacher of Scott Primary School

Bedford and Kempston MP, Mohammad Yasin asked a question of the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock today, regarding the Government’s treatment of care home residents during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth asked an Urgent Question of Matt Hancock MP regarding the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 and his Department’s level of preparedness prior to the pandemic, in light of comments made by the Prime Minister’s former chief advisor, Dominic Cummings.

On 19 March 2020, the Government told NHS hospitals to move elderly patients into care homes – even if they had Covid-19 – to free up beds.

Commenting on today’s Urgent Question, Mr Yasin said: “While there is no denying Mr Cummings has proved himself an unreliable witness on important matters in the past, much of yesterday’s damning evidence of the Government’s catastrophic handling of the pandemic rang true with the experiences of many people in Bedford and those on the frontline.

“We all knew the Government’s claims that they “put a shield around” people in care homes was “complete nonsense” as Cummings testified yesterday.

“I know because it was corroborated by a care home manager here in Bedford who told me that they were told they had to take back a resident despite them testing positive for Covid -19 in hospital as late as the 21 May.”

At the time, the Prime Minister blamed care home managers and Mr Yasin wrote to him and raised a question at Prime Ministers Questions urging him to launch an enquiry.

Read: PM must apologise for care home comments says Bedford and Kempston MP

“Unfortunately, they refused,” said Mr Yasin. “And we suffered an even worse wave of deaths in the winter because the Prime Minister dithered and delayed about locking down again.

“These deaths were not inevitable, and tens of thousands of families lost loved ones unnecessarily.”

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