Stop making the NHS a scapegoat for deaths in social care

23 May 2020

NHS Providers has urged the prime minister and leader of the opposition to end the 'political blame game' over COVID-19 deaths in care homes.

The organisation which represents every hospital, community, mental health and ambulance trust in England has written to  Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer, warning them not to make the NHS a scapegoat for wider failings over the transmission of the virus into care homes.

The letter was prompted by two successive weeks of accusation and counter accusation in prime minister's questions, over who is responsible for the high death toll in social care.

While acknowledging the need for a full and open debate about the tragic impact of coronavirus in social care settings, it says for politicians to suggest that the NHS frontline knowingly and systematically discharged confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients into care homes is 'damaging and simply not true'.

While acknowledging the need for a full and open debate about the tragic impact of coronavirus in social care settings, it says for politicians to suggest that the NHS frontline knowingly and systematically discharged confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients into care homes is 'damaging and simply not true'.

   

 

The letter highlights the work of trust leaders and their clinical teams in support of social care colleagues. It warns that to suggest they were deliberately willing to raise the risk to patients and care home residents may be seen as an attempt to deflect attention away from legitimate questions over support for social care during the pandemic.

 

At a time when public confidence in the NHS is of critical importance, the letter calls on the two leaders to be mindful of the effect their words have on the wider population.

At a time when public confidence in the NHS is of critical importance, the letter calls on the two leaders to be mindful of the effect their words have on the wider population.

   
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