Doctors bring legal action against Government over their handling of the Coronavirus crisis in care homes

A doctor of virology is taking the government, Public Health England and NHS England to court about the way they handled Covid in care homes.

Virology = study of viruses.

Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris both lost their fathers (who lived in a residential home) to the virus during the pandemic.

Their lawyers will argue that the government failed to protect care home residents from the three main ways people catch Covid: infection from other residents, visitors from outside the home, and care home staff.

Dr Gardner said: “It is very clear, whatever Matt Hancock may have said, the ……….[residents of care homes weren’t properly protected from catching Covid].  He knew they were the most at risk and yet he issued a policy that exposed them to the risk of losing their lives.  Many did.  My father did.”

Matt Hancock = The Health Minister in 2020.

Over 20,000 care home residents, including Disabled people, died from Covid between March and June 2020.

The doctors’ lawyer (Barrister Coppel QC) told the High Court: “This claim is a legal challenge to the government’s failure to protect care home residents and to the key policies and decisions which led to the shocking death toll.  The most notorious of these policies is that of mass discharge of around 25,000 elderly and/or disabled patients from NHS hospitals into care homes…  That policy has been described by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee as “reckless and negligent” and “appalling”.”

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