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Doctor brings landmark Covid care home legal action against Government

22 October 2021

Doctor brings landmark Covid care home legal action against Government

A doctor of virology is bringing a landmark legal action against the government, Public Health England and NHS England over their handling of Covid in care homes.

Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris both lost their care home resident fathers to the virus during the pandemic.

The test case argues that the government failed to protect care home residents from the three principal routes of transmission of Covid: infection from other residents, external visitors, and care home staff.

Dr Gardner said: “It is very clear, whatever Matt Hancock may have said, the residents of care homes were not provided with a protective ring. 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.”

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

Barrister Coppel QC told the hearing at 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”.” Read more here.