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Hancock hoo-ha is ultimately just hot air


Editor


Tim Probert timprobert@stepcomms.com


Online Sales Executive Matthew Moore matthewmoore@stepcomms.com


Journal Administration


Katy Cockle katycockle@stepcomms.com Design


Steven Dillon Publisher


Geoff King geoffking@stepcomms.com


Publishing Director


Trevor Moon trevormoon@stepcomms.com


THE CARE HOME ENVIRONMENT is published monthly by Step Communications Ltd, Step House, North Farm Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3DR, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1892 779999 Fax: +44 (0)1892 616177 Email: info@thecarehomeenvironment.com Web: www.thecarehomeenvironment.com


Welcome to the June edition of The Care Home Environment. In recent days, the former chief advisor to the Prime Minister Dominic Cummings and in turn Health Secretary Matt Hancock have generated plenty of column inches about the government’s Covid-19 response in the early days of the pandemic. As has been well publicised, Cummings effectively blamed Hancock for around


25,000 hospital patients being discharged to care homes in England before the government introduced mandatory testing in mid-April. Cummings accused Hancock of lying by telling Boris Johnson that testing would be


introduced before then; Hancock denied he had misled the Prime Minister. It was only a matter of time before the issue of discharged hospital patients into care


homes during the peak of the first wave would return to haunt the government. Yet while it is a source of considerable distress for many, this issue paints only a small picture of the impact on care homes from Covid-19.


It was only a matter of time before the issue of discharged hospital patients into care homes during the peak of the first wave would return to haunt the government


Indeed, figures published by Public Health England identified 97 care home outbreaks


involving 804 care home residents and 286 deaths in England due to hospital-associated seeding, i.e. where patients were discharged into care homes. The report only looked at those confirmed with a positive Covid test and the majority


of the hospital-seeded care home outbreaks identified were in March to mid-April 2020 – a time when testing of patients was, of course, scarce. Even if a robust testing regime was in place, however, Covid-19 would still have spread in


care homes given asymptomatic carers – many of who work for agencies across multiple care settings - were unwittingly spreading it in the face of high community transmission. Furthermore, the fuss over Hancock and hospital patients ignores the disproportionate


ISSN NO. 2398-3280


The Publisher is unable to take any responsibility for views expressed by contributors. Editorial views are not necessarily shared by the journal. Readers are expressly advised that while the contents of this publication are believed to be accurate, correct and complete, no reliance should be placed upon its contents as being applicable to any particular circumstances.


This publication is copyright under the Berne Convention and the International Copyright Convention. All rights reserved, apart from any copying under the UK Copyright Act 1956, part 1, section 7. Multiple copies of the contents of the publication without permission is always illegal.


toll of excess deaths among care home residents that occurred during the first wave from other causes. In the end, the attempted political assassination of the Health Secretary is a distraction


from the big picture about social care, Covid-19 and the government: that the sector was in a highly vulnerable position and the pandemic should be the spur to long-awaited reform promised for a generation to avoid a repeat.. Enjoy the magazine.


Tim Probert • Editor timprobert@stepcomms.com


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June 2021 • www.thecarehomeenvironment.com


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