Here’s the key comment, from the Health Secretary today:
One of those assumptions being the level of infection, prevention and control measures in residential settings across adult and social care which should flow from the national infection, prevention and control manual – but as we appreciated quickly, needed sufficient additional support to ensure that they were in place.
Care homes have been dealing with infection control based on isolation of those infected or suspected of infection, for decades. There are flu outbreaks in care homes most years. It was a reasonable expectation that they would know what to do.
The early evidence is of care home managers, perhaps under pressure from owners, failing to implement infection control properly and under-stocking PPE. Pressure from owners to cut costs has resulted in minimal and often untrained staffing in many homes but most importantly, the reliance on agency staff to fill gaps has almost certainly been the cause of the spread.
The accusations from the opposition parties will not stick.