A Christian charity for elderly people has responded to a report that says the Government ignored care homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
MPs on the Public Accounts Committee, which evaluates government spending, looked into how ready the NHS and care homes were for the Covid-19 crisis.
It found that the NHS was generally just about able to cope but that it was a different story for adult social care.
The Committee (made up of nine Conservatives, five Labour MPS, one Liberal Democrat and one SNP member) said: "Years of inattention, funding cuts and delayed reforms have been compounded by the Government's slow, inconsistent and, at times, negligent approach to giving the sector the support it needed during the pandemic. This is illustrated by the decision to discharge 25,000 patients from hospitals into care homes without making sure all were first tested for COVID-19, a decision that remained in force even after it became clear people could transfer the virus without ever having symptoms."
Commenting on these findings, Louise Morse from the Pilgrim's Friends Society, which runs Christian care homes, told Premier: "I think it's been more than neglectful. I think it's been burying the whole issue for years. Successive governments have continually put the prospect of a good social care plan in the 'too difficult to do' basket. And they've let it get to the point that it is now."
Morse explained how people should pray: "I think we can pray very simply, just give it to God that the situation isn't right. And we can say 'Father God, we are concerned about the wellbeing of older people. We know that they're of value to you'.
"God has a plan for each person right until the end of their lives. Each person is valuable in God's sight. So, ask him to influence the minds of those in charge, those decision-makers at the government, keep nagging them. As he's shown in the Bible, He influences people's minds - He changed Pharaoh's mind, He can change anybody's mind...to put it in their minds and to put it in all our hearts so that this social care plan will be done."
She added that funding the sector more sustainably wouldn't just benefit older people: "Carers want it as well; caring is a vocation. The pandemic has raised the value in the public's eyes and let them see the value in the human skills...the extraordinary skills of these patient carers. They want to be able to work fully and we'd like to pay them what they're really worth as well."