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UK News

Christian medical group slams government's handling of care sector as Covid inquiry begins

by Alex Collett

Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) has said the government's handling of the care sector at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic was an "utter disaster."

An inquiry into how top leaders navigated the outbreak has now begun, with a preliminary hearing currently taking place in London. 

Baroness Heather Hallett, who opened the session, will now look at the UK's preparedness for the virus and says she will put bereaved families - and those who suffered - at the heart of her work.

Steve Fouch, head of communications at CMF says people that lost loved ones in care homes need answers.

He said: "We were assured that there would be a ring of protection around the care homes, but in practice, what was happening was people were being discharged from hospital with Covid infections to care homes without any proper screening or testing. 

"So care homes suddenly found themselves with massive outbreaks, when they shouldn't have done, when they could have actually been kept safe. 

"So these care homes were being isolated from the community. People couldn't see loved ones, all theycould do is wave at them through a window and yet they were having people with Covid admitted back into the care home directly. 

"So that was an utter disaster and by the time people realise what was going on and change it, lives had been lost."

Due to the nature of the inquiry, the investigations will be split into separate modules. The first three include planning and preparedness, political decision-making and health care.

The topics of further modules will be announced in 2023.

It is believed they will review subjects like: vaccines, the care sector, government procurement, test-and-trace, business and finance, devolution, education and health inequalities. 

Mr Fouch said, although he thought the vaccine rollout was sufficient, he does not think the criteria was met in other countries. He said: "I think questions can be asked about how we've dealt with the rest of the world. 

"There were a lot of poor nations that didn't get access to vaccines and we gave them a few handouts, but nothing significant and that really was an area where we could have done an awful lot better."

Reflecting on the early days of the virus, Mr Fouch said Christians should continue to pray. He continued: "It's affected all of us and I think we can pray for one another. 

"I think we need to pray for each other all the time on this because it's not just a small group of people that are affected. It is every single one of us. And we have to be honest about our own damage that we carry with us from that time as well."

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