Matt Hancock’s contempt of North Yorkshire care boss is discourteous – The Yorkshire Post says

IT IS to the eternal shame of every Minister – and all 650 MPs – that they did not heed the early warnings of North Yorkshire care boss Mike Padgham long before years of political neglect over social care policy was compounded by Government negligence over Covid.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock's handling of social care is coming under fire.

He first wrote an open letter to every MP in November 2018 highighting fears over funding. Only a handful had the courtesy to send an acknowledgement, never mind a substantive response to a defining issue ignored by successive governments.

All politicians have an open invitation to visit his Saint Cecilia’s Care Home in Scarborough. They’ve declined the offer. If they had, the sector may have been better equipped when patients infected with Covid were discharged by hospitals last year – and when Mr Padgham warned Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock about the crisis.

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Mike Padgham (right) at his Scarborough care home.

In another letter on April 18 last year, he told the Secretary of State: “Care and nursing homes have been taking people in through their doors whether they have Covid-19 or not and have been ill-equipped to cope. Under-resourced, under-funded and under-valued. Now that neglect is laid bare.”

Shamefully, he’s still waiting for response. Yet this is made even more galling by the fact that this failure to protect care homes, a scandal that ultimately claimed thousands of lives, has only been given national prominence since Boris Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings effectively accused the Health Secretary of being deceitful on this very issue.

Yet, while many question the integrity and motives of Mr Cummings, it is clear that Ministers did ignore multiple warnings about the care crisis when they should have been working with the sector to tackle countless policy shortcomings. If Mr Hancock can’t bring himself to do so, he needs to answer this question: Why not?

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