Hancock complacent as care home crisis continues

After a week of belatedly showing some apparent concern at the high levels of deaths in care homes from Covid-19, Matt Hancock and other ministers appear to have reverted to smug indifference with the announcement as The Lowdown goes to press that numbers of deaths have begun to fall back.

He told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today Programme on May 12 that “I’m really pleased that the number of people dying in care homes is now falling, quite sharply. The number has almost halved over the past two to three weeks, since the peak. It’s very clear to me that the transmission in care homes is coming down and is much lower than it was.”

Figures from the largest charitable care home operator MHA, published on May 11, do show a substantial reduction in deaths from Covid, and ONS figures also show deaths in care homes were down in week 18, to the still much higher than average figure of 6,409. But worryingly 37.8% of those deaths involved coronavirus, up from 35.3% the previous week.

Full story in The Lowdown, 14 May 2020