The High Court ruled this morning that the UK government acted unlawfully by discharging Covid patients into care homes. Judges concluded that there was no evidence that the Health Secretary at the time Matt Hancock, addressed the risk to care home residents.
According to The Telegraph:
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) had claimed that during the pandemic it had put a “protective ring” around care homes.
However, High Court judges ruled on Wednesday that the Government’s policy of discharging patients from hospital to care homes at the start of the pandemic was “unlawful” because it “failed to take into account” the risk to elderly and vulnerable residents from non-symptomatic transmission of Covid.
They said that, despite there being “growing awareness” of the risk of asymptomatic transmission throughout March 2020, there was no evidence that Matt Hancock, the then Health Secretary, addressed the issue of the risk to care home residents of such transmission.
The case was brought forward by Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris whose fathers, Michael Gibson and Donald Harris, died after testing positive for coronavirus.
Jason Coppel QC, the barrister representing the two women, told Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Garnham that between March and June 2020 more than 20,000 elderly or disabled care home residents died from Covid in England and Wales.
Mr Coppel said the fathers of both Dr Gardner and Ms Harris were part of that “toll”.
“The care home population was known to be uniquely vulnerable to being killed or seriously harmed by Covid-19,” wrote Mr Coppel.
“The Government’s failure to protect it, and positive steps taken by the Government which introduced Covid-19 infection into care homes, represent one of the most egregious and devastating policy failures in the modern era.”
He told judges: “That death toll should not and need not have happened.
“Put together, the various policies were a recipe for disaster and disaster is what happened.”
Lawyers representing Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, NHS England and Public Health England had fought the claim that the Government acted unlawfully by failing to protect care homes.
It’s a lot worse than the High Court thinks.
Last year, the journalist Jacqui Deevoy broke arguably the most important story of the past decade. She uncovered incontrovertible evidence that senior citizens were being euthanised in care homes and hospitals using a drug called Midazolam which suppresses the respiratory system.
She discovered documents implicating former Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Jacqui presented her evidence to nearly 30 newspaper editors in the UK.
None of them would touch the story.