Hancock messages suggest that ‘protective ring’ around care homes ‘wasn’t there’, Labour says

Labour has accused former well being secretary Matt Hancock of failing to put a “protecting ring” round care properties through the pandemic. As well being secretary, Mr Hancock repeatedly insisted that care properties have been being protected, a line Labour has forged doubt on after the uncovering of leaked WhatsApp messages the then-health secretary despatched by means of Covid. 

The leaked messages, seen by The Telegraph, present Mr Hancock expressing concern that increasing testing in care properties may “get in the way in which” of his goal of 100,000 Covid exams per day.

The Telegraph claims that chief medical officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty had informed Mr Hancock in April 2020 that there needs to be testing for “all going into care properties and segregation while awaiting a outcome”.

Nevertheless, the messages suggests Mr Hancock rejected that recommendation, telling an aide that the transfer “muddies the waters”, as a substitute introducing obligatory testing only for these coming from hospitals.


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In line with the investigation, he mentioned: “Inform me if I’m fallacious however I’d reasonably depart it out and simply commit to check and isolate ALL going into care from hospital.

“I don’t assume the group dedication provides something and it muddies the waters.”

He additionally expressed issues that increasing care house testing may “get in the way in which” of the 100,000 each day take a look at goal he wished to hit, the investigation mentioned.

Chatting with Sky Information this morning, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Pat McFadden, mentioned: “We have been informed on the time that the federal government was placing a protecting ring round care properties.

“And it was notably delicate as a result of I believe even within the early days of COVID, we knew that aged individuals in care properties have been notably susceptible to this”.

He added: “So the tales this morning counsel that the protecting ring wasn’t there, that individuals have been being allowed to enter care properties who may have been constructive, opposite to the recommendation of the chief medical officer on the time”.

Labour MP Jess Phillips has additionally tweeted: “If particulars about how Hancock was extra bothered about hitting his goal on testing by presumably losing exams that led to much less capability in care properties is true then think about how those that misplaced family members in that week will really feel. This lot its all the time headlines earlier than entrance traces”.

Mr Hancock has additionally come below criticism kind inside his the Conservative occasion, with MP Bim Afolami saying that there’s a “actual downside” of individuals in Authorities “making choices on the fly” by way of WhatsApp messages.

He informed TalkTV: “The Covid inquiry goes to flush all of this out anyway. There are two issues that strike me from the snippets that we now have heard.

“The primary is individuals must be extremely cautious about what they placed on emails and WhatsApp messages and textual content messages and the explanation why, by the way in which, just isn’t out of some type of political ‘oh, you’ve got to cover what you might be doing’, I actually don’t imply that”.

Mr Hancock’s messages have been leaked by journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who obtained them whereas engaged on Mr Hancock’s “Pandemic Diaries” memoir.

She outlined that she was releasing them as a result of it may take “a few years” earlier than an official inquiry is accomplished and “we completely can not wait any longer for solutions”.