Devon doctor takes legal action against Matt Hancock after her father dies from coronavirus in a care home

A Devon physician has launched authorized motion towards Well being Secretary Matt Hancock after her aged father died from possible coronavirus in a care residence.

Dr Cathy Gardner misplaced her 88-year-old dad Michael Gibson when he handed away at Cherwood Home in Oxfordshire after falling severely unwell.

She fears the care residence, whom she paid tribute to for supporting her father along with his Alzheimer’s situation, was pressured into taking again a resident who had been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 signs.

The affected person, Cathy says, was by no means examined for the virus, in accordance with Authorities coverage at the moment designed to assist ease the burden on the NHS.

She suspects that allowed the virus to unfold and in flip declare the lives of others – together with Michael’s.

Anguish - Dr Cathy Gardner fears a lack of testing contributed to the death of her father Michael Gibson

Mr Gibson, a former superintendent registrar, sadly died on the night of April 3.

Now Dr Gardner, from Sidmouth, has launched authorized motion towards Mr Hancock, the Authorities’s well being and social care division, NHS England and Public Well being England over the matter.

She says she needs an admission that the Authorities didn’t take proactive measures to guard susceptible care residence residents and that the rules permitting Covid-19 sufferers to be discharged into care houses was illegal.

Talking this morning on Sky Information, Dr Gardner mentioned: “It was extraordinarily distressing, clearly I wasn’t allowed to go to him – all I might do was look by means of the window and see him about 24 hours earlier than he died.  It was completely heartbreaking.

“We have despatched a letter to a few defendants – that is the secretary of state for well being and social care, his division, NHS England and Public Well being England (PHE).

“We obtained responses again on the finish of final week and people responses are fully insufficient.  They completely fail to handle and even acknowledge any wrongdoing of any variety.

Handout photo issued by 10 Downing Street of Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19).
Handout photograph issued by 10 Downing Road of Well being Secretary Matt Hancock throughout a media briefing in Downing Road, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We allege they’ve breached numerous features of human rights regulation, and likewise the equalities act in failing to guard essentially the most susceptible individuals in our society, these in care houses.

“There isn’t a proof that there was ever a ‘protecting ring’ (round care houses), in truth there may be very a lot proof on the contrary.

“One of many issues that we requested them to supply was proof to assist that assertion made by Matt Hancock, however they failed to try this.

“We’re searching for an admission of wrongdoing.  We’re additionally searching for, very importantly, steps to be put in place to guard individuals sooner or later – as a result of this is not over.

“We additionally need statements like that ‘protecting ring’ and others made by the prime minister to be retracted.”

Dr Gardner was requested what she feels ought to have occurred in early phases of the coronavirus outbreak with reference to care houses.

She mentioned: “All people knew – the Authorities, scientists, me – that essentially the most susceptible individuals had been those that had been older, these with underlying circumstances.

“What they need to have achieved is paid explicit consideration to these individuals in care houses, as a result of what truly occurred was they suggested the over 70s and those that are susceptible dwelling at residence to remain at residence and keep protected, while on the identical time no taking any steps or issuing any steering for care houses – in truth then discharging individuals from hospital to care houses.

“That steering was fully contradictory and it can’t be proper.  I merely cannot let the Authorities get away with that with out attempting to carry them to account.”

Dr Gardner was requested if care houses themselves bear any accountability for this example.

She mentioned: “I might say two issues.  One, the illness is extraordinarily infectious and its been spreading in hospitals – and if hospitals cannot cease the unfold of the illness, how on earth can a residential atmosphere try this?

“The second is that care houses got here underneath a variety of strain to simply accept residents, a few of whom had gone to hospital from that care residence.  And once you’re pressurised to take somebody again you actually should do it.

“But in addition, some care houses had their PPE requisitioned, so how on earth had been they supposed to guard themselves, together with their very own employees, a few of whom died.

“This has been an absolute catastrophy for care houses and it actually must be addressed by the Authorities.  They can not attempt to brush this underneath the carpet.  Tens of hundreds of individuals have died.”

Talking final month, a spokesman for the Division for Well being and Social Care mentioned: “This virus can sadly have a devastating impact on a few of our most susceptible individuals and our deepest sympathies exit to the households who’ve misplaced relations.

“The federal government is working across the clock to verify care houses and our frontline social care workforce are getting the assist they should defend residents and sort out coronavirus.

“We’ve got put in place a coverage to make sure all persons are examined when being discharged from hospitals into care houses and now we have allotted £1.Three billion of extra funding to boost the NHS discharge course of, in addition to a brand new £600m an infection management fund for care houses to sort out the unfold of COVID-19.”

“Because of all this – and the work of so many individuals – two thirds of England’s care houses have had no outbreak in any respect.”

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