Matt Hancock criticized for “deceived” diary about the Covid pandemic

Matt Hancock is back in Westminster (Image: Reuters)

Matt Hancock has been condemned as “delusional” over his recollection of how he handled care homes during the pandemic.

Nadra Ahmed, the head of the National Care Association, said the former health secretary’s account was “nothing like the facts”.

She claimed that Mr Hancock’s diary account in the Daily Mail is the words “driven” by a man who “had no awareness of social care and its value then and this shows he has learned nothing since”.

Hancock insists the virus was primarily brought into facilities by infected employees.

The government decided in the early stages of the outbreak to discharge potentially contagious Covid patients from hospitals to care homes without prior testing.

This has been blamed for the huge number of Covid deaths in care facilities during the first wave of the pandemic.

Hancock also suggests there was “scandalous” behavior by some care home managers, who he claims allowed staff infected with the virus to work.

Editorial use only Mandatory credit: Photo by James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock (13639537v) Matt Hancock finishes third 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!'  TV Show Series 22 Live Final Australia - 27 November 2022

Matt Hancock finished third on I’m a Celebrity (Image: ITV/Shutterstock)

In his diary entry on April 2, 2020, Hancock states that negative tests will not be necessary before patients are moved to care homes.

He said: ‘The tragic but honest truth is that we don’t have enough testing capacity to check anyway. It’s a complete nightmare, but it’s reality.

“In the circumstances we must ensure that anyone going from a hospital to a care home is kept away from other residents. I hope this message filters through and is heeded.’

On 29 January 2021 he wrote: ‘Scandalous behavior by certain care home operators, who unscrupulously use staff with Covid.

“Inspectors have identified no less than 40 locations where this is happening.”

Hancock’s submission says he was “shocked” and it “underlines why we need to make jabs compulsory for people working in social care”.

Ahmed said: “Unfortunately, the account being peddled by Matt Hancock bears no resemblance to the facts.

“Those of us who have lived through some of the most harrowing times in the history of social care can only see this as a tricked-out version. He had no awareness of social care and its value then and this shows that he has learned nothing since.

“The sector cried out for support which repeatedly fell on deaf ears. We knew that testing and vaccinations were key to containing infection, and both took their time to reach social care and the ‘free’ PPE touted as support for some providers found to be faulty.

“At a time when he should be recognizing the critical role of social care and its workforce, he has chosen to condemn us once again to justify his own significant failings and for his own financial gain. It feels like we were living in parallel universes.’

On Friday, Mr Hancock returned to the Commons for the first time since his I’m A Celebrity stint.

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