The time is now for a national care service

Mike Padgham, managing director of the North Yorkshire-based Saint Cecilia’s Care Group and chairman of the Independent Care Group, talks to The Care Home Environment editor Tim Probert about the need for a post-pandemic national care service

TCHE: At around a third of total Covidrelated deaths, care homes have borne the brunt of the pandemic. What could have been done differently at the start to have prevented so many deaths?

Mike Padgham (MP):  The government was slow to recognise that care and nursing homes are on the front line, despite our warnings. They were slow to supply proper PPE and testing, as well as financial support. People in care and nursing homes were extremely vulnerable and susceptible to Covid-19 but the government concentrated too much on NHS care. The advice at the start was that care homes did not need to do anything different!

But you can’t talk about it without mentioning that social care has been forgotten about in the past. I blame governments of all parties - Labour, coalition, Conservative - for the state that social care is in now.

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