PAC condemns “slow, inconsistent and at times negligent approach” to social care sector in Covid-19 pandemic - Alzheimer's Society responds

The PAC have said the social care sector has been affected by 'years of inattention' and cuts to funding.

In a report published on 29 July 2020, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has said the Government’s “slow, inconsistent, and at times negligent approach” to social care in the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the “tragic impact” of “years of inattention, funding cuts and delayed reforms”, leaving the sector as a “poor relation” that has suffered badly in the pandemic.

Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'Care homes, where at least 70% of residents have dementia, were abandoned at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, causing outbreaks to spread unchecked, with a lack of PPE and testing leading to catastrophic loss of life.

Right from the start, we raised concerns about discharging patients into care homes hastily and this report sadly vindicates these concerns. Too late for the thousands of people who have died, the largest number of whom have been people with dementia, each death leaving behind a heartbroken family.

'Together with the One Dementia Voice campaign, we’ll continue to demand better for people with dementia and their families and campaign for support for care homes, having already secured crucial visits from family carers. Coronavirus has laid bare the impact of decades of underinvestment in social care. With the threat of a second wave, the Government must take action to protect this vulnerable group and ensure another tragedy like this doesn’t happen again.'