Care bosses have demanded Boris Johnson retract comments blaming homes for failing to follow coronavirus rules.
The Prime Minister triggered a furious reaction after he said: ‘Too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have.’
The Independent Care Group described the comments as a ‘real slap in the face’ and the Community Integrated Care charity said his words were ‘clumsy and cowardly’.
Boris Johnson has refused to apologise for comments in which he said ‘too many’ care homes had ignored proper safety procedures to combat the coronavirus. Care home company owner David Crabtree said the PM was ‘despicable’. Pictured during a visit to the Siemens Rail factory construction site in Goole on Monday
Nadra Ahmed (pictured in 2017), chairman of the National Care Association, said Mr Johnson’s remarks were ‘a huge insult’, adding: ‘When you think of some of the mistakes that have been made, I am absolutely stunned that he has made those comments and he should retract them’
Downing Street yesterday declined to apologise – and instead claimed Mr Johnson had been pointing out that ‘nobody knew what the correct procedures were because the extent of asymptomatic transmission was not known at the time’.
But Nadra Ahmed, chairman of the National Care Association, said Mr Johnson’s remarks were ‘a huge insult’, adding: ‘When you think of some of the mistakes that have been made, I am absolutely stunned that he has made those comments and he should retract them.’
The row has increased pressure on Mr Johnson to announce long-awaited reforms to social care funding. He pledged to make changes on his first day in the job last July – a promise repeated in the Conservative manifesto before last year’s election.
The coronavirus pandemic delayed the publication of the plans, but the huge virus death toll in care homes has shone a fresh spotlight on the failings of the system.
Fiona Carragher, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said the time for reform is long overdue. ‘Coronavirus has exposed just how dreadfully threadbare social care is, on which people with dementia almost totally rely for vital support,’ she said. ‘It’s never been more important to solve the social care crisis.’
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman was yesterday asked in a Westminster briefing what the Prime Minister had meant by the remarks. he said: ‘The Prime Minister was pointing out that nobody knew what the correct procedures were because the extent of asymptomatic transmission was not known at the time.’