Fight for health and social care in public hands
This government has blood on its hands.
The exact numbers of avoidable deaths in care homes, after the government allowed untested patients to be discharged into care homes during the first few weeks of the Covid pandemic, may never be known.
The damning High Court judgment that the government acted illegally has been welcomed by the families who brought legal action.
The decision by Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson to discharge patients blew apart their arguments it was to place a “protective ring” around care homes. The opposite happened. Covid-carrying hospital patients weren’t tested, bringing the disease into care homes whose patients then weren’t allowed any treatment in hospitals. That wasn’t protection! It was basically locking up the ‘contaminated’ and throwing away the key.
The government cannot claim they were unaware of the dangers. The ruling mentioned the alternative opinions at the time, including that of the government’s chief scientific adviser. He aired his concerns on Radio 4, hardly a non-mainstream media outlet in government circles!
With a statutory public inquiry to come, things could get worse for the prime minister, if he manages to dodge all the other allegations of corrupt practices before then. But while he, and other Tory frontbenchers, should be held accountable for their actions through law, this isn’t enough. After all, at the time of writing, the law-breaking prime minister remains in office!
The trade unions should escalate their campaigns for a completely public national health and care service. Until the provision of fully funded health and social care is in public hands, with users and workers having a democratic say in its running, there will continue to be a government threat to lives in the pursuit of profits for their big business allies.