Care home staff were without personal protective equipment (PPE) early in the pandemic because the government prioritised the NHS, MPs have said.
The Commons Public Accounts Committee said care homes received only a fraction of the PPE needed compared with the health service.
It said social care "was only taken seriously after the high mortality rate in care homes became apparent".
The government said it worked "tirelessly" to provide PPE.
The report from the Public Accounts Committee said many healthcare workers were put in an "appalling situation" where they had to care for people with Covid-19 or suspected Covid-19 "without sufficient PPE to protect themselves from infection". It said the social care sector did not receive "anywhere near enough" to meet its needs.
Health and social care staff suffered PPE shortages, it said, with some forced to reuse single-use items as stocks ran "perilously low".
Source: BBC News, 10 February 2021