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Families sue government for failing to protect care homes from Covid

Thirty families are starting legal action against the government, care homes and several hospitals in England over the deaths of their relatives in the early days of the Covid pandemic.

The families argue not enough was done to protect their loved ones from the virus.

They are claiming damages for loss of life and the distress caused.

The government says it specifically sought to safeguard care home residents using the best evidence available.

The legal claims focus on the decision in March 2020 to rapidly discharge hospital patients into care homes without testing or a requirement for them to isolate.

The cases follow a 2022 High Court judgement that ruled the policy was unlawful - as it failed to take into account the risk to elderly and vulnerable care home residents of asymptomatic transmission of the virus.

One of the cases is being brought by Liz Weager, whose 95-year-old mother Margaret tested positive for the virus in her care home in May 2020 and died later in hospital. "What was happening in the management of those care homes? What advice were they having?" Liz asks. "It goes back to the government. There was a lack of preparedness, which then translated down to the care home."

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Source: BBC News, 25 August 2023


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