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Coronavirus: Care homes mentioned only twice in five months of Sage minutes

The government’s top scientific advisers discussed care homes only twice between January and May, according to newly published minutes.

Records for meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, or Sage, which is the key group of experts advising ministers on how to react to the COCID-19 outbreak, reveal a lack of discussion about the risks facing care homes.

Between January and May, Sage minutes mention care homes only twice, before the start of lockdown in the UK and weeks before the numbers of deaths made headlines across the country.

Shadow care minister Liz Kendall said she was concerned not enough action had been taken and added: “It is clear that social care and the NHS were not treated equally, nor as two sides of the same coin.”

James Bullion, president of the Association of Directors of Social Services said the publication of the minutes "appears to reinforce the impression that social care has been an afterthought – a secondary consideration after the NHS. This cannot continue."

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Source: The Independent, 1 June 2020


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