Published: 09:18, 27 May 2021
| Updated: 14:15, 27 May 2021
The government has been accused of “lying from the outset” over its claims to have plans in place to protect elderly and vulnerable people from coronavirus.
Nadra Ahmed, who heads the Medway-based National Care Association, delivered a withering response following claims made by Boris Johnson's former advisor Dominic Cummings in his explosive account to MPs.
She said that the government’s “greatest shame” would be its failure to safeguard the vulnerable.
Mr Cummings told MPs it was “complete nonsense” for the government to have claimed care home residents were being shielded.
“The government rhetoric was we put a shield around care homes – it was complete nonsense," he said.
"Quite the opposite of putting a shield around them, we sent people with Covid back to the care homes.
"We were told categorically in March that people would be tested before they went back to care homes. We only subsequently found out that that hadn't happened.”
In a statement, Ms Ahmed said: “From the evidence being given by Mr Cummings, we note with deep disappointment, that the care sector has been lied to from the outset of this pandemic.
"There was no plan, no protective shield and people were discharged out of hospitals untested, without regards to their personal health or that of those they would come into contact with.
"For the most vulnerable to be let down in this way will be the greatest shame this government will face in the way they responded to the pandemic."
The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "We have always been guided by the latest advice at that time, and we have taken a number of steps to protect care home residents and those being discharged from hospitals into care homes."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will face questions about the government's response to the virus later today.