Tag: accused

18,000 elderly people have died of COVID-19 in British care homes and now Boris Johnson’s government is being accused of human rights abuse

a man and a woman standing in front of a mirror: Care worker Sarah Cox helps fix care home resident, Patricia Taylor's hair on May 6, 2020 in Borehamwood, England Getty

© Getty
Care worker Sarah Cox helps fix care home resident, Patricia Taylor’s hair on May 6, 2020 in Borehamwood, England Getty

  • The death of thousands of COVID-19 in British care homes was a violation of their human rights, according to Amnesty International.
  • The human rights organization has now called for the public inquiry, promised by the government in July, to begin immediately. 
  • The report also raised particular concerns about the inappropriate use of “do not attempt resuscitation” (DNAR) orders issued on a blanket basis in care homes.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More than 18,000 untested elderly people died of COVID-19 in British care homes in what a damning new report from Amnesty International has described as a violation of their human rights.

Between March and June, over 28,116 “excess deaths” were recorded in care homes in England, with 18,500 of them confirmed to have been from COVID-19, according to the human rights group’s Crisis Response team.

The report. entitled As If Expendable: The UK Government’s Failure to Protect Older People in Care Homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic, found that many of the deaths were “entirely avoidable.”

Amnesty International, the world’s leading human rights group,  has called for the public inquiry promised by the government in July to begin immediately in a move that would compel the government to release confidential records and documents. 

Ministers, including Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, would also be required to testify under oath and attempt to justify their actions, which Amnesty International has called “shockingly irresponsible.” 

Until March 13, two days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a global pandemic, Public Health England had said that “there is no need to do anything differently in any care setting at present.”

Four days later, the government ordered the discharge of 25,000 hospital patients into care homes and reiterated the instruction at the beginning of March despite the WHO confirming the existence of pre-symptomatic cases on the very same day. 

The Amnesty report also raised particular concerns about the inappropriate use of “do not attempt resuscitation” (DNAR) orders issued to care managers who were told to add the instruction to residents’ files as a blanket approach.

Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Adviser and author of the report, told Business Insider: “The DNAR orders have not been revised since they were imposed and we are calling for the government’s Department of Health and Social Care to immediately investigate the issue and every single case individually. 

“It is imperative that lessons are learned so that the same mistakes are not repeated, and that those responsible for such disastrous decisions are held accountable.”

Care home residents were often denied access to NHS services they were entitled to, the report found. Staff and relatives told Amnesty that sending residents to hospital was heavily discouraged or outright refused, “violating their right to health and potentially their right to life, as well as their right to non-discrimination,” according to the report.


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Government accused of treating the North ‘like a petri dish’ for local lockdowns as tougher restrictions are considered

Watch: Johnson expected to order pubs to shut in the north of England

© Yahoo News UK

The government is treating the North “like a petri dish” for local lockdown experiments as harsher restrictions are considered, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region has said.

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the North of England and current local lockdown measures failing to stop the increase, the government is considering tightening measures only weeks after introducing new ones.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham told GMB: “What we’ve seen is an ever-widening North-South divide in measures being taken.

“Quite simply the North should not be a petri dish for experimentation by central government.”

Politicians across the North have criticised the Government over plans to close pubs and restaurants next week to tackle rising coronavirus cases.

The proposals, which have not been confirmed, appeared on the front pages of The Times, Telegraph and Sun newspapers, provoking an angry response from opposition MPs and Labour elected mayors.

Read more: Hospital suspends all non-emergency surgery for 48 hours following COVID-19 outbreak

a group of people standing in front of a building: City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)

City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)

Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and large parts of the North are currently under local lockdowns, limiting visits to other people’s households, while pubs have to close at 10pm nationally.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham tweeted: “No discussion. No consultation. Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat. It is proving impossible to deal with this Government.”

Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region mayor and Barnsley Central MP, wrote on Twitter: “Recklessly irresponsible to brief the papers but not leaders in the North who’ll somehow have to make this work. Get a grip”.

Sheffield is not currently under local lockdown but is on receiving enhanced support from the government and cases have soared to over 200 per 100,000 in recent weeks, mainly driven by the return of students.

Rotheram said: “It is deeply disappointing to wake up this morning to reports that new Covid-19 restrictions affecting millions of people in our city region, and across the North, could be in place within days, rather than hearing it during a genuine dialogue between ministers and local leaders.

“At the moment we have a patchwork of local measures across the country and too much confusion for the public as a result.”

Read more: Coronavirus infections soar by 56% in a week as test and trace fails to hit targets

Rotheram said extra funding for affected areas would be needed saying the government provided support at the start of lockdown in March and they would need to again if measures were tightened.

Shadow business minister Lucy Powell, Manchester Central MP, tweeted: “Let’s remember infections still largely occurring: inside households, then in education (mainly university) settings then health/care settings, then workplaces. In that order. Only then (and

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