COVID-19 hit England's social care sector like an 'earthquake', according to Professor Mary Daly of the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and revealed both a sector in crisis and a worrying attitude towards older and vulnerable people.
In a new post on Oxford University's blog, Professor Daly summarises her recent article, 'COVID‐19 and care homes in England: What happened and why?'.
The article highlights 'erroneous policy choices' and 'many mistakes' but describes the reasons for the crisis as 'more complex' and fundamental – a mixture of structural and politico/socio-cultural factors.
Professor Daly says: '[The COVID-19 crisis] has revealed fundamental flaws in the sector. There are the problems of funding but there is also the governance system and inadequacies in homes. Too few care homes are in the top tier. Very few are "Outstanding" homes.'
She adds: 'Social care is a very difficult area for any government. It is a political hot potato and no government has wanted to deal with it. Care homes needed to be protected before COVID-19 – it was a signal mistake.
'It worries me what all this says about our valuing of older and vulnerable people. I fear they are seen as acceptable casualties.'
Read the full post on the Oxford University blog.