Below is the text of the statement made by Liz Kendall, the Shadow Social Care Minister, on 7 May 2020.
The report on Exercise Cygnus provided clear warnings that we were not properly prepared for a pandemic.
In particular it highlights that local plans for social care were inadequate and that social care services wouldn’t be able to cope with the number of people discharged from hospitals to ensure the NHS had enough beds to meet demand.
These warnings have now proved all too sadly true as the unfolding tragedy in our care homes shows. Care providers confirm they were not involved in subsequent discussions on how to put these problems right.
Ministers must be clear about why they failed to act on the report’s recommendations and what they will now do to fully protect and resource these vital services in future.