My Mother-in-law died recently. She was 102. So this week’s column is personal.
At her 100th birthday party she was happy and well. A loving family and a good care home meant that she received the care and stimulation necessary to keep body and soul together.
Then came Covid. No visits allowed and many care home residents confined to their rooms to ensure no spread of the virus.
According to the medics, she had Covid but had no symptoms – well, none of those that the Government told us about.
A slow decline brought on by a combination of reduced care and no stimulation of either body or mind doesn’t count as an outcome of Covid.
A quote from the Guardian brought everything into focus this week: “The unholy alliance of a global pandemic with a weak, narcissistic and amoral prime minister – pathologically incapable of making a difficult decision – has caused tens of thousands of Britons to die of Covid who needn’t have”.
I don’t suppose that any politicians care about a little lady aged 102 who dodged bombs in the blitz in a Fire Brigade control van in the East End of London (who isn’t even listed as a Covid death), but I do.
We (the taxpayers) have had £4 billion of our money spent on unusable personal protective equipment bought by the Department of Health and Social Care in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
And many other contracts entered into in the panic of the pandemic have also cost many more millions than they should have.
This money could have been spent on additional care (by both the NHS and social services).
A “Teflon coated” government has seemed to spend much more time protecting their own backs rather than supporting our health and social care services.
Boris has to take the blame but it wasn’t just Boris, all of the Cabinet and their supporters (who have private health insurance and don’t have to rely on the NHS) should also share responsibility.
So will we have any confidence in whoever takes over?
We have shortages of staff at all levels in the health service (except administrative staff) and the same applied to social care and care homes through the country.
There are also shortages of all other types of key workers.
Our new Prime Minister and Cabinet will have many difficult decisions to make and we probably won’t thank them for it.