Discharging Covid-infected NHS patients into care homes was ‘entirely clinically appropriate’, one of the Government’s most prominent scientific advisers argued during the earliest days of the pandemic.
Days ahead of the original March 2020 lockdown, Dame Jenny Harries wrote in an email that Brits carrying the virus would need to be sent to care homes if hospitals became overwhelmed.
Dame Jenny, now head of the UK Health Security Agency, claimed the NHS would determine who still needs to be under its care.
Grilled by the Covid inquiry today, she admitted that her email ‘sounds awful’. But Dame Jenny insisted her advice was only meant to apply if there was an ‘enormous explosion of cases’ and wasn’t ‘an invitation to be discharging Covid patients’.
Thousands of care home residents are feared to have died after a disastrous policy to discharge potentially infectious hospital patients without prior testing.