Planners ‘paid little attention’ to fears care homes could collapse in a pandemic.

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Planners ‘paid little attention’ to fears care homes could collapse in a pandemic, leaked document shows

Government planners “paid little attention” to concerns that care homes could collapse under the strain of a pandemic, leaked documents suggest.

Three years ago, ministers were handed the findings of a simulation, called Exercise Cygnus, examining how Britain would cope in the event of a severe disease outbreak. It showed that the UK had failed the test.

“The UK’s preparedness and response, in terms of its plans, policies and capability, is currently not sufficient to cope with the extreme demands of a severe pandemic that will have a nationwide impact across all sectors,” the report warned.

The Government has repeatedly refused to hand over the damning document, drawn up after a three-day simulation in 2016. But now it has emerged that the 57-page report called for a “critical review” of the system to respond to emergencies.

In particular, it raised concerns that even during the three-day simulation, involving Government and officials from across the public sector, warnings about the impact of such a crisis on those in care homes were falling on deaf ears.

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Laura Donnelly, Health Editor 7 May 2020 • 8:00pm

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