HELENA Herklots, Older People’s Commissioner in Wales, believes the delay in making testing available to care homes deserves investigating. Data has been revealed by the Office of National Statistics that twenty seven per cent of Covid-19 deaths in Wales have been in care homes.
The Commissioner is pressing for an investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the body which upholds equality and human rights ideals and laws across the UK.
“I have serious concerns that older people’s human rights have been breached; the fundamental right to life,” she said.
“The fact that testing wasn’t in place as quickly as it needed to be for every resident and every member of staff.
“I’m extremely disappointed and saddened that the Welsh Government hasn’t moved quickly on this.
Both the Chief Executive of NHS Wales, Dr Andrew Goodall and the Welsh Government Health Minister Vaughan Gething have defended the testing programme
Mr Gething in refuting suggestions that a lack of testing had cost lives needlessly said.
“I don’t think you can draw a direct line between those because as I say, the advice and the evidence we had at the time was that people who weren’t symptomatic, there wasn’t a value in testing them.
“We changed the approach on testing people who were leaving hospital on 22 April onwards.
“I don’t recognise that we have violated the rights of older people. As a minister I’m making choices to keep people safe.”