Cathy Gardner: Our final hearing is October 19th 

The final hearing is now only a few weeks away, beginning on the 19th October for 4 days. This is a momentous occasion. The Court is the only forum which has the power to rule that the actions of the Government were unlawful and breached the human rights of vulnerable care home residents. We believe that the Government have violated the most fundamental of rights – the right to life – and discriminated against the elderly and disabled residents of care homes, with devastating consequences. The evidence shows that the health and wellbeing of care home residents were simply not considered when the Government decided to clear the hospitals to “Protect the NHS”. Testing capacity was not utilised and basic advice on wearing PPE and isolating new admissions was not given. Even worse, it seems that care home operators were given misleading and downright dangerous advice by Government so that they would be persuaded to take in new residents who could spread Covid to other vulnerable people within the home.

What is truly shameful is the Government’s ongoing refusal to acknowledge the serious errors of judgement they made. Unbelievably, they still maintain that there was a “protective ring around care homes” when it is plain and obvious that the very opposite is true.  Equally shameful has been their ongoing refusal to disclose key documents that explain why they made the decisions they did. We appealed to the Court of Appeal for disclosure of these documents but were unsuccessful. The Court of Appeal was concerned to keep the final hearing date and one of the factors which worked against us was that the extra time and work involved in the Government undertaking more disclosure would risk losing that date. We therefore press on for the trial on 19th October.

My legal team have been hard at work and have now filed our Skeleton Argument with the Court. This document is the last formal document we send to the Court before the final hearing. It explains why we believe the Government, and the NHS, have acted unlawfully, in endangering the lives of care home residents. It can be found here.

I am very grateful to everyone who has given financially to help us bring this case. We still have a deficit of £35,000 and I would be grateful if you could consider giving one last time and sharing this crowdfunding page with others. Thank you for your support in seeking to hold the Government to account for their truly shocking failures.