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Enfield Council Leader responds to allegations that former Health Secretary

Enfield Council Leader responds to allegations that former Health Secretary ignored scientific advice during COVID-19. Following leaked WhatsApp messages from former Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP, revealed by the Daily Telegraph, the Leader of Enfield Council, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: “Matt Hancock is a disgrace. The impact of coronavirus on Enfield care homes was nothing short of catastrophic. In the first wave, half of all deaths in the borough from coronavirus happened in care homes.“It is clear that Matt Hancock failed to follow scientific advice, failed to protect frontline health workers with adequate PPE, and failed to deliver proper testing in care homes. He was warned by scientific experts, by professionals working in the adult social care sector, and by local authorities – but he chose to ignore. People died unnecessarily because of government decisions, but Matt Hancock is more interested in protecting his reputation."Enfield Council has produced a review into the impact of coronavirus on the borough which is currently in draft form. Commenting on the review, Cllr Nesil Caliskan said: “Coronavirus has had a stark impact on our communities. “To mark the third anniversary of the first lockdown, we will publish our review into the impact of COVID-19 on our borough, and will be submitting it to the UK COVID-19 Inquiry. It is time for the Inquiry to scrutinise government decisions and publish all evidence to provide transparency for those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.” - ENDS

The leaked messages between the former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, were revealed by the Daily Telegraph on 28th February:

A special report by Reuters revealed the stark impact of coronavirus on Enfield’s care sector: 

The Council’s draft review into the impact of coronavirus on the borough was published in March 2022 and discussed at an Overview & Scrutiny Meeting:

Ayse Mehmet, whose daughter Sonya Kaygan died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has tears wiped by her three-year-old granddaughter, also named Ayse, at her home in Enfield, Britain, April 27, 2020. Picture taken April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

The report includes letters that Cllr Caliskan sent to the then Health Secretary, raising concerns about the ongoing impact of the coronavirus on the local care sector:

A letter sent on 16th April 2020 raising concerns about how key information and coronavirus related deaths were being collated & shared with the public, as well as the lack of support to frontline workers in care homes.
A letter sent on 23rd December 2020 expressing serious concern that care home placements were being considered for Covid positive patients. 

For further information or to organise an interview with the Leader of the Council, please contact the press office on  020 8132 0065 or email [email protected] 


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