Serious mistakes left the social care sector crippled.

It is difficult to argue with the conclusions of the latest parliamentary inquiry into the government’s response to the coronavirus emergency.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee has concluded that ministers had a “slow, in consistent and at times negligent approach” to the social care sector as the pandemic emerged.

The phenomenon of asymptomatic transmission was understood when mistakes were made. More broadly, it was apparent from the earliest stages of the pandemic that the virus was highly infectious and that it affected older much more than younger people. Those two undisputed factors should have made the protection of older people in care homes an urgent priority.

Government Ministers have been accused of a “slow, inconsistent and at times negligent” approach to social care during the coronavirus pandemic that has exposed years of delayed reforms to the sector.

Social care could become “free at the point of need” , in proposals under consideration by the Government.

It should never have left the NHS, to become a money-making industry for Local Authorities and private/charity companies.