Virologist whose father, 88, died of Covid in a care home sues the government

The bereft daughters of two elderly men who died in care homes after Covid-19 outbreaks are taking Matt Hancock, the NHS and Public Health England to the High Court today over their handling of the crisis.

Dr Cathy Gardner believes the Government breached the human rights of thousands of vulnerable people including her father Michael Gibson, 88, who passed away at the Cherwood House Care Centre in Oxfordshire on April 3. 

Dr Gardner's legal team claim that prior to Mr Gibson's death the care home was pressured into accepting a hospital patient who had tested Covid-19 positive but 'had no temperature for 72 hours'. 

Her father, a retired superintendent registrar of birth marriages and deaths, was a sitting duck to catch the illness despite never leaving the home, they claim. 

Fay Harris, 57, whose father Don, 89, a former Royal Marine, was one of 24 residents of a Hampshire care home who died in May after a Covid-19 outbreak, has also joined the legal action seeking permission to bring a judicial review over whether Government policies exposed care home residents to a risk of harm. 

At a remote hearing today, Mr Justice Linden will be asked to decide whether it should proceed to a full hearing in a test case that could have huge ramifications for the families of at least 30,000 people who died in care homes with Covid this year.

Both women are 'appalled' by Health Secretary Mr Hancock's insistence that a 'protective ring' had been placed around care homes to shield them during the first wave of the pandemic. 

Dr Cathy Gardner with her father Michael, a former registrar, who died in a care home after a resident was brought in with coronavirus after being discharged with coronavirus

Dr Cathy Gardner with her father Michael, a former registrar, who died in a care home after a resident was brought in with coronavirus after being discharged with coronavirus

Fay Harris, 57, whose father Don, a former Royal Marine, was one of 24 residents of a Hampshire care home who died in May after a Covid-19 outbreak, has also joined the legal action

Fay Harris, 57, whose father Don, a former Royal Marine, was one of 24 residents of a Hampshire care home who died in May after a Covid-19 outbreak, has also joined the legal action

Dr Gardner was so upset that she was forced to say goodbye to her 88-year-old father Michael through a care home window and the circumstances before his death that she is suing the government.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed that a 'protective ring' was placed around care homes

Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed that a 'protective ring' was placed around care homes

Her case accuses the government of unlawfully exposing countless care home residents to substantial risk during the pandemic - and was filed at the High Court in June.

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