A GROUP representing pensioners in Oxfordshire has hit out at the Prime Ministers comments that care homes ‘didn’t really follow the procedures’ during the coronavirus pandemic.

John Paine, county secretary of National Pensioners Convention accused Boris Johnson of trying to shirk blame for care home deaths.

He said: “It is a bit rich for Boris Johnson to blame care homes for the government’s failure to provide the right support to them during the Covid-19 crisis.”

Mr Johnson on Monday, said: “Too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way they could have.”

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The PM was called on to apologise for the comment by Labour leader Keir Starmer at yesterday’s Prime Ministers Questions. He said it had ‘caused huge offence’ among the care sector.

The PM responded: “The last thing I wanted to do was to blame care workers.”

He said care workers had ‘worked incredibly hard during this crisis’ adding: “I take full responsibility for what has happened.”

Nearly 20,000 people are confirmed to have died of coronavirus in care homes in England and Wales since the beginning of the outbreak. Between April 10 and June 5 almost half of all care home deaths in Oxfordshire were due to Covid-19, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Despite Health Secretary Matt Hancock's insistence that a 'protective ring' was placed around care homes there has been criticism that the moving of agency staff between sites, a lack of PPE and the discharging of patients from hospital into care homes without testing all helped spread the virus.