The daughters of a 68-year-old woman who died after contracting coronavirus said her death could have been avoided if the government acted sooner to protect care homes.
Susan Marston, who was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease seven years ago, passed away in a specialist home in Manchester.
She contracted Covid-19 after a resident returned from hospital after testing positive, her daughters said during an interview on Good Morning Britain.
Daughter Ruth Binsley appeared on the show alongside her sister, Sarah, on Monday to express her frustration about "the lack of protection" provided for care homes by the government during the pandemic.
She said staff at the care home itself felt like they were 'at the bottom of the pile' and were given no instructions about what they should be doing.
She said: "I think that the hard thing is that when you lose somebody you love, if you feel like there’s nothing anybody could have done to prevent the death, you can start the grieving process.
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"I think for both of us, that sense that we know that Mum wasn’t close to death, she shouldn’t have died now, she wasn’t frail, she wasn’t unwell. She was disabled, but she wasn’t unwell and she shouldn’t have died. And there’s things the government should have done that they didn’t do that could have prevented her contracting Covid.
"I’m just at a loss as to why they didn’t have a plan. I know that the home and a lot of the staff in the home felt like themselves they were at the bottom of the pile, they weren’t getting instructions, they were often having to ring Public Health England to get information about what they should be doing. That’s the hardest thing is feeling angry".
Speaking to hosts Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan, Ruth's sister Sarah said: "We’re so angry. We feel completely let down by the system. There was never any shielding there for care homes.
"They were the bottom of the pile for this crisis. Nobody ever put any plans in place for the care homes and we feel not only desperately sad for the loss of our mother, but we feel so angry that this wasn’t her time.
"She should not have died. If the right shielding was put in place, our mother would not have died from this virus.”
Paying tribute to her mum, Sarah said: "She was brave, she was beautiful, she was graceful and elegant."
There were 9,762 deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes recorded in England between 10 April and 15 May, according to the Office for National Statistics.
During a debate at Prime Minister's Questions earlier this month, Boris Johnson said he 'bitterly regretted' the epidemic in care homes, and said the government were working hard to reduce the figures.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “This virus sweeping the world can take a devastating grip on the most vulnerable people in society. Our deepest sympathies go out to families who have lost relatives to it.
“We are working around the clock to make sure care homes, and our frontline social care workforce, are getting the support they need to protect their residents and tackle coronavirus.
“Our help to care homes which includes financial support, infection control training and supplies of PPE has meant that two thirds of England’s care homes have had no outbreak at all.”
Good Morning Britain is on ITV at 6am from Monday to Friday.
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