The top civil servant with responsibility for care homes in England has stepped aside from the role, shining the spotlight still further on the ongoing toll that the coronavirus impact is taking on the elderly.
Rosamond Roughton (pictured), the Director General for Adult Social Care at the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), “is now on a career break”, Whitehall sources told the Guardian.
The newspaper reports that a search has been launched across government to cover her role although no explanation for her move has been given.
The Guardian reports that Roughton was part of a team of senior civil servants who issued orders in March to discharge thousands of patients from hospital, often into care homes and frequently without a test for coronavirus.
Roughton was in charge of the roll-out of testing for staff and residents in care homes, which was criticised in the sector for being too slow and not regular enough to best control infection.
The care home sector has recorded almost 21,600 deaths from COVID-19 – almost 40% of all UK fatalities from the virus.
The Guardian has contacted Roughton for comment.