Corona Virus - 40 Ways In Which Boris Johnson's Tories Have Failed The NHS

In case you missed the Panorama Documentary, Has The Government Failed The NHS', here's 40 key points from the program, compiled by Tom Heavey.

1. NHS staff are genuinely frightened for their lives and some have been warned not to speak out about the crisis.

2. N.H.S staff supplied with plastic catering aprons as opposed to medical gowns.

3. Inadequate stock piles of PPE to protect staff and patients.

4. Government downgraded protection standards when realised there was a shortage.

5. NHS management have told staff they have enough protection but many still don't feel safe.

6. One of the infected NHS staff members is now in a critical condition, he disclosed that he was given 2 paper masks for a 12 hour shift.

7. The government claims it has delivered 1 billion items of PPE.

8. However their counting methods are strange and not just the visors, goggles, gowns and gloves that we would expect. They are including general cleaning equipment, clinical waste bags, detergent and paper towels as PPE.

9. More than half the items are surgical gloves where each individual glove is counted as an item as opposed to pairs 520,981,860 individual gloves.

10. The second biggest procured items are food preparation quality plastic aprons 144,113,400, not the long sleeved waterproof gowns as advised by the HSE and WHO.

11. Doctors and nurses are using homemade PPE out of swimming goggles, lab goggles, wearing food bags as hardware and some even using builders dust masks that have been donated. Some are even resorting to 3D printed PPE.

12. Some supplied PPE has long passed its expiry date with the previous expiry date hidden. Some supplied PPE has been found to be over 3 years out of date..

13. The government's plans were based on an outbreak of flu.

14. The government knew that Covid 19 isn't flu and has a higher hospitalization rate but the advice and PPE are very similar for both diseases.

15. To be prepared for any pandemic you need to stockpile, because once it hits, every country with the disease needs PPE.

16. Government advice from 2009 states that the PPE needed for a pandemic consists of a grown, the best type of face mask and eye protection.

17. The government didn't stock our warehouses with all of the equipment that was recommended. They didn't buy any hospital gowns at all.

18. In June 2019 government advisers told the government that gowns were needed in the stock pile and still none were bought.

19. Professor John Ashton is a public health expert and stated that it was 'it is breathtaking, that there were no gowns at all in stock, breathtaking'.

20. It wasn't just gowns that were left off the list. The government failed to procure other essential items that would be needed in a pandemic. They didn't buy:
... any visors,
... swabs which makes testing for the virus more difficult.
... a single body bag.

21. Millions of face masks are also unaccounted for, 33 million were on the original order, but only 12 million have been handed out. The government are refusing to explain where the other 21 million lifesaving masks have gone.

22. The consequence is that this government were sending doctors, nurses, care workers and other staff to the front line without adequate protection.

23. Government stated that swabs and body bags weren't advised and gowns will be included in future stockpiles.

24. For a decade we didn't have the stockpile right, but when Covid 19 appeared, crutially we still had time to fully prepare.

25. In early February 2020 the European Centre for Disease Control issued a warning and advised governments what they needed to buy and how much of it would be needed per patient. The advice included....
... Respirator Protection (FFP2 or FFP3 respirator)
... Eye protection (Goggles or face shield)
... Body protection (Long sleeves water-resistant gown)
... Hand protection (Gloves)
For the most serious cases around 20 sets of PPE per day, per patient.

26 . The beginning of February was when we were seeing the large outbreaks in Europe which was our time to prepare.

27. A factory in Bolton make the specialist material to make gowns and masks, but they weren't approached in February so in March the company contacted the government, Public Health England and Members of Parliament themselves and got no response. The company are completing orders, but 80%-90% of what they produce is headed they are for the United States, not the UK. Trump has effectively bought UK capacity.

28. This company is now finally providing specialist material to the UK but through a private supplier. Had the delay not happened, they could have supplied the UK with enough material for 300,000 gowns.

29. Only 1.3m gowns have been supplied to the NHS but this government but the NHS needs 100,000s of 1000's of gowns a day. The government isnt getting close to that.

30. The government failed to stockpile the right kit and didn't react quickly enough. NHS workers were let down.

31. Dr Asif started a shift in A&E and there were only 4 gowns left in a box. The staff had to resort to plastic aprons, described as the type a dinner lady would wear.

32. WHO state that everyone dealing with covid patients should have the full kit.

33. The government only recommend a plastic apron and basic surgical mask for those working in GP surgeries.

34. Panorama investigated the government guidance on what PPE staff should wear. It's clear that rules have been changed because of the shortages of PPE. In January the government designated Covid-19 as a 'High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID). THE HSE had already evaluated the necessary PPE needed by staff. It concluded that all staff should wear a respirator facemask, full face visor and a gown and the government have a legal obligation to make sure all NHS staff have the right kit.

35. 6 weeks ago the UKGOV downgraded Covid-19 and removed it from the HCID list.

36. At the same time as the government downgraded the disease, they weakened PPE guidelines. NHS staff were told surgical masks and plastic aprons were safe in all but the most dangerous situations.

37. According to Prof Ashworth, Covid-19 is the biggest infectious disease to hit this country in the last 100 years and should be in the most serious (HCID) classification.

38. Removing the disease from the HCID list was backed by a scientific committee. Members of that committee told Panorama that it was in part, a pragmatic decision based on the availability of PPE.

39. This is also what the staff on the front line. It wasnt a decision based on keeping staff safe but because of the shortages of PPE.

40. The NHS staff are frightened and vulnerable, our government is not supplying them with the basic PPE that the WHO and HSE recommend.

Over 100 NHS and care staff have already died fighting this disease and its set to be with us for many months to come.