WHEN it became apparent that Covid-19 was developing into a major crisis affecting the lives of everyone, the Government established some credibility by adopting a frank approach.
Regrettably, a level of public confidence seldom achieved by politicians is being undermined by its approach to the question of inadequate supplies of Personal Protection Equipment – most notably to nurses and doctors.
Not a single minister has yet felt able to apologise for circumstances that leave front-line hospital staff without suitable protection as they treat patients capable of infecting them with a life-threatening contagion. The Home Secretary, for example, could only say that she was sorry if medical staff ‘felt’ they were short of vital equipment. Priti Patel should understand that the matter is not one of perception; either they have the equipment or they don’t.
Meanwhile, the Health Secretary (Matt Hancock) added insult to injury by suggesting that the blame for PPE shortages rested with NHS employees who were misusing it.
Many hospital staff claim not to have crucial equipment: ministers insist that they do. But only one of these statements can be true – and compelling members of the public to decide which one it is might not be the wisest course of action.
From: Arthur Baker , Western Road, Crookes, Sheffield.
I AM writing to express my concern regarding coronavirus and the residential social care/nursing system. Recently a friend, in his mid 80s, was admitted to a residential care / nursing home following an operation at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.
When visiting him, my initial observation was that there seemed to be little evidence of staff having access to PPE equipment. Since then, visiting has been suspended and the home has said that it has confirmed cases of coronavirus.
I am worried that residential social/nursing care is fast becoming a forgotten front line in the fight against coronavirus.
It is widely held that the social care sector is a shambles and in need of urgent reform. Successive governments have failed to grasp the nettle (The Yorkshire Post, April 15).
Since visits to care homes by relatives and friends have been suspended, an important form of scrutiny has been lost. It is vitally important that local and national media continue to report this aspect of the inadequacies of the social care system.
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Sincerely. Thank you.