WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Failures over Covid crisis show need for a shake-up

03 July, 2020

‘It has never been more important to protect our NHS from this woefully neglectful Tory government’

• NEVER has the need for an integrated health and social care service been more stark as UK care homes, mostly privately run, now have the highest number of deaths from Covid-19 in Europe.

The private company SERCO boast that their handling of the track and trace system will cement privatisation into the NHS supply chain.

The government’s ongoing back-door privatisation of our NHS has led to it being ill- prepared for the pandemic we are going through.

In 2016 NHS England prepared for and participated in Exercise Cygnus, a three-day exercise looking at the impact of a pandemic influenza outbreak, and the significant impacts on health delivery a widespread pandemic in the UK would trigger.

This exercise accurately predicted that the NHS would be plunged into crisis by an infectious and deadly disease.

The report’s conclusions have never been made public, even though it highlighted shortages of intensive care beds, vital equipment and even mortuary space.

It has never been more important to protect our NHS from this woefully neglectful Tory government. Bring social care under the NHS umbrella and pay care workers a decent living wage with decent terms and conditions.

The government refused to declare a lockdown early in March this year, causing the unnecessary deaths of thousands of front-line workers and patients.

This was exacerbated by their failure to provide adequate PPE to staff in care homes and to other front-line workers in the NHS, many of whom are low paid workers, many being members of the black community.

As a result the UK has one of the highest numbers of deaths from Covid-19 in the world.

The NHS deserves better than this, we deserve better than this. Join us in a massive, nationwide online rally at 3.30pm on July 5. For more information, visit keepournhspublic.com

TRICIA CLARKE
Secretary
Islington Keep Our NHS Public

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