FEEDBACK AND TOUGH QUESTIONS 17 5 2020

TOUGH QUESTIONS

 

QUESTIONS ON TEST, TRACE AND ISOLATE

We must continue to press for testing and contact tracing locally and expose contracts going to private sector


http://edition.pagesuite.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=a708f69f-8beb-4220-b47c-fb76a4892194

What stopped the Govt engaging with Local Resilience Forums set up to coordinate local planning in the event of a pandemic?


The absolutely key issue is testing and contact tracing and why on earth are we easing the lockdown in England when we have not got this system up and running? The R number is far less relevant here. Only 1500 volunteers out of 18000 needed in place? Many volunteers meanwhile twiddling their thumbs (we have a WhatsApp group of former medics many of whom have volunteered but not been called upon.) I am genuinely shocked about the lack of contact tracing still after 4 months


If the country is now undertaking more than 100,000 tests per day, why is it that the NHS’s own labs are not receiving sufficient reagent supplies? This is resulting in patient samples being transported much longer distances, with longer turnaround times, and increased risks in hospital due to more patients that are pending their test result as a consequence.


We’ve been working in City and Hackney to persuade Local Government members and officers establish a community based case detection and contact tracing Vanguard demonstrator (proposal attached) – but they are struggling in face of centralised approach. Local politicians have written to Matt Hancock but, I understand, have received no reply.

There is a news article:

See https://www.hackneycitizen.co.uk/2020/05/07/coronavirus-local-politicians-challenge-government-trial-contact-tracing-testing-hackney/

Our approach was informed by the Sheffield Community Tracers project: https://www.communitycontacttracers.com/

So, my question would be two fold and asking when Secretary of State will:

  1. a) empower local authority staff, under DPH, to establish a local identification and tracing service and
  2. b) ensure data from test centres is fed to local teams to support the process.

 

DATA SHARING WITH PRIVATE SECTOR

Has anyone yet asked about the implications of data sharing with the Private Sector?  We had a really big issue in the NW with data being shared with private companies, with disastrous results. Work with the CCG at that time gained some positive changes.


MENTAL HEALTH

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-mentalhealth/u-n-warns-of-global-mental-health-crisis-due-to-covid-19-pandemic-idUKKBN22Q0AO

Has the PM taken notice of this article and will he not only “protect NHS Hospital care” but ensure support and capacity in respect of the emotional/psychological/ psychiatric impact as outlined in this report?


Where I work, we are heading towards a situation where there are a few remaining COVID-19 wards and many of us back to BAU.

I think the most important questions to ask now are:

  1. whether the government will renationalise the NHS
  2. will they commit to keep services publicly provided from here onwards, not to give contracts to private providers without full, transparent consultation and justification
  3. will they allow an independent enquiry into the handling of COVID-19 so that we can learn from mistakes and from anything that might have gone well?

HOSPITALS

With the NHS recommencing elective surgical activity, including more cancer operations, what assurance can be given on the supply of sterile surgical gowns, which are essential PPE for operating theatre teams?

Can it be confirmed what equipment (such as ventilators, blood gas analysers and haemofiltration machines) hospitals have requested to support the safe management of Covid-19 patients, and what equipment has been provided to them?

 

FRONTLINE FEEDBACK

TESTING

I was given permission to leave work early, in order to have the test. Although you read stories about the tests being privatised to private companies, this test centre appeared to be run by the army.

After I had done the test and dropped my sample into the appropriate bag, I was told that I would have to register my card when I got home. I was also told that I should get the result within two days, but not to chase it up unless I did not get it within seven days.

Later that day, I tried to register my test. The registration card stated that I needed to register my test on https://www.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk. However, this website only took me to the site for booking a test, not for registering a card. I rang the helpline and was directed to a website where I could register my card. When I tried to enter the barcode, I got a message stating that this number was already registered and inviting me to try again. I tried again and got he same result. I rang the helpline again and was eventually told that the site must have registered me anyway.

Since then, my wife and I have waited, but have not been sent any result for the tests. And we have continued to attend work. This morning (Thursday 14 May 2020), my wife rang the number on the registration card and asked if we could have our results as it had now been 8 days since the test. We both gave our details, including name, barcode number and car registration at the test site. The person who took our details stated that they could not look anything up themselves, but they would pass on our details so that they could be chased up. Since then, we have still heard nothing, either by phone, text or email.

An eight day (and counting) wait for a test result defeats the object of having a test. My best guess is that the government are more interested in the headline figure of the number of tests carried out, rather than actually getting any useful data from them. I could be wrong. But our tests are entirely separate from each other, but neither of us has had the result.

DISCHARGE TO CARE HOME

My friend (female, 50) works at one of the care homes run by a Charitable Trust that were spun off from the Council.

She says that one of her residents was sent last month to a local hospital for a Covid test, tested positive, then was sent back to the Home.  Whether or not this was the cause, the virus later spread through an entire floor at the Home.

I find it shocking that this discharge back to the home happened.  Who takes responsibility for this? A consultant, hospital management, or the Government? Or all of them? This is as shocking as the railway worker dying after someone spat in their face!

SICK PAY

Secondly, it turns out that if my friend goes off sick with a (non-Covid) sick note, the employer doesn’t pay any sick pay, and she has to apply for sickness benefit through the benefits system, even though she works 5 days a week and was appointed with an interview and references!

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