Tag Archives: Personal Protective Equipment

Tory corruption: they gave their mate £150 million of OUR money – for USELESS face masks 

Liz Truss: it seems she corruptly slipped her buddy £150 million – for useless PPE.

The worst part of this is it isn’t even the only example of Tories using the Covid-19 crisis to line their mates’ pockets rather than help.

It seems your Tory government – voted into power against last December with a massive majority because the UK electorate thought its MPs were the most trustworthy – has been handing your cash to its mates again.

The Tories spent £150 million of your money on 50 million face masks for the NHS – that can’t be used.

Three months after they were bought, the government said the masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough.

Amazingly, the government still reckons its safety standards process is “robust”.

But the question is whether this process was even used, because the masks were bought by the President of the Board of Trade, Liz Truss, after she was approached for the contract by one of her long-standing friends and advisors, Andrew Mills.

Oh, and apparently it was sourced through a tax haven so this guy can keep all the money.

It seems clear that the process by which these useless masks were sourced was utterly corrupt – just a way to hand a huge amount of money to a friend of a Tory minister.

Here are just a few examples of the huge outcry online:

I want you particularly to bear this next comment in mind…

… when Boris Johnson finds Truss and Mills completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

And remember – the Tories were voted into power because they presented themselves as the most trustworthy.

More fool the voter who believed it.

Source: Coronavirus: Safety concerns halt use of 50 million NHS masks – BBC News

READ NEXT:

https://twitter.com/MidWalesMike/status/1292084834161037312

 

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Tories STILL have no strategy to provide PPE in coming second wave of Covid-19

Back to improvisation: the UK’s medics will be forced to resort to cobbling together their own weak imitation of protective equipment in the second wave of Covid-19, if Boris Johnson has his way.

The UK government does not have a clear strategy to acquire and distribute the equipment needed to protect clinical and care workers in a second wave of coronavirus, parliament’s spending watchdog has warned.

Here‘s The Guardian:

The public accounts committee on Wednesday insisted that ministers should return after the summer with a detailed explanation of how they plan to stock the NHS and care sector with gowns, masks, eye protection and gloves.

MPs on the cross-party committee said they were “extremely concerned” by shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and said the government was still developing plans for replenishing current stocks if there was a further outbreak.

It follows a national outcry during the pandemic when some health and care workers were forced to improvise – sometimes using rubber gloves and bin liners – while treating those with the disease.

More than 300 health and care workers have so far died of Covid-19, and many NHS staff groups and families claim that inadequate PPE played a key role in exposing them to the virus.

The Tories cancelled supplies of PPE before Covid-19 arrived in the UK, allegedly in the belief that it would not be needed.

It seems Boris Johnson still believes there’s no need for such life-saving equipment in the NHS.

Don’t blame me – I didn’t elect him. Who did?

Source: UK has no clear PPE strategy for second wave of coronavirus, MPs warn | World news | The Guardian

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Tory attitude to disability: ‘You want carers? You pay for their Covid-19 protective kit!’

Contagion: by denying people with disabilities easy access to PPE, the Tory government is making them more vulnerable to Covid-19.

Typical Tories – ill-mannered as ever toward the people they consider “useless eaters”.

Read the following and remember that it could be you the Tories are treating so carelessly:

The family of a disabled man say they have been “completely forgotten about” after they were told to source protective equipment for his NHS-funded carers themselves – despite inflated prices and quality concerns.

Cameron Harrison, 24, has adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a genetic illness which means he requires around-the-clock care.

Mr Harrison, who lives in Hitchin with his family, is blind, has limited hearing, is unable to speak, uses a wheelchair and is tube-fed.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, Mr Harrison had three carers who would visit each day, in addition to attending a sensory college run by disability charity Sense during the week and residential care for 60 days a year.

His mother Karen, 50… who works for the Leukodystrophy Charity – which helps families with conditions like her son’s, said only two carers were now able to help and all other support had stopped.

The 24-year-old’s carers are paid for through a personal health budget provided by NHS Continuing Healthcare.

In March, Mrs Harrison contacted the NHS to ask about personal protective equipment (PPE) for the carers.

Mrs Harrison said: “They said you could use your personal health budget to actually pay for the PPE but they weren’t helping at all to source the PPE.

“They said they weren’t delivering and gave me the Government website which kind of explained what PPE was, but it was more for people in care homes or care agencies.”

She added: “I just feel like we’ve been completely forgotten about, we’re a group of people who are just being left to muddle through.

“They’ve sidelined us. Care agencies are big business, care homes are big business and people all know about them, but we’re a little voice.”

I think it is possible to put the situation a different way:

Care agencies get national publicity, care homes get national publicity, but individuals don’t have that kind of voice.

So the Tories can take this opportunity to … nudge … them away from decent healthcare – by depriving them of proper PPE and forcing them to fritter away their care budget on it.

The intention seems clear: to cause hardship; if possible, to create a “positive benefit outcome”.

And you know what that means.

Source: ‘Forgotten about’ disabled man’s family told to source own PPE for carers

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Tories are accelerating destruction of the NHS, just when we really need it

Money: Matt Hancock is more interested in making a profit for private firms than in your family’s health.

If you ever needed evidence that the Conservative government is hell-bent on wrecking as many UK lives as possible, this is it.

Just when the coronavirus pandemic is proving that the worst thing possible for a nation’s health is a privatised, profit-driven health system, Matt Hancock and his gang are using it as an excuse for more privatisation!

Apparently he reckons this is a great chance to push through the changes because they aren’t being subjected to proper scrutiny.

In recent weeks, ministers have used special powers to bypass normal tendering and award a string of contracts to private companies and management consultants without open competition.

Doctors, campaign groups, academics and MPs raised the concerns about a “power grab” after it emerged on Monday that Serco was in pole position to win a deal to supply 15,000 call-handlers for the government’s tracking and tracing operation.

Deloitte, KPMG, Serco, Sodexo, Mitie, Boots and the US data mining group Palantir have secured taxpayer-funded commissions to manage Covid-19 drive-in testing centres, the purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the building of Nightingale hospitals.

Now, the Guardian has seen a letter from the Department of Health to NHS trusts instructing them to stop buying any of their own PPE and ventilators.

From Monday, procurement of a list of 16 items must be handled centrally. Many of the items on the list, such as PPE, are in high demand during the pandemic, while others including CT scanners, mobile X-ray machines and ultrasounds are high-value machines that are used more widely in hospitals.

Centralising purchasing is likely to hand more responsibility to Deloitte. As well as co-ordinating Covid-19 test centres and logistics at three new “lighthouse” laboratories created to process samples, the accounting and management consultancy giant secured a contract several weeks ago to advise central government on PPE purchases.

The point on PPE purchases is crucial: the government is making it more expensive to buy this vital equipment, at a time when it should be widely available to as many people as possible.

Just think how different this would be if Jeremy Corbyn had won the 2017 election (it has been alleged that he only lost because of a right-wing faction in his own party that sabotaged him): these items would be free.

More people are going to die as a result of these decisions. Your friends and family perhaps. Maybe even yourself.

I think it’s time Matt Hancock had a nickname. What should it be?

Murdering Matt? Hancock the Hangman?

Source: UK government ‘using pandemic to transfer NHS duties to private sector’ | Business | The Guardian

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Coroners told to ignore lack of PPE in coronavirus-related inquests

One more time: PPE provided to UK medical staff is at the bottom right. Coroners are being told not to consider whether a national failure to provide proper equipment contributed to the deaths of medical staff.

Now the coroners’ courts are being told to hide the fatal results of failed Conservative policies to tackle the coronavirus, it seems.

Guidance handed down by Mark Lucraft QC, chief coroner for England and Wales, says “an inquest would not be a satisfactory means of deciding whether adequate general policies and arrangements were in place for provision of PPE to healthcare workers”.

He said that “if there were reason to suspect that some human failure contributed to the person being infected with the virus”, an inquest may be required.

The coroner “may need to consider whether any failures of precautions in a particular workplace caused the deceased to contract the virus and so contributed to death”.

But he added: “An inquest is not the right forum for addressing concerns about high-level government or public policy.”

Isn’t that an attempt to palm off responsibility for a lack of PPE onto “a particular workplace” rather than keeping it where it belongs – with the government that sent all our equipment to China and sold domestic stockpiles to a private, US-owned company?

Source: NHS staff coronavirus inquests told not to look at PPE shortages | Society | The Guardian

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This is what Boris Johnson calls winning: the second-worst Covid-19 death rate in the world

Fist flying: Boris Johnson can make all the grand gestures he likes – but his speech would have been better if he had stood there and dribbled at us.

What a disaster: Boris Johnson is back at work.

His health may have improved but his patter is as rotten as it ever was.

Fortunately we are still able to get our money’s worth from his satirical value, as evidenced by this clip that reminds us he once hid in a refrigerator to avoid difficult questions:

He wasted no time getting himself back in the public eye, with an “address to the nation” at 9am today. Most of us were probably still in bed.

And we didn’t miss much. It was a remarkably content-free speech, focusing mostly on the concerns of his billionaire friends who are desperate for us all to get back to work, making money for them.

So he said the UK was almost at the point where lockdown restrictions could start to be lifted, and he would be telling us over the next few days how that might be done – but he won’t actually let it happen until he is sure a second peak of coronavirus infections and deaths can be avoided.

In other words: no change for now.

He said he measures his success by the fact that the NHS has not collapsed, but failed to recognise that it was only in danger because of Tory starvation policies over the last 10 years, when they were preparing the service for US-style privatisation.

The one joy we can derive from this whole saga is the fact that it proves once and for all that the NHS must never be privatised; a private health system simply would not take any precautions in advance of a global health emergency because it would infringe on its profits.

As it is, Tory mismanagement means the death toll in the UK is disproportionately high, and likely to become the second worst in the world behind the United States.

He recognised the contribution of people like Captain Tom Moore, who raised millions for the NHS at the age of 99 by walking laps of his garden – without acknowledging that it was only necessary because of his government’s failures:

What absolute twaddle.

The simple fact is that Tory incompetence has made the impact of the virus far, far worse than it had to be – as acknowledged by these commentators:

Yes, let’s talk openly about this catastrophe.

We could start by mentioning the fact that his government’s offer of coronavirus testing kits for key workers has stalled on every one of the four days it has been running.

According to The Independent:

The kits ran out around two minutes after the service launched on Friday, and people were reportedly told there were none left on Saturday morning after around 15 minutes.

As of 10am on Sunday, home testing kits for England were listed as “unavailable” on the government’s website – two hours after booking slots reopened.

Key workers could no longer order any online by 9.10am on Monday – the fourth day in a row where tests have become unavailable within hours of the booking system opening.

That’s right – today it took just over an hour for the government to run out. This must be a serious blow to the Tory plan, which is to carry out 100,000 tests a day by Thursday.

And nursing staff are starting to refuse to work in places where PPE – Personal Protective Equipment – is not available to an acceptable standard. Who can blame them when so many of their colleagues have caught the coronavirus and died?

Johnson mentioned none of these facts in his speech today, knowing that his bluster would encourage the easily-led:

But some of us are not so malleable:

Johnson is trying to whitewash this calamitous failure as a success. Don’t let him.

Source: Johnson: ‘We are winning but we haven’t won’ – ITV News

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Controversy over PPE intensifies after Turkey delivers one-twelfth of expected amount

Only a fraction of the gowns expected in a much-publicised shipment from Turkey actually arrived in the UK on Wednesday, according to the Health Service Journal:

Senior procurement sources have said just 32,000 of an anticipated 400,000 gowns were delivered — just a few hours’ supply for the health service, which currently goes through approximately 150,000 per day.

The government expected the gowns to arrive as part of a bulk delivery of personal protective equipment on Sunday.

Yet again, the Tories promised a lot and delivered little.

And people are dying in their hundreds every day – because they ignored advice in the run-up to the crisis and dithered when it overtook them.

Source: Exclusive: Turkish delivery contained just a few hours’ worth of gowns | News | Health Service Journal

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Legal challenge threat to Tory government over death of NHS workers due to PPE shortage

PPE: The UK’s is on the bottom right. Now you know why it has been so diabolically awful.

As usual the Tories are ducking and covering, trotting out their usual excuse that there’s no proof of “any causal link” between the lack of PPE and the deaths of NHS staff.

It’s the excuse they use whenever anyone suggests that one of the disabled people they’ve persecuted to death might have died because of the way the Tory government treats them and it doesn’t stand up when they use it that way either.

The answer is obvious. Just turn around and say: “Okay – what do you think is the most likely reason: contact with NHS patients who have the coronavirus while wearing an apron and no face protection every single minute of their working lives, or accidentally standing 1.99m away from the nearest person on the way to and from that job?

Matt Hancock’s PPE (these days… I expect).

My personal opinion? We should throw Matt Hancock and all the other excuse-mongers into one of their own Covid-riddled prisons now, and throw away the keys.

The bereaved families of healthcare professionals are asking why their loved ones were sent to the medical front line without the personal protective equipment they need to protect themselves from COVID-19.

We would not expect a fire fighter to die because they were not provided with fire retardant clothing. In the same way, the death of a nurse because they had only a pinny, gloves and a paper mask is arbitrary and almost certainly unacceptable to the public.

The government’s … own influenza pandemic strategy states specifically, “the government has in place stockpiles of face masks and respirators for health and social care workers”.

The Department of Health rejected the government’s own specialist advisory body’s advice in 2017 to stockpile eye protection, reasoning: “The cost of the PPE component of the pandemic stockpile would increase four to six-fold with a very limited likelihood of cost benefits.”

Authorities have an obligation to take preventive operational measures to protect lives; this includes the lives of NHS workers so far as it doesn’t impose an “impossible or disproportionate burden” on the authorities.

Coroners’ inquests may become an important forum for determining whether the government has adequately safeguarded the lives of its health workers during this pandemic. A coroner can look at a death from COVID-19 in circumstances where the death was unexpected and there are allegations of culpable human failure.

Bereaved families may also be able to bring claims in the civil courts, under the Human Rights Act 1998, for breach of a loved one’s right to life – a group action on this would not be surprising.

Source: Coronavirus: could government face legal questions over the death of NHS workers during PPE shortage?

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What kind of government lets a private firm run its PPE stockpile – and sell it?

PPE: The UK’s is on the bottom right. Now you know why it has been so diabolically awful.

The UK’s Tory government.

The UK’s stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use in a pandemic…  has been outsourced to a private company, Movianto, which was sold two weeks ago for $133m (£107m) by its owner, a large US healthcare group.

Lunacy.

No wonder NHS staffers were reduced to wearing bin bags and re-using single-use items.

We need an independent inquiry into the government’s decisions before and during the pandemic – and how private enterprise contributed to the calamity.

Source: Revealed: Private firm running UK PPE stockpile was sold in middle of pandemic | World news | The Guardian

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Coronavirus propaganda: why would the Tories want to silence NHS staff?

Ask yourself: why does my Conservative government not want me to know what NHS staff have to say about the coronavirus?

The Tories, it seems, have told NHS staff not to tell the public what’s really going on in our hospitals:

Workers at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust were sent the social media guidance via a staff newsletter on Friday.

In the newsletter, seen by the East Anglian Daily Times, staff were told to avoid tweeting about “political issues, such as PPE, testing and exit strategies”.

They were however encouraged to praise staff for their hard work, working over the weekend and keeping people safe.

Sure, the orders came from a health trust but nobody there would have an interest in deceiving people about the situation. It has to come from the Tories, really. Don’t you agree?

If not, perhaps This Writer should provide a reminder of the PPE situation:

Hospital leaders have directly attacked the government for the first time during the coronavirus crisis over the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) after a desperately needed consignment of surgical gowns that had been announced by ministers failed to arrive.

In an unprecedented intervention, which hospital leaders privately say is the result of “intense frustration and exasperation”, the organisations representing NHS trusts in England urged ministers to “just focus on what we can be certain of” after weeks of “bitter experience” with failed deliveries.

The NHS Confederation and NHS Providers spoke out amid continuing alarm that shortages of equipment will soon have disastrous effects on the frontline, with representatives of intensive care staff warning on Sunday that the critical shortage of PPE could lead to some people refusing to continue working there.

See? If hospital bosses are complaining publicly, it can’t be them telling staff to keep their traps shut. Can it?

Here’s one trust’s list of available PPE, at the time of the tweet:

Here’s the situation:

NHS staff would rather you knew about it. The only people with an interest in deceiving you are in the Tory government.

How about testing? Remember Matt Hancock saying that the UK would be carrying out 100,000 tests a day by the end of April – in 10 days’ time?

Let’s see how we’re doing:

Scientists are now saying it is impossible to reach that testing target:

The government’s target of carrying out 100,000 Covid-19 tests each day by the end of the month has come under criticism from senior scientists, who say it will be impossible to reach.

Experts told the Guardian that a “macho” focus on headline-grabbing figures had been pursued at the expense of rigorous science.

But we already know that it is Tory government policy to ignore science when it’s against them:

The scientists said stock up on PPE – in 2016.

Instead, when the coronavirus hit China, the Tories gave that country 278,800 bits of kit and left us with hardly any.

They don’t want NHS staff telling you that because it makes them look bad. And they don’t care how many of us die, either.

Source: NHS staff told not to tweet about ‘political issues like lack of PPE’ – Mirror Online

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook