You might think it is fair for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to take possibly punitive action against the Liverpool University Hospitals Trust.
Trust medical director Tristan Cope had, in fairness, warned that the hospital had been overwhelmed by coronavirus and standards of care could no longer be maintained.
But would it be fair if, as he also claims, NHS England has been blocking the hospital from enacting plans that would redeem the situation – in the name of politics?
Here’s The Independent:
In the WhatsApp message to doctors, shared with The Independent by multiple sources, Dr Cope, a consultant in anaesthesia and critical care, said: “LUH is now essentially overwhelmed by the demand. We cannot maintain patient flow and usual standards of care. We have put forward a proposal to further reduce elective [planned] activity, but maintaining capacity for the most urgent cases that would suffer from a two-four week delay.
“It is a very sound plan that our divisional teams have worked up. However, NHS England are prevaricating and delaying with the usual request for more detail, more data, etc. It is clear to me that the politics is outweighing the patient safety issues of the acute crisis.
“There has been no meaningful support from the acute cell or NHS England. In fact, they are blocking us from acting in a rational way that would help us to manage the acute pressures.”
He added: “I am utterly demoralised by the catastrophic leadership failure at a national and regional level. I feel I have done everything I can in terms of escalation and lobbying for some courageous and meaningful action, but apparently to no avail, at least so far. Not sure what else I can do.”
Liverpool has been hit hard by the escalation of Covid-19 in recent weeks, as more and more people have succumbed to the virus as a result of Tory government policies that have allowed it to spread.
The Independent article’s comment from an NHS England spokesperson avoids the substantive issue already – merely commenting that the service is treating more people now than at the height of the first wave.
The statement also says more “clinical support” has been brought in from elsewhere in the region, but this must be balanced with the fact that it has demanded asymptomatic staff testing.
And who is going to be providing the facilities to test every single person in Liverpool, as often as necessary, as the government has claimed?
It seems clear that – yet again – the Tory “make do and mend” approach to medicine is heading for disaster. Perhaps Boris Johnson would treat the matter seriously – if only he were affected by it personally.
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