EveryDoctor is taking the UK government to court alongside the Good Law Project, because NHS staff were unprotected during the pandemic.
880 health and social care workers died while dutifully caring for patients on the COVID-19 frontline. Many had unsafe PPE, some had no PPE at all. At least 122,000 NHS staff now have long COVID. And while NHS staff were unprotected, PPE contracts were being handed out by government ministers to “VIPs” and associates, some of whom had no experience in supplying medical equipment.
Why didn’t we have the PPE we needed?
In 2016, a simulation exercise called Exercise Cygnus was carried out to test how the UK would perform if a pandemic struck. The report wasn’t published at the time, but after mounting pressure it was published in October 2020. It revealed that there had been gaping holes in the government’s pandemic preparedness.
The Cygnus report had recommended that a single health body be set up, called a “Pandemic Concept of Operations” to help to avoid chaos in a real pandemic. This wasn’t set up. Provision of PPE was also discussed; and the need to plan for “surge capacity” as the need for equipment increased. Providers say they were not engaged in planning ahead of COVID-19.
It’s not good enough, and now we all deserve answers.