Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1085/30740

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 May 2020

TV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?

"Give us PPE", photo Surrey Unison   (Click to enlarge)

Barbara Clare, Stevenage Socialist Party

I was astounded as to the extent of the government's PPE failures and how NHS staff are being put at risk. The daily items of 'PPE' reported by Downing Street include detergent, paper towels, clinical waste bags, cleaning equipment, each individual glove (not pairs) and plastic aprons that provide limited protection.

Some hospitals reported only receiving ten gowns a day from government deliveries, leaving them to buy extras themselves. Libby, a union rep, displayed items donated by the public - aprons, bin bags, homemade items and swimming goggles. One employee showed a white use-by-date sticker stuck over an original yellow one on the box of a recent delivery - both were out of date.

The Panorama programme explained that for almost a decade a pandemic has been designated the greatest threat to Britain. However the government didn't stockpile any gowns, even though at the end of 2019 advisers said they were needed.

Professor John Ashton said it's "breathtaking". No visors or swabs were stockpiled either, and not a single body bag. When Covid-19 started, we still had time to stockpile.

At the start of the pandemic the government had 33 million respirator masks, but only 12 million have been handed out! The government has refused to say where the rest have gone.

The TV programme anonymously quotes from two heads of procurement at NHS Trusts.

One said: "We've been told not to talk about shortages outside of meetings and calls. They don't want people to know how bad it is." The other said: "The supply chain is erratic, unpredictable and incompetent."

Covid-19 was originally classed as a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID). HCID guidelines state that all staff should wear a respirator mask, full face visor and a gown, and that the government has a legal obligation to make sure NHS staff have this kit.

Government PPE guidance has changed because of shortages. On 19 March, the government downgraded Covid-19. Now, recommended PPE is an apron, gloves and a flimsy surgical mask.

Why on earth shouldn't coronavirus be in the most serious category of classification? Some members of the committee responsible told the BBC it had to be a 'pragmatic' decision based on availability of PPE.

One quote from an NHS worker stood out: "Calling us heroes just makes it okay when we die." How many lives will be lost because of the scandalous shortage of PPE?

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 6 May 2020:


What we think

Bosses push to lift lockdown - they only care about profits


Coronavirus news

Dispatches from the NHS front

Bail out the real wealth creators, not the rich

Homes needed to end overcrowding

Homeless left on streets during pandemic

Pay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

Them&Us

Your donations can keep the Socialist going


Test and trace

Test and trace: workers need a real plan

Tories using pandemic to shift lab testing out of NHS


Workplace news

Nationalise British Airways to stop 12,000 redundancies

Postal workers force Royal Mail back

No increase in transport capacity without adequate safety precautions for workers and passengers

Unsafe Workplace? "It's up to you" PCS tells reps and members

Further protests in Ireland against Debenhams closures - UK fightback needed

Rolls Royce threatens 8,000 job losses

EDF Energy workers furloughed on 100% pay


International news

India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus

US: Trump's public health cuts have condemned thousands worldwide

Trump puts profit before safety (again)


Lessons from history

The Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2


Obituary

Peter Hadden remembered


Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis

TV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 May 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Review:

triangleFrom slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

triangleTwo-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

triangleTV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler

triangleHS2 debacle: nationalise rail and construction!

triangleTV Review: Apocalypse Cow

TV:

triangleTV: Council House Britain

triangleTV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

triangleTV: Once Upon a Time in Iraq

triangleTV: Ross Kemp - Living with Forced Out Families

BBC:

triangleNews in brief

triangleManctopia: billion pound property boom

triangleDefend free TV licences for pensioners!

Government:

triangleNottingham Covid surge caused by Tory mismanagement

triangleNigeria: Mass protests force government to disband killer cop unit

NHS:

triangleNHS workers

Covid:

triangleAction on Covid transmission in schools now

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

14/10/20

Obituary

Obituary: Raph Parkinson 1958-2020

14/10/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

14/10/20

Labour Party

Non-fiction: This Land - the story of a movement

14/10/20

Education

Students speak out: isolation and uncertainty reign

7/10/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

7/10/20

Racism

Non-fiction: 'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'

7/10/20

Film

Film: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

2/10/20

Southwark

TV: Council House Britain

30/9/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

30/9/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Labour moved right and left me behind

23/9/20

Pay

A day in the life of a salon worker

23/9/20

Socialist Party

Why we joined the Socialist Party

23/9/20

Football

TV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

23/9/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

16/9/20

Labour Party

Non-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999