Why haven't doctors been better protected against this virus? | Letters

Two readers on the shocking truth behind why NHS staff are being infected with coronavirus, putting their families and patients at risk

Our daughter is a GP in the south of England and she has been warning us about the virus for many weeks, and has been very concerned about the lack of protection and testing for NHS staff.

After contacting NHS England her practice was eventually supplied with a limited amount of out-of-date (and relabelled), inadequate and minimal personal protective equipment. Several of her fellow partners have had to self-isolate – those who are pregnant, those with children with possible symptoms, staff with actual recognised symptoms etc. Despite the fact that these frontline workers had wanted to return to work, NHS England refused to test them or remaining staff, or to consider closing the surgery.

She took it on herself to deep clean the premises early on Saturday morning. Worried about infecting her patients, let alone her family, she arranged to be privately tested.

She is now Covid-19 positive.

Watching Boris Johnson at his podium with the “Protect our NHS” banner, let alone the £350m a week for the NHS on the side of the Brexit bus, doesn’t just make us cross, it makes us incensed at the lies and dangerous procrastination of this government.
Name and address supplied

• My wife is an NHS consultant who woke up with a fever and cough two days ago. She spoke to the head of service at her hospital about getting a test for Covid-19 and was told nothing was available. Another colleague of hers also had a night of coughing and was told the same. Other doctors, nurses and support staff cannot work without some assurances for their safety and that of their families.

These are experienced senior consultants (my wife was a junior during the Aids epidemic and treated patients in full hazmat gear then). If they can’t be tested and have to stay away in self-isolation, then hundreds of patients cannot be seen or treated.

This is an expensive choice for the government – trying to save a little money at the expense of lives (the consultants or their patients). Testing NHS staff should be a priority for their sake, as well as that of the patients they have been in contact with.
Name and address supplied

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