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Covid-19: Coroners needn’t investigate PPE policy failures in deaths of NHS staff, new guidance says

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1806 (Published 04 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1806

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Re: Covid-19: Coroners needn’t investigate PPE policy failures in deaths of NHS staff, new guidance says

Dear Editor
I feel a bit vindicated when I read a few article in this issues. A friend of mine, a consultant anaesthetist, told me that during the early days of the pandemic, he was told not to scaremongering other colleagues by raising concerns about PPE. It has been highlighted many times that staff were more concerned that they could infect their family when they go home. He felt that it would be difficult to challenge them because the guidance coming from the NHS England. This clearly indicates that the front life staff and their family are considered expendable! By the way my friend is one of the BAEMs. There you are they are expendable! Less likely to challenge the management.
Secondly , in the early days of news briefing , the question was put to the panel regarding the number of deaths in black and ethnic minority group. Deliberate obfuscation. Did not get the answer. Thirdly in this issues , it was highlighted the lack of minority representative in the politically appointed news briefing NHS panel. Finally it is the gagging order from the top not to investigate the lack of PPE related deaths in these patients. What a way of brush it under the carpet.
I had a suspicion right from the beginning. It is well known that the PPE guidance from NHS England is based on availability. Not based on the science. The politically appointed SAGE and NERVTAG members are confidential. Finally very reluctant to disclose the CIGNUS 2019 simulation out come.
It beggars believe what we are witnessing

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 May 2020
Kathirgamanathan Nathan
Consultant anaesthetist
Watford