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David Oliver: Covid-19 highlights the need for effective government communications

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1863 (Published 13 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1863

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Re: David Oliver: Covid-19 highlights the need for effective government communications

Dear Editor

Might I slightly modify the title?

Highlighted is the need for truth in government communications.
Highlighted is the need for the CMO to speak at every briefing. Not one of the many Deputy CMOs.
Highlighted is the need for the other specialists, experts, to stay away from briefings on medical matters.

A deputy CMO was asked about permission for family members to meet. Her reply - it is complicated.
Of course you can write a 50 page document, comprehensive, and as clear as the mud of the Thames.

A simple answer would have been-
Grandparents and grandchildren can meet, provided both sets have been in self-imposed isolation for 14 days.
Husbands, wives, spouses can meet provided they have not been exposed to known risky conditions.

Any further questions?

Please give me written questions and the Chief Medical Officer will provide answers which will be made public.

Competing interests: As a patient, at the mercy of NHS staff who seem to be shackled and tongue-tied.

15 May 2020
JK Anand
Retired doctor - from the days when doctors did speak out
Free spirit
Peterborough, England