PPE, care homes, 'do not resuscitate' – we need a full inquiry into Covid deaths
Janet Shapiro, Hornsey Pensioners Action Group
- Credit: Peter Byrne/PA
Hornsey Pensioners Action Group is part of the National Pensioners Convention, which has called for a public inquiry into pandemic deaths.
She raises several issues: the absence of preparedness set out as necessary by Exercise Cygnus of 2016, lack of PPE for frontline staff, the failure to protect care homes – no "ring of steel" – plus the breach in human rights that led to DNRs (do not resuscitate) orders without consultation, then inadequate guidance and support for care homes on visiting.
She challenges the government’s claim that scientific advice was followed, as travel restrictions were introduced slowly, and the crucial NHS Test and Trace services have been largely entrusted to private companies, paid well, but performing badly.
Visit the NPC website to find out about the wide range of virtual meetings. The latest one tackled "Connections for All". This addressed the problem of unequal access to the internet. Our group has members that cannot receive bulletins by email, but our membership secretary ensures that these members have a copy posted to them.
"Under cover of Covid", important changes are barely announced, such as the invitation to comment upon the white paper to be debated in parliament in April.
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Our group rejected the proposals that would transform the NHS, allowing Integrated Care Systems to take a major role, with increased privatisation. Together with Haringey Keep Our NHS Public we advise councillors and MPs to argue against the proposals.
Our website also includes the warning, of the takeover of 50 GP practices by a US healthcare firm. Operose Health is a subsidiary of US Company Centene.
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Being under pressure during the pandemic, GPs have persuaded us to use e-consult. At a Patient Participation Network meeting we heard that this mode of consultation will be favoured long term over face-to-face (F2F) consultations. Our group will argue to keep face-to-face (F2F) consultations that are known to be important for diagnosis and treatment.
- Janet Shapiro represents Hornsey Pensioners Action Group.