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  • Here we are again, of course, with no audience, for the reasons we all know is very strange and rather frightening times for all of us and instead off our usual five Panelists.

  • We have four in order to have suitable social distancing.

  • Good evening.

  • I'm a local GP, and unfortunately, I've been having to self isolate for the past week and 1/2.

  • I've not been able to get remote access to be able to work from home.

  • There's been no testing for an H S stuff on.

  • My colleagues on the front line have had to go and buy their own scrubs on dhe I equipment from D.

  • I.

  • Y.

  • Stores because the personal protective equipment has not bean adequate.

  • I would have thought that these were problems that could have Bean anticipated and dealt with in advance.

  • I would like to know what specific problems people expect the n hs toe have in the next few weeks and months on what they think can be done in advance to sort them out.

  • So, Richard, there's two aspects of this isn't a how we got to this point and was enough done to stop was getting to this point.

  • And is there anything coming down the track that we need to be preparing for now?

  • Well, first of all, I am received 2030 messages a day from front line N HS workers across the country, telling stories very similar to what Adam was just telling us.

  • And honestly, it's sorry to say this, but it's a national scandal.

  • We shouldn't be in this position.

  • We knew in the last week of January that this was coming.

  • The message from China was absolutely clear that a new virus with pandemic potential waas hitting cities people were being admitted to hospital, admitted to intensive care units on dying on the mortality was growing.

  • We knew that 11 weeks ago, and then we wasted February when we could have acted time when we could have ramped up testing time when we could have got personal protective equipment ready and disseminated.

  • We didn't do it.

  • I'm hearing that not just personal protective equipment is not available.

  • It's the wrong kind of personal protective equipment.

  • What we have isn't even w h o standard.

  • We're putting our health workers who we've just all clapped here in the front lines without the armor they need to defend themselves.

  • They're wearing surgical masks, which are not W h o standard.

  • They're wearing thin plastic aprons, which are not standard on.

  • They're wearing rubber gloves, which only cover their wrist, exposing their arms, too.

  • Danger, Jeopardy!

  • That is nothing short off a national scandal.

  • How could we allow this to happen?

  • The hypocrisy off clapping N HS workers and yet the government not supporting them to go into the front line is tragic, and it was preventable.

  • I'm sorry to say, but it was preventable.

  • So what?

  • We had the secretary for health on the program last week, and I questioned him pretty closely about supply of equipment, and Matt Hanka was saying a new mobile numbers of lawyers.

  • We're going to be out over the weekend, so we're on Thursday said by Sunday, all the hospitals, as far as he could say at that point, all the hospitals will have sufficient personal protective equipment.

  • Here we are a week on, and no, they don't.

  • And you've heard up.

  • Richard has to say, Well, this is a big challenge, but we are ramping up supply very rapidly, and I'm sorry to hear there's a problem it shows the hospital where you can't be surprised by what you heard, because we've all been hearing it well.

  • I hear that myself and I'm the Cabinet minister responsible for local government to look after social care.

  • So I hear from social care providers as well, because we need to get this equipment not just the hospitals, but to care homes, to pharmacists, to GPS to people who work in homeless shelters, many different important settings.

  • But we are now getting very significant quantities.

  • Tens of millions of items of equipment, from gloves to face masks onto other items of peopIe are now flowing through.

  • This has become for us, a military operation.

  • You've seen some of the pictures off the armed forces delivering this hospital's supplies on Richard.

  • Well, that's just supplies are flowing through the hospital.

  • They will tell us tonight, Tell us tonight because people watching at home and number will be GPS working in the health care system of social.

  • When do you think people who need it in the health system will have the correct and sufficient person protector equipment?

  • When will that be?

  • Well, I can't give you an exact time.

  • What I do know is that you don't know what I What I do know is that in the last 48 hours, for example, 25 million packs of gloves have bean delivered 15 million face masks, almost two million items of eye protection.

  • So these are very large quantities way, probably not much more than what we are.

  • But I know you.

  • You think what you're saying is true.

  • I know you believe it, but it's simply not true.

  • I mean, these are the messages that I've had today.

  • The lack of clear guidance and testing is cordial, causing huge anxiety, totally inadequate P p e.

  • Being sent like lambs to the slaughter.

  • Inadequate P p E.

  • No scrubs, no testing equipment, sleepwalking into this totally unequipped and unprepared when we had the luxury of two months to prepare that other countries didn't.

  • That's where it's a national scandal.

  • We need to get much more equipment out that that is happening primarily now, P.

  • P is a logistical question.

  • We've got very large stocks.

  • We need to get it out to the frontline.

  • On testing were also increasing the amount of testing that's available again.

  • We need to go further because this is all about testing.

  • One day last week, I think we reached 8000.

  • Tests were averaging.

  • Somewhat below that.

  • We want to get up to 10,000 than 25,000.

  • Ultimately, 250,000 has a huge effort to be done there on then on the antibody test, which is the other type of test for people who've already had it there.

  • We've ordered 3.5 million of those tests.

  • We're testing the test.

  • They're gonna want to ensure that it's reliable and clearly is, the chief medical officer said.

  • That's very important.

  • There's nothing worse than an unreliable test.

  • But if we can prove that that is reliable, then we have millions of those flowing on within weeks, they should be within the system.

  • Well, let let's just stick stick to the person protective equipment from him because that's what Adam was RC about.

  • Humphrey, What's your view look?

  • Firstly, I think one has to say to Adam again, a huge thank you for everything that he and the hundreds and thousands of GPS who are in many situations, right in the front line of what's going on here.

  • Andi, I've got good friends who are her GPS, who are doing tests of patients and checking patients in the car parts of their surgeries because it's not safe to bring them inside who are working.

  • Double, triple and quadruple shifts sometimes so huge, Thank you.

  • Tow.

  • What's going on in that regard?

  • I have to say I have a lot of sympathy with the views that Richard expressed, which it's hard to understand why we got quarters shorter as we did in this crisis, why we didn't have the foresight to understand Maur aunt to take those steps.

  • We could have steak taken with equipment with tests and many other aspects of what we need to be ready for this.

  • No, not talking about long range planning over two or three years, I'm saying, when we saw it happening in China and then initially, which was so close to home, I've got very good friends in in Italy, with whom I've been on the phone since late January early February.

  • It was very clear what was happening.

  • I think we've really gotta taken in.

  • The government has to really take away the lessons from that.

  • Of course, that doesn't help now, Now it's all about getting stuff to the frontline on.

  • That's the logistics and business problem, and I know a little bit about those sorts of things.

  • That's about making sure that you have so much focus on managing the supplies and flows of products.

  • And I really hope that the governments getting the best helping can there because that absolutely is a solvable problem.

  • If there are 30 million pairs of gloves or have really is in the country, they absolutely should and can be with people in the front line.

  • Let's get that done and let me read you another treat here from Christopher Luke, who says, I'm a psychiatric nurse working on an acute mental health ward myself.

  • And many of my colleagues feel our patients and the staff have been all but forgotten about.

  • We have very little in the way of P p.

  • Ease of personal protective equipment and mental health hospitals across the country are not equipped for something like Covert.

  • 19 has been no coverage of how mental health hospitals are coping in these circumstances.

  • What provisions are being made for staff and patients in psychiatric hospitals, taking into consideration the level of risk we worked with aside from the risk of catching covert 19.

  • Absolutely.

  • I have been I we asked people to you.

  • We ask people to do everything to look after us at our most vulnerable.

  • We applaud.

  • Um, we love him.

  • We love their self sacrifice, but we don't seem to be able to provide the most basic protection.

  • Um, and of course I mean, my local authority.

  • I know I've got 300 masks, gloves and and an end and wipes, but just 300.

  • And they have to work out who's going to get them and who isn't going to get them.

  • And again going back to the social care workers, the ones on zero hours contracts, the ones going to the most vulnerable.

  • How many of them can actually have the most basic masks?

  • And, of course, is as you were saying, actually, that's not a W h o standard anyway.

  • You know what happens in the worry is that that these very people not only might catch it themselves, but also may themselves be spreaders, which, of course, is the last thing they want to be.

  • You knew people going into a and E and working in Annie or cleaners working in Anne.

  • The last thing they want to do is be part of the problem.

  • They want to be part of the solution, and if we're not able to provide those basic things, then clearly we have a big problem.

  • But actually I think that it is about testing.

  • I mean again.

  • The head of the W H O said.

  • This is all about test test test.

  • While the government may have 3.5 million tests to find out if we've had it, we should have had those sorts of numbers, surely for tests as to whether or not people actually have it at the moment so that we can know whether or not they ought to be working in a any or whether they should be, whether they are spreading it.

  • How can we possibly work out who's catching it and who we might have given it to If we don't know that we've had it ourselves, the so many people, you're not even asked to call 111 but just to look up online what the symptoms are and then self isolate.

  • So it is a country at the moment we don't seem to have any idea, really, apart from the deaths.

  • So how many people even have the disease, which does make it really difficult to manage?

  • I think I think it's a very good point.

  • I mean, we saw the research that came out from Oxford saying half the country may have it and we've got others saying, Is it 10,000 official tests or is it 200,000 yards?

  • A statistician Earlier in my life, I would have thought we could have worked out a T some tests in the country that would give us a least and a guide toe what the penetration rate of the virus is.

  • And that would have been enormously helpful.

  • This is a hold up.

  • Yeah, when we knew this was coming late generally February, the standard public health approaching epidemic is you.

  • Yes, test test test.

  • And then in in an infectious outbreak, you isolate you, quarantine you contact trace.

  • You chased out every single contact on test that person to to see if you can extinguish stop the lines of transmission.

  • And that's the way you stop the outbreak.

  • We didn't do that, Isn't the I got there was fundamental principle eyes isn't Isn't the iron for example, contact tracing and actually public health?

  • England did a fantastic to be getting.

  • We're doing that to begin with that study staging with virus Robert were acting upon expert medical advice, and I appreciate their There can be different opinion between medics and scientists.

  • Nothing is.

  • It's clear cut, Certainly not in a fast developing situation like this, but we are guided by them.

  • And the contact tracing that was done for those people, for example, coming from China and other parts of the world in the earlier stages appears to have been quite successful.

  • Actually this country and has held up well by international standards now, now that should stop the epidemic.

  • That has it way.

  • Just what impact way?

  • The strategy we ended up following was that we wanted to get 60% of the population infected because we made the mistake of judgment.

  • That's what we thought it was.

  • A mild in the policy.

  • A policy that the government's always had and then by the chief medical officer and are chief scientific adviser, has Bean to save as many people's lives and possible that nose chain that that's very 10 days ago.

  • That message changed 10 days ago in the early part of the epidemic.

  • It was not the case that the message was Protect the n hs and save lives.

  • The message.

  • Waas.

  • We're going to manage an epidemic in the population, get to 60% get to herd immunity.

  • But there are many, many examples of people on the record from the chief scientific adviser to statisticians and modelers is part of the part of sage advising the government saying that that was the objective.

  • And then you stopped it when you realized that the N hs couldn't cope with the intensive care.

  • But government's policy today is very clear, and that's that we need to all play a part by staying at home.

  • That's the best way to protect the N.

  • H s.

  • And that's the way that within all of our power, we can help to save line.

  • I I accept.

  • It's government policy now, but don't you agree with me that it's ironic as a country were the country that invented the test?

  • But we seem to be the country without it, and everybody else seems to be able to test.

  • And yet Britain is testing so little.

  • I don't think that's fair.

  • I mean, there are countries that have tested more than we have, but the testing program that we have is broadly similar to a number of other major.

  • Can I can I just Can I just quot Germany is conducting its just increase their number test, actually, because we've heard a lot about how it's it's not.

  • There's just a supply problem getting in a contest, which, which sounds absolutely plausible.

  • Germany is somehow my team to be circumventing.

  • That supply problem is now increase its number of tests to 500,000 a week.

  • The U case tested 90,000.

  • Overrule.

  • So how was Germany getting past a supply problem?

  • And we're not Well, what we're trying to do is to ramp up production as quickly as we possibly can.

  • I mean, I think everyone could understand that the n it Jess, the Department for Healthy Industry is working as hard as it possibly.

  • People are working around the clock to do this.

  • Nobody is going slow on this.

  • No one suggests as many tests as possible on dhe.

  • I think there is reason to be that the testing program will be able to step up quite significantly in the next week or so.

  • You've seen some positive positive direction on that on then.

  • The potential, at least off the antibody test on the millions of those that are available if it can be proven to be a reliable test, could be a game changer.

Here we are again, of course, with no audience, for the reasons we all know is very strange and rather frightening times for all of us and instead off our usual five Panelists.

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/28
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