DAUK in the Independent: Hospitals could be blamed for NHS staff deaths as coroners barred from investigating government failings

Local hospital bosses and GPs could be blamed for deaths of workers caused by national shortages of protective equipment, doctors have warned. While coroners will be barred from looking at national policies and decision-making around shortages of protective equipment, the chief coroner has insisted they will still be able to investigate the deaths of health workers who may have contracted Covid-19 due to inadequate local supplies.

The Doctors’ Association UK has warned the situation could mean local managers are held “accountable for a situation out of their control”.

Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, president of the DAUK, said: “Yet again we are seeing a situation where fundamental systemic failures are not being taken into account, in terms of both patient and staff safety. By not considering national provision of PPE and ever-changing guidance we fail to hold the government to account and to address the crux of the problem.

“We risk holding local hospitals and GPs accountable for a situation out of their control. There is a real lacuna between inquests and inquiries that risks families falling between the cracks and their questions going unanswered.”