Dr Matthew Kneale, a committee member of the Doctors’ Association UK, wrote to the Huffington Post explaining the challenges faced by NHS workers in the second wave of Covid-19.
He explained that “the lack of clarity on testing for healthcare workers is leaving hospitals understaffed and underprepared when the NHS and the public needs them most.”
In addition, he raised concern regarding “coercion by hospital management to get [staff] back into hospital and out of isolation, risking a repeat of the silencing of healthcare workers in the early phase of the pandemic over the issue of PPE supply.”
“In one instance, a doctor isolating due to a symptomatic housemate was brought back to work prior to their test result and placed on a cancer ward with patients undergoing chemotherapy. An outbreak of Covid-19, in areas with such vulnerable patients, could spread like wildfire with fatal consequences.”
He called for an immediate inquiry into the failures during the first wave of Covid earlier in the year, adding that “there can be no such excuse second time around. The government has had five months to improve on past mistakes — they have failed in this regard. On the frontline it feels like a depressing deja vu.”