DAUK in the BMJ: Covid-19: Coroners needn’t investigate PPE policy failures in deaths of NHS staff, new guidance says

Rinesh Parmar, chair of the Doctors Association UK, told the chief coroner in a letter, “The guidance you have issued appears to be contrary to the legal requirements imposed on coroners by statute.”

He added, “We are extremely concerned by your suggestion that coronavirus deaths of healthcare workers will not usually require investigation. We believe that it may deny grieving families the answers to which they are entitled.

“Unless inquests are opened in each case, vital evidence in relation to that individual case will not be preserved and the opportunity to find out what went wrong will be lost irretrievably. We invite you to review your guidance and to amend it to ensure that it properly reflects the legal position and that these bereaved families receive access to the investigative procedures to which they are entitled.”


DAUK in Telegraph: Inquests into the deaths of NHS Workers must look at look at PPE provision

"Inquests into the deaths of NHS workers from coronavirus should not examine systemic failures in the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), the Chief Coroner has warned."

"Rinesh Parmar, the chair of the Doctors Association UK, said the issue of whether a lack of PPE contributed to some of the deaths would be an essential part of the inquest process."

"He said: "The provision of PPE is so vital to the safety of health workers that to suggest coroners do not consider its supply in detail misses a big part of the picture. Only comprehensive inquests into the deaths of every NHS and care worker will give the bereaved the ability to ask questions and have the circumstances of their loved ones’ deaths fully explained."


DAUK in The Times on gowns running out

Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, president of the Doctors’ Association UK, said: “It is not acceptable to be using gowns which are not fluid-repellant, or indeed rely just on flimsy plastic aprons and hope for the best. Our own data from 1,500 doctors across over 250 sites suggests that just 25 per cent of respondents have access to proper long-sleeve gowns, and this trend is getting worse.”