The Government must act NOW to protect people from self-harming and potentially harming their loved ones by leaving their homes and travelling to perform non-essential work. For example travelling to build luxury flats for foreign investors to buy is not essential work. It’s just not worth anyone risking their lives, health and wellbeing and the sustainability of their loved ones.
However if cash is not quickly made available to these ‘stopped’ travellers so they can feed their families and pay their essential bills, surely there is a real risk of looting, muggings, break-ins, rioting and public disorder. Not to mention mental health problems especially involving substance abuse. This risk is high anyway as allegedly over 500,000 new claimants (who have been put out of work by Covid-19) are now trying to get Universal Credit (UC). New UC claimants have to wait five weeks for any cash so all 500,000+ of them will apply for emergency loans. Organised nationally (like Covid-19 commissioning – see below) these loans will be slow arriving (think Covid-19 test kits and protective clothing here). Will this result in rapid cash? I think not. The possibility of imminent chaos is frighteningly on the cards.
No Clinical Commissioning for Covid-19 by NHS North West London (NWL) CCGs
The March 2020 report by the outgoing NHS NWL Accountable Officer Mark Easton makes no mention at all of Covid-19. The report, dated 25 March 2020, would have been ’presented’ at the Ealing CCG Governing Body meeting (now cancelled) on that date. Just what is a CCG entity for if it’s not commissioning for Covid-19? The Ealing CCG Chair’s March 25 2020 report also makes no mention of Covid-19.
With 100s of patients dying, 1,000s infected and 10,000s thrown out of work by Covid-19 – how can local and regional NHS commissioning bosses be doing nothing about Covid-19? Well, the only logical assumption is Covid-19 commissioning is being done – very badly – by national Government.
So it’s the Government which is directly to blame for the non-arrival locally of Covid-19 test kits, and Covid-19 protective clothing for care staff and the dearth of Covid-19 ventilators and ICU beds.
The 2012 Health & Social Care Act, so hated by many of us, did actually set up local healthcare commissioning entities. Not only are these structures being variously unpicked this year and next year and replaced with regional Integrated Care Systems – they have been completely ignored for Covid-19 commissioning. One does wonder whether this genius thinking emanates from Dominic Cummings or perhaps from the wunderkinder at McKinsey & Co.
And don’t tell me the Government wasn’t warned about what was to come. On 30 January 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Respiratory challenges for sufferers were also identified and announced by WHO in January 2020.
Where are the CCGs and ICSs Nationally in the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Lots of bosses and experts quoted on TV, radio and national newspapers. NHS Trust and hospital bosses, ICU Leads, doctors, Royal Colleges, BMA, NHS Providers, academics, nurses, GPs and patients – but no local or regional commissioning/purchasing bosses. I have yet to see or hear a CCG or Integrated Care System (ICS) boss being interviewed or quoted. Surely these are folks being paid £100,000/year to commission/purchase healthcare and social care services. Are these folks quietly in the background attempting (and possibly failing) to maintain an adequate level of NHS non-Covid-19 commissioning/purchasing?
Where are the Covid-19 Test Kits?
Johnson and Hancock keep telling us on TV that the tests kits are coming. But also on TV, radio, social media and blogs we hear they have not arrived.
Do you Know Anyone Who Has Been Tested for Covid-19?
No – me neither. We don’t know exactly who has Covid-19 and who has recovered from it. Horror stories are emerging of NHS hospitals with up to 50% sickness absenteeism. No-one knows if staff are Covid-19 sufferers or have other non-Covid-19 ailments.
We Have Absolutely No Idea of the Number of UK Residents Who Have Contracted Covid-19
‘The Times’ helpfully publishes each day the number of Corvid-19 case recorded by UK Local Authorities. However the data is about as useful as a chocolate teapot as so few people have been or are being tested.
Where is the Covid-19 Protective Clothing?
Johnson and Hancock keep telling us it’s ordered and that they are having problems with logistics. The reality appears to be a chronic shortage of even barely adequate Covid-19 protective clothing. NHS staff are having to risk their lives in treating Covid-19 patients without appropriate protective clothing. Anecdotally healthcare and social care staff are setting up their own charities to buy Covid-19 protective clothing. Staff are visiting DIY stores (if open) to buy (possibly inadequate) industrial protective clothing. Staff are even building their own face masks, especially those with full face ‘splash’ screens.
GP Surgeries are Closing Their Doors – Pharmacies are being Flooded with Patients
This is putting Pharmacists and their staff at risk and under pressure. Seemingly their commissioner NHSE/I /DHSC appears to be doing little or nothing to help in terms of protective clothing, testing regimes and kits – or even sympathy.
How will the 560,000+ NHS Volunteers Be Organised?
Surely not by central Government. And what Covid-19 protection will they be given and who will give it to them? It’s obviously sensational that so many citizens have volunteered. But if national Government’s organising of testing, protective clothing, ventilators and adequate ICU beds is anything to go by, it could be a frustrating time for these wonderful, altruistic citizens.
Where is the Covid-19 Leadership?
No – not Professors. This is no academic puzzle. No – not scientists. This is no Biology class. No – not management consultants. In my region McKinsey & Co were paid at least £34 million for NHS strategy advice (leadership even) which proved to be disastrously wrong and led to over £250 million being wasted.
This is a national and international emergency not seen since WW2. Where is our Winston Churchill? I’m sorry but Boris Johnson does not fit the bill, nor does Matt Hancock. And Sir Simon Stevens seems to have completely disappeared!
Who Must Share Responsiblity For NHS NWL Being Run Down 2012 – 2019?
It really is now time during quiet reflection in social isolation to name names of the sponsors and flag wavers for the 2012 ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ (SaHF) and the 2016 Sustainability & Transformation Plan (STP). Before we do this roll call, let’s remember what SaHF/STP did to ill-prepare north west London for the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic:
+ Reduced bed numbers
+ Downgraded and demoralised Central Middlesex, Charing Cross, Ealing and Hammersmith NHS District General/ ‘Major’ Hospitals
+ Difficulties in hiring permanent staff
+ From September 2014 to 2019 NHS NWL Accident & Emergency performance was often amongst the worst performing in England
+ Wasted anything between £260 million to £1.3 billion
+ Creating enormous NHS NWL deficits. For NHS NWL CCGs the deficit is £90 million. For the major NHS NWL Trust Hospitals it’s £164 million.
+ Signatories to 2012 SaHF:
Dr Ethie Kong, Dr Ruth O’Hare, Dr Mark Sweeney, Dr Mohini Parmar, Dr Tim Spicer, Dr Amol Kelshiker, Dr Ian Goodman, Dr Nicola Burbidge
Many of the above earned over £600,000 2012-2019. Some are still in post.
Consultation Document Cheer Leaders
Dr Mark Spencer and Jeff Zitron
Rob Larkman, Clare Parker, Mark Easton
The star earner here was probably Rob Larkman. In his swan song year of 2017/18 his pocket money was £250,000.
2016 STP Co-Conspirators
Tracey Batten and Carolyn Downs
In 2016/17 Tracey Batten earned £295,000.
NHS England Bosses
David Nicholson 2011 – 2014
Sir Simon Stevens 2014 – 2019
Secretary of State for Health & Social Care
Jeremy Hunt MP 2012 – 2019
Lead Management Consultants
McKinsey & Co
Dr Penny Dash, Senior Partner Europe, 2013 – 2019
During 2010 – 2017 The company billed NHS NWL £34 million
Other Management Consultants
During 2010 – 2017 they billed NHS NWL £38 million.