The ‘heartbreaking’ story of an NHS doctor’s death puts the Conservative government to shame
A doctor who warned Boris Johnson that NHS staff needed vital personal protective equipment (PPE) has died. Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, who wrote to the PM on 18 March, had been diagnosed with coronavirus (Covid-19) and spent 15 days in hospital.
Coventry MP Zarah Sultana described his death as “heartbreaking”. It’s certainly not, however, the only agonising development to happen in the NHS recently. And the Conservative government should be ashamed of itself.
Dr Chowdhury called on the PM to "urgently" ensure PPE for "every NHS worker in the UK".
"People appreciate us… but we have to protect ourselves, our families & our kids.”
This is heartbreaking.
NHS staff are owed more than applause. They urgently need proper PPE & testing. https://t.co/W6wEiytKDU
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) April 9, 2020
A “human right”
In his message to Johnson, Chowdhury urged the PM to “urgently” ensure that “each and every NHS worker in the UK” had PPE as they “are in direct contact with patients”. The urologist argued that healthcare workers have a “human right like others to live in this world disease-free with our family and children”. He was only 53 years old.
As many pointed out on Twitter, his death is a disgraceful injustice:
On 18th March 2020 this NHS Doctor wrote to Boris Johnson. He told Boris that a lack of equipment would kill NHS staff of Coronavirus.
Abdul Mabud Chowdhury has now died of Coronavirus. Abdul’s prophecy came to be. When this is over he must get the justice he deserves. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rcGbvxO9oz
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) April 9, 2020
Another doctor dies from #COVID
Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury was one of numerous doctors who warned the govt about the lack of protective equipment for NHS staff.
There must be accountability for this failure. https://t.co/Wf16VcKmTC
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) April 9, 2020
Dr Abdul Chowdhury wrote to Blojo on March 18th about the lack of PPE. He died from CV19 today. He said NHS staff had a "human right like others to live in this world disease-free with our family and children". It is a National Disgrace that Govt have failed our NHS. RIP Abdul x
— Andy #FBPE #ClimateCrisis #NHS (@andycorneys) April 9, 2020
Other workers who have tried to raise alarm bells over the lack of PPE have also since been diagnosed with coronavirus. Three nurses who posted a photo of themselves in makeshift PPE – which they’d constructed out of clinical waste bags – have tested positive for it:
Even if govt was planning from Feb-mid March to let the virus run through the population until 60-80% would get it, why would they not prepare health services including adequate PPE for front-line staff? https://t.co/S5pVpWG0FQ
— Devi Sridhar (@devisridhar) April 9, 2020
At what point do UK ministers become liable for contributing to excess deaths as a consequence of their political decisions? https://t.co/8UdXJuTym4 via @MetroUK
— Mark Curtis (@markcurtis30) April 9, 2020
More evidence about frontline NHS staff being let down by the failure to provide personal protective equipment
We're hearing too much from the Govt about *jam tomorrow*. Doctors, nurses & care workers in #Brighton tell me they need the equipment todayhttps://t.co/BRNSMEfwrJ
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) April 9, 2020
Tip of the iceberg
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) recently submitted a letter to the Commons Health Committee, which is chaired by Jeremy Hunt. In the letter, the RCN’s chief executive Donna Kinnair wrote:
Our safety and ability to care for patients is being fundamentally compromised by the lack of adequate and correct supplies of vital personal protective equipment[PPE] and the slow and small-scale roll out of Covid-19 testing.
Our members are facing impossible decisions between their own or their family’s health and their sense of duty. The distribution and adequacy of PPE has led nursing staff to share equipment, buy their own supplies or to reuse single-use PPE.
YouGov addressed the NHS’s lack of PPE in its latest poll:
Only one in seven NHS workers (14%) say they have the correct #COVID19 personal protective equipment in good supply. 61% say they are short of the protection they need https://t.co/ePVWdUYlgj pic.twitter.com/hxUaD7sAjN
— YouGov (@YouGov) April 9, 2020
It carried out the poll between 2 and 7 April. Only 14% of respondents said they had “the correct PPE in good supply”. Meanwhile, 27% of NHS workers said “they do not have access to the correct PPE”, i.e. the sort that would protect them from coronavirus. Add to this the fact that 37% of the workers polled say they treat patients with and without coronavirus symptoms and it’s a recipe for disaster.
A grotesque government ‘wrong’
The government regularly screams about the ‘millions of pieces’ of PPE it’s provided to NHS workers:
I’ll stop at nothing to protect frontline staff in our #coronavirus battle. Just yesterday, 45 million pieces of protective equipment were delivered across health and social care. pic.twitter.com/CEZ91gErqZ
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) April 2, 2020
But with staff continuing to report that they are left without adequate protection, it’s clearly not enough. By not stepping up to the plate and making sure NHS staff have what they need, the government is endangering the lives of NHS workers and the patients they treat. In turn, anyone who is in contact with those patients is also at risk, and on and on it goes. So the lack of PPE is a threat to the vast majority of people, ultimately.
That’s betrayal on a shocking scale.
Featured image via NHS/YouTube
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