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BBC QT: ‘Tell the truth!’ TUC chief raises important point about NHS ventilator shortage

THE TUC Chief has urged the government to be honest with the public about how long it will take for the NHS to be restocked with ventilators and other medical equipment before supplies run low due to the coronavirus epidemic.

PUBLISHED: 01:20, Fri, Mar 20, 2020 | UPDATED: 01:54, Fri, Mar 20, 2020

 

Fiona Bruce hosted the first-ever Question Time panel without a live audience in Weston Super Mare last night. Junior doctor Jess asked a question in a video call to the panel, made up of Matt Hancock, Andy Burnham, Tom Solomon, Frances O’Grady, and Angela Hartnett.

Jess asked how will the government help to ration ventilators and provide adequate equipment for NHS staff.

 

She warned that without the necessary means provided the UK could “end up like Italy.”

 
 

Jess said: “The situation with the coronavirus is a worrying time for us all, an unprecedented circumstance for the health service

BBC QT

THE TUC Chief has urged the government to be honest with the public about ventilator shortage. (Image: BBC QT)

“Many junior doctors are frightened we will be in the same position as Italy in a few weeks time, “

Before she asked: “How are you going to ration ventilators for patients and equipment for the staff when the NHS becomes overwhelmed for the staff?”

TUC Chief Frances O’Grady admitted that there is a worry over necessary tools in hospital for all staff, not just the nurses and doctors, but cleaning staff who require sanitising products.

She said: “We’re not just talking about doctors and nurses, were talking about cleaners and porters and all the other support staff. Without them, our hospitals can’t function.

“Were hearing people need masks, soap, equipment to fight this pandemic.” Ms O’Grady added.

Fiona Bruce exclaimed: “They’re telling you they haven’t got enough soap!?”

The TUC chief responded: “We have had that too. This is a team, in the NHS people see themselves as a team, they know they depend on each other, in order to do the job they need to do. So there are real worries. We need to get that sorted fast.”

She then added: “I’m really interested in the ventilators point, it’s fantastic if we have got manufacturing companies prepared to switch production, are unions representing manufacturing workers?

 

BBC QT

“How are you going to ration ventilators for patients and equipment for the staff when the NHS comes overwhelmed for the staff?” (Image: BBC QT)

BBC QT

The first QT in its history to be held without a live audience. (Image: BBC QT)

“Let’s be straight with people it’s not as simple as its sometimes portrayed. switching manufacturing, getting the parts, sometimes from China, it’s not always easy.

“So let’s tell people the truth, we’re grow-ups I think we can take it, we want to know how long will this take.

“In the meantime, how do we get that international cooperation, to get the ventilators to where they need to be most and that takes co-operation. Not point-scoring across nations, but helping each other.

UK-NEWS

Coronavirus Battle Plan (Image: EXPRESS)

“Those private healthcare companies need to pull their weight.”

It comes the New York Times reported that American and European ventilators manufacturers say they can’t keep up with the demand for their products.

“The reality is there is absolutely not enough,” said Andreas Wieland, the chief executive of Hamilton Medical in Switzerland, one of the world’s largest makers of ventilators.

BBC QT

“Those private healthcare companies need to pull their weight.” (Image: BBC QT)

“We see that in Italy, we saw that in China, we see it in France and other countries. We could sell I don’t know how many.” He added.

“Italy wanted to order 4,000, but there’s not a chance, we sent them something like 400.”

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