HCSA - the hospital doctors’ union - has today written urgently to Secretary of State Matt Hancock to seek answers on a series of concerns raised by members.
- the stated timeframe for the phasing out of routine procedures
- availability and guidelines on Personal Protective Equipment
- the status of hospital doctors advised to self-isolate by public health authorities
- prioritisation of Covid-19 testing for NHS staff
- security arrangements for hospitals
- accommodation available for safe working
- legal protections for doctors asked to work outside their area of expertise or returning to work
- ill-health retirement and death in service benefits for all staff
- status of agency workers who are sick or should be self-isolating
- psychological and emotional support and advice for NHS staff during and after the pandemic.
We expect to update members on these issues shortly.
An HCSA spokesman said: “Hospital doctors are doing their utmost to get facilities ready for a big upsurge in cases, but they are reporting serious concerns when it comes to several key areas of preparation.
“We are seeking answers so we can ensure that when that upswing in cases comes the main thing our hospital staff are worrying about is treating patients, not the conditions they are having to work in.
“We have an extremely narrow window to get this right.”