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GPs left ‘horribly exposed’ to Covid amid ‘lack of support’, BMA says


GPs and practice staff must isolate for 10 days if close contact of Omicron Covid case


The BMA has said that GPs were left ‘horribly exposed’ to Covid amid a ‘desperate lack of support’.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul made the comments in a report by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice setting out what areas the upcoming Covid public inquiry should cover, which the BMA contributed to.

He said: ‘Doctors and other healthcare workers were left horribly exposed to Covid-19 – a novel, highly infectious and potentially fatal virus – with a desperate lack of support provided for NHS staff and hospitals, as well as primary care staff and services. 

‘Due to the government’s obvious failures in adequately protecting frontline workers, support for NHS staff across hospitals and primary care must form part of a comprehensive public inquiry.’

He added: ‘There were 414 deaths involving Covid-19 among healthcare workers between March and December 2020, and in the first wave of the pandemic, 95% of doctors who lost their lives were from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background. 

‘NHS staff have been left feeling burnt out and fatigued, with many doctors experiencing anxiety, depression and PTSD.’

In a statement responding to the publication of the report, Dr Nagpaul said: ‘Government was simply not prepared for the pandemic; it failed to provide sufficient or adequate PPE risking the health and lives of doctors in the course of their duties from a novel, highly contagious virus.

‘The Government must take the Learn Lessons, Save Lives report seriously. It is an opportunity to learn from mistakes of the past, and as the NHS faces its toughest winter yet, along with a potentially dangerous new variant, the stakes couldn’t be higher.’

The BMA last month launched its own review into the lessons learnt from the Covid pandemic, to understand the UK’s high death toll and understand ‘the impact on doctors and the NHS’.

It will focus on:

  • How well GPs and other healthcare workers were protected from Covid-19
  • The impact on GPs and other healthcare workers
  • Delivery of healthcare
  • How effective the public health response was and the impact on the NHS
  • Wider impacts of the Covid pandemic on population health and health inequalities 

It comes as the Government said in May that its own review would not begin until spring 2022.

In Scotland, a public inquiry is due to begin before the end of this year.

READERS' COMMENTS [1]

Scottish GP 1 December, 2021 10:58 pm

And what is the august offended BMA going to do about it. A conference in Fork Hall (gettit)