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The Government is happy with a laissez faire approach (except for GPs)

I have a confession. When the Prime Minister gave his speech on the next stage of lockdown on Sunday, I thought it was ok. I was worried that, following Donald Trump in the US and the calls from some of the mainstream media, he would abandon lockdown in favour of the economy. So the minimal changes – opening parks, allowing exercise – seemed sensible.

But the communications since have aged that opinion badly. I have no clue what is allowed, encouraged, discouraged or outright banned. Employers don’t seem to know who should be working from home or outside. And the rules around meeting people outside the home are baffling.

The public is crying out for more instruction

The only thing that seems clear is that the responsibility for interpreting the rules has been given to the public. Which doesn’t seem like a great way to manage a public health crisis – you only need to look outside to see life going on as normal.

But there is an exception to this. One group has been instructed on what they must do. And that group is… well, you can guess. The latest diktat is for primary care networks to ensure every care home has a named clinician. If this isn’t happening, there may need to be regulation, says NHS England.

GPs don’t need telling about the crisis in care homes. But this administrative burden will not do anything for those residents. It simply deflects from the errors made from sending potential Covid-19 patients back into the homes.

The public is crying out for more instruction. So reverse the situation where they are getting suggestions, while the professionals who understand this a lot better are getting diktats.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at