Senior members of the Libertarian Party have called for a public enquiry into the readiness of the NHS for the coronavirus pandemic.
Labour has called on the government to publish the suppression of an all-party pandemic exercise from 2016, Operation Cygnus, accurately predicting the NHS was ill-prepared for an infectious and deadly disease.
The Libertarian Party have pointed also to the CHPI (Centre for Health and the Public Interest) report from 2013* that notes “The report finds that in a major pandemic the newly reorganised NHS in England is likely to face extra challenges”.
The report adds “The potential problems stretch from the top, with an ill-defined role expected of the Chief Medical Officer, through confusing multiple and parallel structures embracing the NHS, Public Health England and local government, right down to the front line with its increasing number of private providers”.
Party Leader, Adam Brown, said, “Repeated studies have questioned the readiness of the NHS to deal with such a pandemic as is now upon us.
“This Conservative government have had a number of years to prepare for this scenario, yet have failed in their duty to protect the people.
“Now is not the time for recriminations and we should do all we can to support our fantastic medical personnel.
“Once this crisis is over, however, we must have a Public Enquiry to ensure these brave staff have the equipment and facilities they require to deal with future outbreaks.”
Party Chairman, Dan Liddicott, said, “I praise and admire unreservedly, the Doctors, Nurses, Medics, and other front line staff taking personal risk.
“But I don’t applaud the institution of the NHS; a creaking institution, desperately overdue for reform.
“People within our health service, who are trying to succeed, do so in spite of it rather than because of it.
“The inflexibility of the NHS, in spite of the best efforts of front line staff, is why we are on such a severe lock-down.
“When this is all over the subject of NHS reform will need looking at, we can’t do it this way again and we shouldn’t have to, and neither should the front line staff.”