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Case Update

Government must come clean over lack of PPE for frontline workers

6th May 2021

We have renewed our application for a judicial review against Government’s refusal to hold an urgent public inquiry into the hundreds of frontline NHS staff who lost their lives to Covid-19 with Doctors’‌ ‌Association‌ ‌UK‌ and‌ ‌‌Hourglass‌. 

We were disappointed that permission was refused on the basis that the Prime Minister has committed to holding an inquiry of some sort ‘in the future’ – and (respectfully) do not accept the judge was right to say that the only live issue was the question of timing’, which is a ‘political judgment. This fails to address the central question of our challenge: what kind of inquiry the Government is required to conduct by law. 

Will it be led by a judge or, like Government’s corruption Tsar, be a Conservative MP? And what will it cover? Government has repeatedly refused to confirm that a public inquiry will ask whether failures to get adequate PPE to the frontline contributed to the deaths of NHS staff and care workers. 

This is not a political decision. This is a matter of law. Such an investigation is required under the Human Rights Act 1998 s 6 and Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

At its heart, this case is about getting answers for the families of the individual NHS and social care workers who have lost their lives. We have already learned that civil servants were raising concerns that the procurement of PPE was being hindered by the Government’s focus on VIP contacts and political connections.‌ 

We do not accept that the need for ‌lessons‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌learned‌ ‌and‌ ‌for‌ ‌bereaved‌ ‌families‌ ‌of‌ ‌frontline‌ ‌healthcare‌ ‌workers‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌heard‌ ‌should be a political decision. The families deserve better. We will not back down. 

If you are able to support this challenge, you can do so here



This article is part of our PPE: There needs to be an urgent inquiry case

Frontline NHS staff and care workers are putting their lives at risk because of the Government’s failure to provide adequate PPE. Doctors are having to wear visors made by teenagers on 3D printers. Care workers are being told to share the same mask. A number of the protective gowns that the Government flew in from Turkey have been deemed unsafe for use and are now sat in a warehouse gathering dust.

See more about this case