Today @matthancock will attempt to persuade the Commons that he's behaved impeccably throughout this pandemic - and that Cummings’ accusations of serial lying are, themselves, a lie.

But the fact is, @matthancock *has* lied during the pandemic - and I can prove it. (1/16)
At the end of March 2020, the government rhetoric was all about “protecting” care homes, even as care home workers appeared on social media reporting their terror at being provided with no PPE whatsoever. (2/16)
At the time, I was working as a hospice doctor. Although hospices are classified as ‘hospitals’ in terms of clinical governance, when it comes to PPE they are counted as ‘care homes.” I.e: in supply chain terms, we were the lowest priority, just like care homes. (3/16)
During the first wave, my hospice was supplied with the same official PPE as care homes. Namely, a single box containing one roll of plastic aprons, one box of gloves and one box of paper masks. We had 300 masks in total – enough to last 2 or 3 days at most. (4/16)
Like care homes, we were desperate. We begged local schools, vets & businesses for donations of PPE without which, we feared, we would be unable to stay open safely. Doctors & nurses were already dying. We knew that without proper PPE, our staff could be infected at work. (5/16)
By early April, despite the generosity of our local community, we were down to our last box of masks. Headlines about lack of PPE had, by this stage, propelled @matthancock into announcing, with much fanfare, a 24/7 NHS PPE “hotline” you could call for urgent supplies. (6/16)
We innocently called the much-publicised hotline. Again and again and again. We emailed. We called. We emailed again. No answer to the messages and calls. Eventually my boss got through. (7/16)
But the voice on the end of the phone said: we can’t help you. “I don’t think you understand,” said my boss. “If you can’t supply us with any more masks we will have to close the hospice tomorrow and send our [terminally ill] inpatients to A&E.” (8/16)
The reply, incredibly, was the same: “We can’t help you.” This from the official emergency supply chain hotline. “Why don’t you try this number at the Department of Health?” the man said. So my boss called DoH. Guess what – closed after 5pm and on answerphone. (9/16)
At this point, I started cry. I looked at my boss, himself so appalled, and couldn’t comprehend that our terminally ill patients meant so little to the government that they were willing to allow something this callous - this barbaric - to occur. (10/16)
“I will fix this,” I told my boss. I didn’t know how, but I was determined somehow to make it right. That night, after much begging & calls to an amazing charity - the @theHWF – we were given 1000 masks. The donation felt like a miracle. It meant our patients were saved. (11/16)
But this was no thanks whatsoever to @matthancock or @DHSCgovuk. The fact is, no-one in government gave one single damn about my terminally ill hospice inpatients who faced eviction - in the last days of their life - because of government PPE failings. (12/16)
It is the single most disgusting example of dereliction of duty I have ever encountered in my 12 years as a doctor. A truly hideous gulf between political rhetoric ("we’ll protect you!") and actual reality (we’ll throw you to the wolves). (13/16)
So when, today, @matthancock tells you that he’s never lied, that care homes were always protected, and that he threw a protective ring round them, please remember my hospice. Exactly like the country's care homes, we were an afterthought, an irrelevance, hung out to dry. (14/16)
The fact is, no-one in power gave a thought to protecting our inpatients. They came within hours of being turfed out of their hospice to die in a Covid-ridden A&E. Because @matthancock - for all his fine words - had abandoned them. (15/16)
He *did* lie. He *didn’t* protect care homes. And he’s lying again now in claiming otherwise.

And - as someone who dedicates their entire professional life to caring for some of society’s most vulnerable members, our terminally ill - I think this absolutely stinks. (16/16)

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More from @doctor_oxford

5 Jun
Palliative care at its beautiful best. Here’s @khhosp this evening treating patients to views of pure incandescence 💚🌱
Read 5 tweets
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This is the biggest data grab in NHS history.

It involves the most private & intimate details of a person’s life.

It’s being rushed through on the sly, without transparency or dialogue.

Worst of all - unless you opt out, your medical data’s harvested.…
To those who (understandably) see the huge potential health benefits of mining a vast NHS dataset - yes, absolutely, this could do enormous good. But you simply cannot use individual medical data without informed consent. This is a rushed, sneaky, non-transparent data grab.
Of course we’re meant to be reassured by @NHSX that all data will be anonymised. But data breaches have occurred before, notably in 2014. And if it’s all so benign, why the rush, why the secrecy, why the lack of transparency? Harvesting health records on the sly is wrong.
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The elephant in the room throughout Cummings' testimony is precisely how Whitty, Vallance & others were advising the PM last March. On 12 Mar they abandoned test & trace *and* said shielding was not yet necessary.

We need urgently to hear from them now.…
On self-isolation of elderly and infirm, Whitty stated on camera on 12 Mar: "While we will need to move to that stage, we do not think this is the right moment along the pandemic to do so. But that point will come."
Incredibly, on 12 Mar the *only* advice aimed specifically at protecting those over 70 & with pre-existing health conditions was not to go on cruises.…
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Oh - & by making the guidance advisory only - paving the way for future 'blame residents' spin (1/3)
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Mixed messaging is disastrous - it erodes trust & public confidence. (2/3)
Yet here we are, 16 months down the line, with a govt *still* spinning, *still* obfuscating, *still* putting its popularity above people's lives.

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It will *inevitably* lead to more avoidable deaths from Covid.

And it sickens me 😔 (3/3)
Read 4 tweets
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Here is how you imagine the 150k lives lost to Covid.

It’s just taken me 10 mins to walk the half kilometre length of the national @CovidMemorialUK wall, directly opposite parliament.

Each heart represents one of those 150k lost, those families changed forever.

Please share 💔
Here is St Thomas’s Hospital, directly behind the memorial wall. Tommy’s staff have been out painting hearts, honouring patients and their own colleagues who caught and died from Covid at work.
I wanted to honoury four brave colleagues from @OUHospitals - two porters, one nurse & one administrator - all of whom died from Covid last year. Thank you Philomina, Oscar, Elbert and Peter for your immense courage and selflessness.
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Just how is it that the @TheDA_UK has logged hundreds of reports from doctors describing being threatened, bullied or warned for speaking up over PPE failures - yet mysteriously @NHSEngland, @DHSCgovuk & hospital trusts all seem to deny any problems? (1/4)…
This important piece of journalism from @mancunianmedic gets to the heart of it. Over 1500 reports from doctors of trusts failing to provide them with proper PPE. Nearly 900 deaths of health & care staff. And yet - absolute stony silence from those at the top of the NHS. (2/4)
Time & again the government & our NHS employers have singularly failed to be honest about PPE shortages - not to mention the excess risk to self of being a frontline member of staff.

It's totally wrong. It's treating staff as expendable. It's the opposite of NHS candour. (3/4)
Read 4 tweets

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