NHS: Former chief says UK preparation was a 'mess'
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Former NHS Trust chairman Roy Lilley has reacted to a parliamentary report which reveals the Government was unprepared for the Covid pandemic. The report has suggested two-thirds of NHS staff who “might have been available to manage emergencies were focused on Brexit”. The report comes as the Government’s top scientific advisors urged Britons to exercise caution amid growing cases of Covid.
Speaking to GB News, Mr Lilley said: “Report is interesting.
“It says a lot of the staff that might have been available to manage emergencies were focused on the exit from the European Union and the likely disruption from that.
“And two-thirds of those staff were involved on Brexit and had to be transferred away from that into the pandemic.
“And because it’s a cost you know.
“I mean, if you said to the Treasury, we’re gonna need 5 billion, lots of masks, PPE and whatever it is- it’s going to cost 35 billion.”
He went on: “The Treasury would say, ‘well, no, we’re not going to buy 35 billion quids worth of PPE and put it in a warehouse at Heathrow in case we need to use it’.
“Then, of course, we didn’t have the PPE.
“Suddenly guess what every other country wanted PPE. And guess what? The people making it were in China.”
“They were all off sick with COVID.
“So it was a mess.
“There’s no question about it. It was s a mess.”
It said the Government failed to learn from simulation exercises and was distracted by Brexit.
Downing Street said its response to the pandemic was guided by scientific and medical experts.
More than 143,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Britain.
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