BMA: Government has failed to prioritise getting self-isolating medical staff back to front line

Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Victoria Jones/PA

The Government has so far failed to prioritise getting self-isolating medical staff back on to the front line through testing despite Boris Johnson’s assurances, says the British Medical Association (BMA).

Chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul told the health and social care committee that instructions to self-isolate if showing symptoms of Covid-19 were handicapping the NHS’ ability to deal with the crisis.

He said: “At this time of year, it is estimated that 10% of the population could have a symptom of a temperature or a cough in a non-Covid situation.

“We had situations where many GP practices and hospitals were understaffed, the staff themselves who were self-isolating were telling us they felt able to work but were following the guidance, and that if they were able to be tested they would come back to work.

“It seems counter-intuitive that we are reducing our workforce when we need our NHS workforce the most.

“On March 16 we heard from the Prime Minister an announcement that healthcare workers would be prioritised but that hasn’t materialised.”

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