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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2020

More dispatches from the front: 'There are so many more patients dying'

NHS staff are on the front line, photo DFID/CC

NHS staff are on the front line, photo DFID/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Week four and still no testing for ICU staff

The main concern with staff at the moment is it's week four in Covid ICU and no sign of anyone being tested yet. We're OK for PPE at this particular trust, but you've seen the news about the shortage elsewhere. We're getting concerned about the number of frontline staff losing their lives.

An NHS intensive care technician

PPE: we won't be divided along occupational lines

Conditions are deteriorating as shortages of promised PPE serially fail to materialise. While morale remains high, there is now an almost complete lack of trust in central government.

The race for supplies also results in inconsistent application of guidance. Some clinicians ask that porters not use gloves or masks despite the serious concerns about transporting patients who are suspected or confirmed sufferers of Covid-19.

While ancillary staff understand that supplies are dwindling, it's no less unacceptable that government continues to view us as cannon fodder. We won't be divided along occupational lines.

An NHS porter

Staff are struggling to cope with the number of deaths

Almost every ward is a Covid ward. Some staff are struggling to cope emotionally with the number of deaths. There are so many more patients dying than usual.

People were very angry with the health secretary's boast that there is excess capacity in intensive care. Maybe there is in some hospitals, especially in areas where they haven't been hit so hard by the coronavirus.

But here, intensive care is totally full. It has been extended into two other areas. As soon as the workmen have finished altering the new wards, patients are being wheeled in.

An NHS catering worker

Excuses, excuses from outsourcing management

Domestics and other outsourced staff feel taken for granted. Before coronavirus hit, the trust was refusing to start discussions on bringing them back in-house.

Now they are saying they can't discuss it because they are too busy dealing with the crisis. What do they think cleaners and porters are busy doing?

They are cleaning Covid wards to prevent transmission; transporting dead bodies. They are keeping the hospital running. A domestic said, "we should have gone on strike now, when they need us the most."

An NHS admin worker

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 21 April 2020:


Frontline workers speak out

Where's our PPE? Where's our testing? Where's our money?

London bus drivers' action over safety stops front door boarding

Care homes coronavirus scandal: blood on their hands

PPE shortages: "I feel so bloody angry"

Trade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

Management tells carers PPE would 'worry' residents

Councils must demand control of supplies and reversal of austerity

More dispatches from the front: 'There are so many more patients dying'


World economy

World economic crisis: A Marxist approach to the coronavirus crunch


Workplace news

No 'back to school' until outbreak is under control and trade union agreed safety arrangements

DWP: Action on workers' safety, and protection of pay and conditions needed

JD Sports: Shut up shop and give us full pay!

RMT: Lift the suspension of Steve Hedley

Bromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!


Lenin at 150

Lenin at 150: A revolutionary life - and the relevance of his ideas to today's working-class struggles


Coronavirus news

National plan for testing needed

Capitalist press attacks Tory incompetence

Tory think tank proposes attack on pensions

Shocking increase in domestic violence killings

US private healthcare system in meltdown

Coronavirus news in brief


Workplace safety

The history of struggle to make the workplace safe


Campaigns

Excellent support for Socialist Party special appeal

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Clapping, driving, postering - for workers' rights

The role of the Socialist during the corona crisis

Policies that really protect the NHS

Coronavirus: Students' charter

Socialism the Podcast: What do our listeners think?


Readers' opinion

Covid-19 patient speaks out: fantastic support from under-resourced health workers

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters


 

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