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An open letter to Andrew Murrison MP regarding issues related to the coronavirus

April 19, 2020 12:10 AM
By Ellen Nicholson

An open letter to Andrew Murrison MP regarding issues related to the coronavirus

Today (19th April) I have written to local MP Andrew Murrison raising key issues relating to the coronavirus outbreak. I am sharing a copy of the text of the letter below.

Writing

OPEN LETTER TO ANDREW MURRISON MP

19th April 2020

Dear Andrew

As we enter another week of the coronavirus lock-down, I am writing this open letter to raise key issues with you on behalf of the residents of South West Wiltshire, issues that are being widely discussed online and no doubt in homes around the constituency too.

In normal circumstances these questions would be raised in the Houses of Parliament by parliamentary colleagues, however with Parliament not due to return until 21st April, and what that return will look like still unclear, I wanted to raise them directly given their importance to local people.

  1. On Tuesday, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggested that the coronavirus death toll in the UK may be 15% higher than daily NHS figures indicate due to deaths outside of hospitals not being included. Transparency is crucial in the fight against coronavirus so that all sectors involved in fighting it can make informed and effective decisions. It is also key to maintaining public trust and engagement with the stay home, stay safe message.
    As a fellow healthcare professional and former GP, you will understand my concern that care homes and community deaths are also counted, not just those who die in hospital? On behalf of local residents can we count on you to urge your government colleagues to immediately ensure that all those who die of coronavirus are counted,

  2. The continuing issue of PPE. In recent government briefings ministers have seemed to place the blame for the lack of PPE on health workers, accusing those on the front line of using 'precious resources' when they are putting their lives on the line to save people. Why is this the case when it is clear from the appeals for PPE from NHS and other health workers across the country on social media that there is insufficient PPE reaching them in the first place? Indeed recent altered guidance from Public Health England on reuse of PPE higlights the scarcity of this resource.

    Continuing on the issue of insufficient PPE resources, what are you doing to rectify this situation locally for primary care, hot hubs, care homes and other healthcare settings across the constituency?

  3. Testing, without widespread community testing for staff and patients, we will have limited knowledge of the spread of coronavirus in South West Wiltshire. To date the incidence has fortunately remained lower than other parts of the Country, but there is no room for complacency. On behalf of local residents can we count on you to urge your government colleagues to immediately ensure that testing within community settings increases to provide a more accurate picture of the spread of coronavirus?

Finally, I ask you to support the cross-party call for the immediate virtual recall of Parliament. It is crucial that proper scrutiny and accountability is maintained throughout the coronavirus outbreak to ensure that we get through this as a nation as quickly and effectively as possible.

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Regards

Ellen Nicholson

Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for South West Wiltshire