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Texts and Emails of NHS frontline staff to be used as evidence in COVID public inquiry  

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  • A group of frontline NHS doctors are taking the government to court

Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, an NHS senior intensive care registrar and President of The DA UK, a non-profit organisation of frontline NHS doctors, said over the weekend that a group of frontline doctors is taking the government to court for a public inquiry. The case is going before a judge next week.

Who is Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden?

Dr Batt-Rawden is also known as The Resuscitationist – a blogger and Ted Talk speaker. On her blog, she highlights her views and news on the politicisation of the UK’s health industry and the rise of advocacy for frontline workers, notably the mental toll that the pandemic has had on doctors.

What will the inquiry bring to light?

On her Twitter social media account, she has said: “We are a group of frontline NHS doctors. So far we have collated evidence from frontline health & social care staff, experts & sadly from bereaved families. It is truly shocking. We will share when we can, the case is going before a judge next week for an inquiry. Wish us luck.”

The potential public inquiry evidence

Her Twitter account reports of the arsenal of texts and emails she and others will have to present in their testimony that will “sadly” bring to light nurses and doctors begging for PPE in the days before they caught COVID and died.

The group of doctors’ major arguments, according to Batt-Rawden’s posts include the government’s handling of the pandemic whereby patients with COVID were discharged back to care homes. Other arguments in the inquiry are likely to include evidence of billions of pounds of PPE contracts handed down to companies with links to the government who had never produced PPE ever before. “All whilst NHS staff continued to go onto the frontline in bin liners and get sick,” according to Batt-Rawden.

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Death in service campaign

The DAUK has also been leading the call for death in service benefits for all doctors. According to their site, many doctors are not eligible for death in service benefits including retired doctors returning to service, academic doctors, doctors forced out the pensions scheme due to the punitive pensions tax.

A DAUK report states:

“In March [2020] we wrote to the Health Secretary asking that death all doctors have their families provided for should they become unwell whilst on the COVID-19 frontlines.

A cross-party consensus of 50 MPs on compensation for frontline NHS workers has now been established.

Whilst the government has subsequently committed to a one-off ‘Life Assurance’ payment of £60,000 to bereaved families of frontline NHS workers, we do not believe this goes far enough.”

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