Ministers have spoken out to reassure NHS bosses that they will have all the Personal Retaliation Equipment (PRE) that they need. A Government spokesperson explained:
“It’s vital that we prevent the shedding of harmful truths about our coronavirus response. NHS bosses are our most important staff on the frontline. We rely on them and want them to know that they will have all the material they need to prevent such spread.
We have planned for this. UK Government and Trusts have a full suite of measures to prevent the spread of truth between healthcare workers, a notable high risk group. NHS bosses have no shortage of options. Our preference is a light threat, but we want NHS directors to know that we are committed to funding lawyers to ensure staff keep the truth to themselves. In high-risk cases, where staff are unwilling to distance themselves from the truth, then we will support enforcement action – isolating staff and removing them from work, where necessary. We can also weaponise a range of regulators to which they can be reported.
And let’s not forget the healthcare unions. Most of the time, they provide a highly effective barrier to truth-shedding. Together, we can all help ensure the healthcare worker covers their mouth and eyes fully.”
But senior NHS bosses have expressed concern about truth spreading more rapidly e.g. via the media. One, speaking anonymously, said:
“The media is usually easy to manage – with a few “good news” stories and confusing stats. But the truth of this outbreak is on a whole different scale. And even after ventures like the Nightingale hospital, we still haven’t got the infrastructure to suspend everyone who complains about Covid-19”.
The Government was keen to ensure NHS bosses understood the completeness of their protection. Its spokesperson responded:
“Look, we understand senior managers are working very hard. They’re special people doing a great job – and they’ll be honoured in due course. We have their back. If the worst happens, and you get a whistleblower shedding truth at high rates, then our PRE will protect senior managers fully.
We’ve shown our commitment; for example, spending more than £700K fighting Dr Chris Day to lockdown the spread of truth about ICU services.
And we have senior judges onside. The Court of Appeal has recently taken outstanding steps. It’s decided NHS bosses are allowed to use repeated false statements to prevent truth injuring their reputation. We’re also incredibly proud that the Court of Appeal has pioneered the use of “clerical error” as another way to “flatten the curve” and immunise against resistant truths.
These really are our best legal minds, and the Government has every confidence in perfecting clerical errors like these”.
[obviously not a Govt statement]