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Reform grills government on virus response

Reform grills government on virus response

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Reform grills government on virus response


Protective medical equipment availability, not consulting politicians on the decision to build a field hospital, and the lack of a published pandemic plan are among the concerns Reform Jersey has raised in a letter to the Chief Minister.

In her letter, the party's Chair, Lyndsay Feltham, said that while Reform would continue to promote the correct methods to address the current pandemic, they required more “reassurance and consultation about the approaches taken”.

She explained that her letter, penned on behalf of sitting States Members and the wider party, aimed to gain clarification and express “genuine concerns” raised by frontline workers.

Among the “immediate areas of concern” listed in the document is the availability of “effective and fully suitable PPE” - not only for hospitals and frontline health staff, but also in private, Parish, and government-run care homes.

masks_mask_surgical_mask_ppe_personal_protective_equipment_coronavirus.jpg

Pictured: Reform Jersey wants clarification over the availability of PPE.

The letter also questions the availability of medical protective equipment and support for the wider front-line working population across both government and Parish-operated public services, as well as those in essential employment, such as shop workers. 

Earlier this month, during a Scrutiny hearing with the Corporate Services Panel, Chief Executive Charlie Parker said that more guidance was due to differentiate which grades of protection need to be worn by different workers.

He also explained the government had been working centralise the distribution of the kit locally, while drawing on supply chains in Europe as well as “diplomatic channels”.

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Pictured: Construction has started on the field hospital at Millbrook playing fields.

But Reform Jersey also wants to understand why States Members – including Reform’s own elected representatives - were not briefed on the decision to build a £14.4 million “Nightingale” field hospital on Millbrook playing fields.

“In particular we want to be briefed on the timeline for its use, anticipated type of use, and its expected numbers of patients,” Ms Feltham’s letter notes.

Jersey’s only political party is also seeking clarification on the plans for testing islanders for covid-19, as well as immunity to the virus, and how the data will be used to protect the community “as we return to normal life”.

covidcoronavirustesting11.jpg

Pictured: Jersey's testing facility is now up and running.

Finally, Reform is calling for the publication of a pandemic plan “that would give public confidence that the Government has been planning ahead for potential scenarios”.

“We would like formal assurances regarding the issues listed, in terms of: the adequacy of the response, the future plans, and the underlying concern of the safety of health and other essential workers,” Ms Feltham wrote.

“Following the immediate action required, there will also need to be an assessment of how our government was prepared for this type of crisis e.g. how our previous PPE provision affected our preparedness."

READ the full letter below... 

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Comments

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Posted by Dave Mathews on
Her colleague Senator Sam Mezec is the Housing / Childrens Minister.
So does he not know what's going on within the COM he is supposed to be part of?
Posted by Bob Wareing-Jones on
There does appear to be growing concern within the States Assembly and indeed the wider community, that decisions are being made by a small number of Ministers and their Advisors, without the usual scrutiny process. This may well be understandable in times of crisis such as the current pandemic, but in a small community such as ours, with a growing number of conspiracy theories doing the rounds on Social Media causing islanders, many already deeply worried about the potential outcomes of this pandemic, becoming even more restless and anxious. We are also informed that the local media are being prevented from carrying out their role asking searching questions of those in power and authority. This is a risky if true and will only add to the growing anxiety amongst our elected representatives and the wider community. Our nearest neighbours are being hailed as the experts in community engagement whilst Jersey accused of being inept during this crisis. The truth of this is open to debate but surely it is time, as stated by Senator Moore, that the Council of Ministers needs to improve significantly not only its communication with the population but within its elected assembly.
Posted by Philip Hudson on
Worrying Times""""
Posted by Lesley Ricketts on
No doubt Our Government is building a Nightingale hospital because that’s what the British Government has told them to do.
Posted by Jon Jon on
Surely Mezec being reform and on council ministers knows whats going on, but have to say the handling over this virus by the government led by Le Fondre is deplorable.At this time I wished I lived in Guernsey ,led by a much brighter, no hidden agenda, tells it straight ,chief minister.In this island news travels around very quickly ,so all this we can't answer this and that ,forget it... stand infront of the cameras and press ,answer questions that the public ask every day, and give us straight answers or if you can't handle it resign.
Posted by Philip Hudson on
OR perhaps there is a distinct suspicion of the current leaders in Jersey Gov.com and the politics of Jersey, or even a lack of confidence in the present Jersey Gov.com
Posted by Bob Wareing-Jones on
There does appear to be growing concern within the States Assembly and indeed the wider community, that decisions are being made by a small number of Ministers and their Advisors, without the usual scrutiny process. This may well be understandable in times of crisis such as the current pandemic, but in a small community such as ours, with a growing number of conspiracy theories doing the rounds on Social Media causing islanders, many already deeply worried about the potential outcomes of this pandemic, becoming even more restless and anxious. We are also informed that the local media are being prevented from carrying out their role asking searching questions of those in power and authority. This is a risky if true and will only add to the growing anxiety amongst our elected representatives and the wider community. Our nearest neighbours are being hailed as the experts in community engagement whilst Jersey accused of being inept during this crisis. The truth of this is open to debate but surely it is time, as stated by Senator Moore, that the Council of Ministers needs to improve significantly not only its communication with the population but within its elected assembly.
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