As the number of coronavirus infections increases across the health sector in the UK, bosses and staff members turn to play the blame game.
On Tuesday the Hillingdon hospital in north-west London blocked patients from attending its emergency admissions after an outbreak of coronavirus. About seventy Hillingdon hospital staff members had to self-isolate following the outbreak.
Patients from the A&E department were moved by the London ambulance service to other hospitals as Hillingdon hospital`s staff members who had been working in that department were now in self-isolation, hence there were too few personnel to provide a full range of services in the department.
Sarah Tedford, the chief executive of the hospital that serves Boris Johnson`s constituency, blamed staff members for the outbreak, saying that they disregarded the rules by working without wearing their masks.
The coronavirus outbreak at the hospital started last Friday, but the impact on the workforce escalated since then. The rising numbers of staff have been identified through the track-and-trace scheme as having been in contact with infected colleagues and so had self-isolate.
In a statement to staff on Friday, Tedford said: “All the way through this [pandemic] we have followed national guidance and it has kept us safe. So what is happening now? I am told some of you are not wearing appropriate masks and you are not adhering to social distancing. This has resulted in an outbreak on a ward where our staff have contracted Covid-19.
“If you do not follow the guidance, we cannot keep you safe. I don’t like wearing a mask, but it would be irresponsible of me not to do so. Please think very carefully about what you are doing and ask yourselves if you are keeping yourself safe and if you are keeping each other safe. This is no time to be complacent: we are not out of the woods yet.”
A spokesperson for Hillingdon hospitals NHS foundation trust has reassured the people that the trust is managing the outbreak in accordance with Public Health England guidance.