The SoR has sent a second letter to the Secretary of State for Health, telling him that "it is difficult to believe anything you or your officials say."
Signed by Dean Rogers, the Society's director of industrial strategy and member relations, the letter says, "We will never compromise our members’ safety and so you can be certain we will continue to support any of our members who refuse to work without the appropriate PPE, as identified in credible health and safety risk assessments."
The follow-up to the first letter sent on 27 March asking what is being done to alleviate the "chronic shortage" of PPE and Covid-19 tests, in the latest correspondence Dean accuses Matt Hancock of misleading "the clinical community and the wider public. There have been attempts to justify such lies as being politically expedient - the need to reassure the nation being prioritised over the truth.
"When writing to you previously we warned that this was a dangerous strategy, particularly when it is essential your government retains the confidence and trust of the staff on the frontline through a prolonged campaign against this virus. Such lies are corrosive and make it difficult to believe anything you or your officials say to reassure our members."
Dean continues, "Last weekend was a new low for our members. With our members still missing vital PPE to protect themselves, patients and their wider communities, any pretence of blurring the truth to protect national morale was missing from the cynical moves to:
Dean points out that "knowingly to send soldiers into a battle zone without the appropriate protective clothing leading to unnecessary, additional injuries and likely fatalities during the height of a military campaign" would lead to calls for a public inquiry and legal challenges from victims' families. Yet this is the exact position in which you and your senior officials have put our members with minimum acknowledgement. We write to tell you to prepare for the same outcomes."
The letter concludes, "We expect the spin to stop and hope a more honest approach can re-establish the trust and help facilitate some honest reflection when the appropriate inquiries open in the future. In doing so, we will be properly honouring all of our NHS 'frontline'."