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MP demands answers over claim that NHS veto on Wolverhampton hospital lockdown cost 25 lives

By Peter Madeley | Wolverhampton | Coronavirus | Published:

An MP has demanded answers from the Government over a hospital lockdown delay which may have cost up to 25 lives in Wolverhampton.

Wolverhampton New Cross Hospital

Health chiefs in the city say they were forced to keep doors open to visitors at New Cross Hospital at the start of the pandemic, after NHS bosses vetoed plans to implement restrictions sooner.

Pat McFadden MP has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock demanding a response over the issue, which was revealed by Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust boss David Loughton during a recent public meeting.

Questions have previously been raised over the timing of the UK's lockdown, with leading scientific advisors claiming a decision to delay measures had led to thousands of extra infections.

Shadow City Minister Mr McFadden, the MP for Wolverhampton South East, said: "We already know that a crucial nine days was lost between the Government deciding in principle to go into lockdown, and lockdown eventually being introduced on March 23.

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"During that time the virus was spreading exponentially. What we don’t yet know is the full cost in human lives of that delay or why the Government dithered for those nine days.

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"Now our own local hospital chief executive has said that he fears crucial days were also lost in the early stages of the outbreak through being leant on from above not to stop all visiting.

"I believe David Loughton and the hospital Chairman Steve Field have done a very good job during this crisis and what they say should be taken very seriously.

"I will be writing to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ask for his response to what Mr Loughton has said."

In his letter Mr McFadden asks whether similar instructions were given to other NHS chief executives who may have been considering the same course of action.

Mr Loughton said he would “never know for sure” the cost of the delay but estimated it to be “potentially” 25 lives.

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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