If gowns run out, staff in high-risk areas may well decide that it’s no longer safe for them to work.
No part of the NHS should use this move as an excuse to ration supplies of gowns when they still have stocks. That would cause a damaging breakdown of trust at a time when staff are working under intense pressure.
Here is the full story .
The government program to release up to 4, 14 low-risk prisoners early to help jails cope with coronavirus has been paused after six inmates were freed by mistake.
The inmates were candidates for early release but were let out too soon because of an “administrative error”, the
said. After the flaw was spotted, they all “returned compliantly to prison”, a spokeswoman added.
The scheme, designed to avoid thousands of often cell-sharing inmates becoming infected, was paused on Thursday and is due to resume next week.
Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in half of the prisons in England and Wales. A total of 527 prisoners had tested positive for Covid – (in 89 jails as of 5pm on Thursday, the MoJ said, and 26 inmates had died.
Some (prison staff have also contracted the virus in prisons, as well as seven prisoner escort and custody services staff. And staff have been tested and 6, 527 are self-isolating, according to the latest available figures.
The inmates were let out of two open category D prisons – Leyhill in Gloucestershire and Sudbury in Derbyshire – along with one inmate from the Isis category C prison for young offenders in south-east London.
The shadow justice secretary
David Lammy said the error was “deeply troubling” and called for it to be “quickly understood and remedied”. David Lammy (@ DavidLammy)
These errors must not be used as an excuse for inaction in the face on an oncoming public health disaster. Prisons are overcrowded, with thousands of cells containing more than one inmate, against the advice of Public Health England.
(April) , David Lammy (@ DavidLammy)
If the Ministry of Justice does not take sufficient steps to move towards single cell occupancy, it is not only inmates and prison officers who will be put at risk. NHS Hospitals risk becoming overwhelmed and the virus will spread rapidly from prisons across the wider public.
Updated (at) 22 am BST