GPs have lost faith in Government’s coronavirus response, survey reveals

A total of 680 GPs took the survey between June 5 and June 8.

Family doctors cited problems with the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), slow implementation of a test, trace and isolate system and the UK’s death toll, second only to the United States, as reasons for their lack of confidence. 

They also criticised confusion over “shielding” policies. Early this month, ministers announced that shielded people would be able to leave the house to meet one other person – but that announcement was criticised by GPs, who were not warned of the change of policy.

On Tuesday, it emerged that more than two million people under orders to stay at home and be fully shielded are set to be told they can stop isolating at the end of next month. 

While Downing Street insisted no final decision had been made, other Government sources said the policy will be relaxed in July. 

Dr Zishan Syed, a GP partner in Kent, said: “The UK Government’s response has been poor, with little interest in the welfare of frontline clinicians. I have lost all faith in them.”

A Government spokesman said: “This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we have taken the right steps at the right time to combat it, guided by the latest scientific advice.

“Our response has ensured that the NHS has capacity for everyone who needs it and that it can provide the best possible care for people who become ill.

“The NHS Test and Trace service is up and running and helping to save lives. Data from the first week shows thousands of people who tested positive have been contacted, meaning almost 27,000 have been advised to self-isolate.”

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