Faiza Shaheen, the think tank director, TV pundit, and perpetual Labour Party candidate is still busy campaigning in Chingford and Woodford Green, despite failing to take the seat from Iain Duncan Smith in last year’s election. Has no one told her the election ended five months ago? Her website makes it clear that she is still determined to “Win Chingford & Woodford Green for Labour.”
On her social media last week, Shaheen claimed that Whipps Cross hospital near the Chingford constituency has had to “close wards and divert ambulances because so many nurses and doctors off sick”. She pivoted from her claim to an attack on Matt Hancock over PPE. Sounds worrying…
The reality, however, doesn’t match her campaign hype – Whipps Cross hospital felt the need to release a statement clarifying the misleading claims.
“We can confirm that part of our strategy for managing the pandemic peak is to concentrate more acutely unwell patients at the Royal London and St Bartholomew’s hospitals where we have the greatest critical care capacity. London Ambulance Service has also temporarily agreed to take patients from some parts of our catchment directly to The Royal London, rather than Newham or Whipps Cross, ensuring all parts of our system can cope. We are reviewing this model regularly.
After its official opening, our new hospital, NHS Nightingale Hospital London is continuing to increase capacity, and patients will be admitted as appropriate to receive further intensive care treatment for COVID-19. Whipps Cross hospital has closed a number of wards and redeployed staff to areas of greatest need. This has been possible due to there being a reduction in demand across our services, as mirrored nationally. We have had an increased number of staff absences as a result of COVID-19 but because of the measures we have taken we are managing well and in fact are now seeing our staff absences improve each day.”
Some patients are heading to other hospitals, not for PPE-induced staffing reasons but to match with critical care capacity. Why does Faiza think NHS Nightingale was constructed?
How could Dr Shaheen have been so misinformed about how her local hospital is running? Could it be something to do with the reality that she is not, as TV viewers may be mislead into thinking, a medical doctor? Dr Shaheen has a PhD in ‘the Geography of Poverty between 1971 and 2001’.