HANCOCK HAS THE BLOOD OF THOUSANDS ON HIS HANDS
Former Health Secretary's deadly Covid protocol slammed by doctors in 2020 – but was implemented anyway
By Jacqui Deevoy
WHEN former health secretary Matt Hancock first presented brand new guideline NG163 from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in early 2020 to a panel of nine doctors and two professors, he was disappointed with their response.
NG163 is the Covid protocol reminiscent of the abolished Liverpool Care Pathway and used to treat those presenting with respiratory issues.
After studying it, the medics, all familiar with end of life care procedures, said they were “concerned that uncritical use of NG163 may create unintended risks for people with suspected or actual Covid19 infection” and suggested the flawed guideline should not be implemented.
The new guideline replaced NG31, which detailed how to deal with people dying of cancer. The doctors pointed out that, with regards to the old guideline, the evidence base was so poor that specific dosages were not recommended. They were concerned that dosages of certain end-of-life drugs such as Midazolam and morphine –recommended in NG163 – were so specific.
In a letter, published on April 20 2020, the eminent experts, led by Professor Emeritus Sam H Ahmedzai, the doctors and professors, point out that “while NG163 states: ‘Note that symptoms can change and patients can deteriorate rapidly in a few hours or less’, there is no counterpoint that most patients without the preconditions above will eventually recover”.
They also state that, while there was plenty of detail on dosing Covid patients with powerful medications, there is no advice on monitoring the patients, nor on weaning them off the drugs.
Another major concern of the panel was the fact that NG163 states: “Sedation and opioid use should not be withheld because of a fear of causing respiratory depression.”
This is probably the most frightening line ever to be written into a NICE guideline, as it is plainly telling nurses not to be put off giving the prescribed drugs due to a fear that the patient’s breathing will dramatically slow down. They are simply being told to disregard any concerns they may have and to administer the drugs anyway.
Doctors prescribing this medication – and many of the nurses giving them – know that using Midazolam and morphine concomitantly will slow down breathing (to the point of death if it’s administered continuously via a syringe driver), but this very clear instruction is telling them not to worry about that.
How many nurses administered this killer cocktail of ‘end-of-life drugs’ to patients, not all of whom were presenting with respiratory symptoms, or to those who, in some cases, appeared to have nothing more than a positive result from a non-diagnostic, not fit-for-purpose PCR test, knowing it was going to kill them?
Some doctors and nurses have since admitted wondering about the potentially lethal effect of this combination of benzodiazepines and opioids and knew that the doses they were giving were way too high, but very few spoke out and the vast majority just continued to follow orders.
Further into the letter, the professors and doctors rightly point out that if Covid-19 infection were uniformly fatal, the instruction to doctors and nurses to ignore any concerns in administering these drugs would be acceptable. But by then, many experts were seeing Covid as no more dangerous than the flu.
This is explained in the letter as follows: “For people not previously known to be at the end of life, there is potential risk of unintended serious harm if these medications are used incorrectly and without the benefit of specialist palliative care advice.”
In conclusion, the nine doctors and two professors clearly stated in the letter that the Covid protocol NG163 had the potential to cause serious harm and all 11 agreed that it needed reviewing.
Any sensible health secretary would have taken this advice on board but Hancock decided to ignore it and implement the protocol anyway. Hancock has the blood of thousands on his hands.
The letter, published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and signed by all 11 doctors, can be read here.