On 24th June 2020, MPs voted on a motion that would have introduced weekly testing of NHS workers and care staff. The motion was introduced by Jon Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Throughout the pandemic, our main concern as an opposition party has been to minimise harm and keep people safe. Central to this is an effective, rigorous system of testing that suppresses the virus, rather than simply managing its spread.
Disgracefully, Conservative MPs voted the motion down in the House of Commons, including the MP for Folkestone and Hythe, Damian Collins.
We urge you to write to Damian Collins to express your concerns at his e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We suggest adapting the following template for your e-mail:
Dear Damian Collins MP,
I write to you as a [local constituent/local health care worker – insert your address here so that Damian Collins’ office knows you live in the constituency] about the vote in Parliament on 24th June 2020 on Testing of NHS and Social Care Staff.
I was deeply disappointed to read that you voted against the motion introduced by the Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, which would have legislated for mandatory weekly testing of NHS and Social Care staff for Covid-19.
I strongly believe that the key to safely easing the lockdown and safeguarding the NHS and social care is the introduction of an effective system that finds cases, tests cases, isolates and supports those who have tested positive or have been required to self-isolate. Such a system of regular, rigorous testing is vital in the NHS and in care home settings where outbreaks can occur with terrible consequences. Tragically, we saw this locally in the cases and deaths at Pelham House Care Home in Folkestone. It is clear that a better system of testing and tracing would have saved lives.
UK wide, we continue to hurtle to one of the worst death-tolls in the world, with over 65,000 excess deaths, including 26,000 excess deaths in care homes. I would therefore like to know why you voted against this motion, and what the Government is doing to put in place an effective system of tracing and testing as a matter of urgency?
I look forward to hearing from you,
[Insert your name]