A People’s Health Watch needs to be vigilant in watching Government. This blog examines the UK Government's response to COVID 19 from the perspective of good government.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), trust in government is based on integrity, fairness and openness, assuring citizens that the government is working in their interest, and not that of a select few. It is also about competence, responsiveness and reliability in delivering public services and anticipating new needs.
What is meant by a ‘participatory movement’? I like to use the term very loosely to describe any action(s) taken by a person(s) to push for change. This could range from an individual starting a petition calling on MPs to provide free school meals, a group of students at a university holding a rent strike in response to their university’s lack of support for their students mental health or an organisation that builds public support for its campaigns against a new UK-US trade deal. But one thing which is key is that it is ‘people’ powered. They are movements of people making noise and pushing for change on issues which affect them and others around them.
The BBC has very helpfully put together a chart of private sector involvement in the Test and Trace system for Covid-19 and this is reproduced below. The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson deliberately refers to these arrangements as being an NHS system and that they were set up in the face of the enormity of the pandemic as it was the best way to respond quickly and effectively. But we at Peoples’ Health Watch know differently. There is a definite, purposeful pattern here which is further confirmed by the scandal that surrounds the provision of Personal Protective Equipment which the National Audit Office itself has deemed as highly unsatisfactory.