Gowns for the NHS (3)

I am struck by the question which has been asked in a Comment on my previous post on this subject as to why it is that an inventive country, which we have traditionally been, should have been so hopelessly unable to respond efficiently and at speed to a national emergency, with obvious exceptions, such as the re-equipping of the ExCel Centre into an emergency hospital in the space of ten days. But hospital gowns ? These are not apparently a particularly sophisticated piece of equipment, but make the difference between life and death. Lots of manufacturers have apparently offered their services, including individual makers, as in Hackney, but National Health England seems to have been slow to respond, maybe too centralised, unable to allow independent initiative. Or is it an issue of scale ? An over-dependence on the cheap labour of Turkey and China ? This surely is an issue which bears non-judgmental investigation if and when we ever come out of this crisis and are to learn from it.

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