Regardless of what he says now or of any politeness from the Scottish Government, a sense of impending doom has triggered a panic in the Department of Health and Social Care [England] and its ‘leader’ Matt Hancock.

It happened because the ONS death statistics for last week, published two days ago, were anticipated:

An appalling flood of covid-related deaths outside of hospitals had become apparent and the lack of PPE in care homes and in other areas of non-hospital care had been identified by the English media as a weapon to beat Hancock with.

Suppliers of PPE based in England have been told to prioritise supplies to care homes in England. The emails and the adverts are all over social media demonstrating this truth.

A BBC UK report by Laura Kuenssberg, at 1 am this morning, has the evidence of the pressure on Hancock:

A leaked letter seen by the BBC has revealed an extensive list of concerns about how the social care sector is coping with the coronavirus crisis. The letter raises fears about funding, testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and the shielding scheme for vulnerable people.

On protective equipment for care workers, the letter says the national handling has been “shambolic”. Early drops of equipment have been “paltry” and more recent deliveries have been “haphazard”, with some even being confiscated by border control for the NHS.

What on earth does that last line mean? ‘Border control for the NHS‘ but without speech marks?

A factor not yet apparent to the English media, it seems, is the pre-existing inadequacy in infection control, revealed in several recent inspection reports: