Lessons learnt from a close encounter with triage

This paper, written in June 2020, is a narrative reflection from the viewpoint of a COVID-19 Ethics Working Group in a large London hospital in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our central ethical claim is that a lack of detail in national decision-support guidelines, together with a lack of good quality and visible information sharing between clinical decision-makers in hospitals and communities, led to fear-driven anticipatory triage with serious consequences for patients and NHS staff. We offer some recommendations for minimising these consequences for a potential second wave.

The paper is available here, and we welcome comments, to be directed in the first instance to Dr Ruth Cairns. ruth.cairns@slam.nhs.uk.

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