Covid-19 protesters demand changes to infection control guidelines as ITV series airs

Protesters gathered outside St Thomas’ Hospital on Monday to hand out leaflets and face masks as they demanded changes to “flawed” infection control guidelines in place across the NHS.

The demonstration in Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth North, was organised to coincide with the airing of the new ITV series, Breathtaking, which shows the experience of NHS staff and patients when the pandemic first hit the UK in March 2020.

Nine different Covid-19 organisations were represented at the protest, including Covid Action, Doctors in Unite, Covid Pledge Campaign, Clinically Vulnerable Families, UK Hazards Campaign, Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, Long Covid SOS, Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice and Long Covid Support.

Covid Action committee member Joseph Healy, 66, of Camberwell, said: “It was made clear at the Covid inquiry that the Government knew early on that Covid is an airborne virus. 

Joseph Healy speaking at the protest on Monday (Picture: Covid Action)

“They know, yet still no measures are being taken to protect patients. Many are infected in hospitals – in fact the latest statistics show that 68 per cent of Covid infections in Wales were acquired in hospitals.

“We are calling for clean air and masking to protect both patients and staff.” 

The protest called for hospital trusts and all medical settings to protect patients with efficient ventilation, air filtration and staff equipped with the correct PPE.

Ondine Sherwood, co-founder of Long Covid SOS, said: “People with Long Covid are understandably unwilling to risk reinfection, which can set them back months in any recovery. 

Protesters and Unite trade union representatives gather outside St Thomas’ Hospital (Picture: Covid Action)

“Healthcare settings currently present an unacceptably high risk due to the lack of mitigations against Covid and other airborne pathogens. 

“This needs to change, effective infection control measures must be put in place urgently.”

Written by three doctors, Breathtaking draws on real life experiences, NHS staff become seriously ill and some die as a result of contracting the virus in hospitals, potentially Covid-positive people are sent into care homes without being tested and nurses create makeshift aprons out of bin bags despite the Department of Health’s assurance there was never a PPE shortage.

To sign Covid Actions petition visit:

The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.

Pictured top: A protester holds a sign which reads “Four years on we must learn to live with Covid”, outside St Thomas’ Hospital (Picture: Covid Action)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.