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Ivor Morgan’s family want an inquiry to look into advice given by the 111 service

Two women whose fathers died during the coronavirus pandemic want an inquiry into how it was handled by ministers.

Leigh Morgan-Jones, from Newport, and Nicky Getgood, from Cardiff, say there are unanswered questions about the initial response to the outbreak.

They are part of the Covid Bereaved Families For Justice group which wants Boris Johnson to call a public inquiry covering all the governments of the UK.

The UK and Welsh governments both said there should be an inquiry but not yet.

Opposition parties in Wales want an independent inquiry scrutinising the Welsh Government’s actions to report to the Senedd before next May’s election.

Mrs Morgan-Jones thinks there should be scrutiny of the advice that was being given by NHS 111 phone service.

Her father Ivor Morgan, 75, died with coronavirus at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport in early April.

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Jackie Morgan phoned 111 when her husband Ivor was feeling unwell

He had recently returned from a holiday in Spain with his wife Jackie.

While Mr Morgan was feeling unwell, his wife twice called 111, and both times was told he should stay at home and wait.

Mrs Morgan-Jones said her father was weak, had no appetite, low blood pressure and had been collapsing.

“How can we tell a 75-year-old man to wait, in the middle of a pandemic?” she said.

“Nobody even came to check his oxygen levels, to check his basics.”

Mr Morgan was eventually sent to hospital when a nurse came to the house to treat a wound after he collapsed and fell down the stairs.

“I feel guilty that I wasn’t there,” she added.

“My mother is racked with guilt, she thinks she should have kicked up more of a fuss.

“But you follow the rules. I’ll never trust 111 again.”

She wants the inquiry to analyse the advice that was being given by 111 at the beginning of the pandemic.

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William Getgood was known to his friends as Ernie

“It’s about learning and getting an evidence base from what we now know to enable us to care for people far better and to save lives for a second, third, fourth wave,” she said.

Lee Brooks, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s director of operations, said the 111 service had been “enormously valuable” during the pandemic.

He extended his “heartfelt condolences” to the family.

“We welcome any and all feedback so that we can make improvements for its users in the future,” he added.

“We would invite Mr Morgan’s family to contact us directly to share their experience of what happened in order for us to understand more.”

Ms Getgood wants answers about the level of protection given to care homes and the timing of lockdown.

Her father William died at his Cardiff nursing home in late March but he was never tested so she does not know for certain whether he had coronavirus.

Because of restrictions in place at the time she could not be with him when he died.

“It’s horrible to think of him, just going by himself like that,” Ms Getgood said.

“I always thought I could be there for the bulk of it and be there with him on that journey and just let him know that he was loved.

“And I couldn’t be and it was horrible.

“And actually when I got the call to say he’d gone, that was kind of better than knowing he was on his own and dying without anyone there with him.”

Ms Getgood said there were “so many unanswered questions” about decisions made at the outset of the pandemic.

She added: “At the time we were repeatedly told ‘unprecedented times’, and that meant we should accept the fact that things weren’t as they should be.

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William Getgood with his children when they were younger

“Really basic questions like, did he have Covid-19 or not?

“Or whether the home was accepting hospital discharges, or how he got it, was it locked down too late, because he got it so early on?

“And those questions still haven’t been answered really.

“And it just feels like so many people who should have been protected and who were vulnerable were exposed to it due to lack of forethought.”

Ms Getgood feels the government response in the early part of the crisis “wasn’t enough”.

“It felt disorganised, reactive rather than thought out and it just wasn’t half as robust as it should be,” she said.

“It just left so many people exposed who needed to be shielded from that, who needed protection.

“It’s just awful really.”

The prime minister has said there will be an independent inquiry but now is not the time.

The Welsh Government has said there should be an independent inquiry into its handling of the pandemic, but as part of a UK-wide probe.

A spokesman said: “The first minister has already indicated his support for a future public inquiry.

“For now, our focus remains on ensuring everything is done to protect people in Wales through the pandemic.”



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