Dear Sir,

Thanks Stuart Jarvis (letters, April 8) for highlighting David Johnston MP in his pathetic parroting of the party line on government's failures on testing for Covid-19 and provision of PPE for frontline NHS staff.

What a contrast with the positive initiative by Layla Moran supporting compensation for families of victims of these failures.

However, NHS senior management cannot share in the praise given to the frontline heroes who – too often – have died lacking proper protection. One of the saddest stories on Channel 4 News featured the male nurse who died after being refused to be admitted to hospital by the trust he had served for 20 years.

Columnist Patrick Cockburn recently portrayed NHS England efforts in the 'war on Covid-19' as less like WWII but more like WWI where the heroes in the trenches were 'lions led by donkeys'.

Throughout the Tory austerity decades, Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, made only token protests against funding, staffing and equipment cuts to his service.

Last week you rightly condemned low-life criminals who exploit such a crisis, but we should equally abhor big business profiteering at this time.

Spain, reasonably, requisitioned all private health resource, cutting out any profit. Could it be the considerable stakes in the UK private healthcare held by many of David Johnston's colleagues preventing the same happening here?

Big pharma is always suspect.

Richard Heron

Garston Lane