Ensure NHS staff have World Health Organisation standard PPE against Covid

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#SaveSouthendNHS campaign are petitioning Mid and South Essex Hospital CEO Clare Panniker, all local Essex MPs who serve the constituencies covered by Southend, Basildon and Mid Essex Hospitals, Secretary of State Matt Hancock and PM Boris Johnson.

  • Last week the NHS changed its guidance for the provision on Personal Protective Equipment for its staff. This goes against World Health Organisation (WHO) Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) guidance.
  • We are at war with #Covid19 yet staff in our 'Hot Zone' Emergency Departments alongside other clinical areas are not being provided with the PPE they need to carry out their work whilst ensuring their safety at all times.
  • Please read, sign and share this petition to help protect staff and get the full WHO PPE kit our NHS staff require to keep them fully protected. 

Instead of following the World Health Organisation’s guidelines, which recommend health staff wear a full gown and visor when managing suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients, NHS staff are left faced with the most basic kit.


Public Health England changed guidance and now are only given a standard white plastic pinny and a loose poorly-fitted surgical face mask. There's little eye protection unless they’ve bought their own as many are doing or staff have relied on donations from local businesses. Their uniform leaves them with arms and neck fully exposed which they then sit in for their breaks in the "non-covid cold' areas.

Put simply, they are now only able to use full PPE kit: respirator masks, visors and gowns when they do ‘aerosol’ creating procedures (for example when securing a patient’s airway to assist breathing) on confirmed cases.
This is a much less stringent approach than that currently being used in Italy, where the pandemic it at its worst and already over 3,000 workers have contracted the infection. 
COVID-19 is spread by droplets – when a patient coughs or breathes during examination, during suctioning to clear a patient’s airway; even when just talking closely to patients to ask how they are feeling.

Even with PPE restrictions in place, some hospitals including those in the Mid and South Essex Hospital group are already experiencing shortages, and managers are rationing equipment for only the most necessary patient intervention.
This is unacceptable – staff should be able to care for patients safely at all times and without the restriction of available PPE - WHO standard PPE. 
Staff don’t want to be scared but they are. We are getting a constant stream of messages from them saying there isn’t enough PPE and that hospitals are changing advice (and restricting use) daily.

It is undeniable that healthcare professionals across the country will fall ill or die due to this lack of protection (several have already been ventilated due to contracting the illness at work and many more symptomatic or confirmed).
Anyone who works in healthcare wants to help win this war, and sadly will do their best with or without proper PPE. But they shouldn’t have to risk their lives so unnecessarily.

Ultimately, what we want our healthcare leaders to do for staff is simple -Keep them safe. Give them FULL WHO guidance PPE for all suspected and confirmed cases of Covid19.
Save their lives so they can save yours.