Personal protective equipment (PPE) for ALL frontline NHS staff

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Right now, personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS frontline staff is inadequate, inconsistent and not in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.  The WHO guidelines state that all frontline staff caring for COVID-19 patients should be provided with:

  • Medical mask
  • Gown
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection (goggles or face shield).

These are the minimum PPE guidelines for frontline staff.  In higher risk situations, such as intensive care, a respirator (FFP - filtering face piece) mask should be provided.

But the Government is ignoring this. My partner is a nurse caring for patients with respiratory symptoms who are awaiting COVID-19 test results. 

The tests currently take up to 72 hours. Many of the patients are very ill, elderly, vulnerable and have complex needs. Many staff come into contact with patients awaiting their results. That’s why it’s not enough to only give PPE to staff treating those who test positive.

There are PPE shortages across the country. Some are forced to use DIY goggles. Staff like my partner feel inadequately protected and vulnerable to infection, and cannot understand why the required PPE is not being supplied.  

They feel unable to carry out their job properly and protect patients. The NHS is hugely understaffed and NHS trusts rely on both permanent and agency staff to do extra shifts to cope with the shortfalls. We can’t expect workers to take on extra shifts on a ward dealing with actual & potential COVID-19 patients without adequate PPE.

And if we do, we will lose vital key workers in this pandemic if we do not immediately take steps to ensure their safety.  

I urge the Government to guarantee that ALL frontline NHS staff feel safe and valued, by providing adequate masks, gowns, gloves & eye protection for ALL those coming into contact with potential COVID-19 patients (including those dealing with unconfirmed cases).

Please sign to add pressure on the Government to ensure PPE is in place NOW in all places where it is needed. 

Thank you for your support.