Ministers face mounting pressure for more protective kit for NHS staff during coronavirus crisis

Ministers are facing mounting pressure to give frontline NHS staff the protective equipment they need during the coronavirus crisis.

Saturday, 21st March 2020, 10:24 am
Updated Saturday, 21st March 2020, 10:25 am

Former Tory Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, joined calls for the government to ‘sort this out’, adding: “We are asking people to put their own lives at risk on the NHS front line.

“It is absolutely heartbreaking when NHS frontline professionals don't have the equipment that they need.

“I think the Government has done a lot in the last week. I think they have unblocked the supply chains, but there is this question about whether it is the right equipment.”

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Staff in all Sheffield's hospitals are involved in the fight against coronavirus

He spoke after Lisa Anderson, a consultant cardiologist at St George's Hospital in London, said the Government had changed the rules so they were no longer compliant with World Health Organisation recommendations, which require medics to wear a full gown and visor.

She said that since Monday, staff in the NHS only had to wear a simple face mask, short gloves and a pinafore apron.

“This is not just about the risk to ourselves and our families. We are travelling home on the Tube, on buses,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“Sainsbury's this morning has announced that they are opening up the early hours to the frail, elderly and NHS workers. We are cross-infecting everybody at the moment.

“There is a lack of protection for us which extends to a lack of plan of how to segregate patients clean and dirty, how to protect us and keep us away from the public. Doctors have no faith in what is going on.”

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