Health unions have been calling for the scandalised use of FFP3 masks since the start of the pandemic.
Nursing staff are still only routinely being provided with thin surgical masks and aprons.
According to a survey of 2,455 hospital nurses from across the UK undertaken by NursingNotes, a massive 81% are still only behind provided with minimal personal protective equipment (PPE).
Of that figure over half (53%) said they are regularly caring for patients who are either suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19.
Health unions have been calling for the scandalised use of FFP3 masks since the start of the pandemic – a call that has not been heard by policy makers.
Several nurse said they had asked “numerous” times for improved PPE but their request was declined by managers based on current policy.
The latest seasonal guidance from the UK’s Health Security Agency still fails to recommend the routine use of FFP3 masks in clinical settings outside of aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). It comes despite the increased transmissibility of the new Omicron variant.
The survey also found that of the 1,842 responded who said they had been positive for COVID-19, a massive 92% believed they caught the virus at work.
Nearly all respondents said they would like more protection when having patient contact.
Lead Organiser for the group Nurses United responded to the findings, Anthony Johnson said; “The thing all of us need to remember is that the UK is a world leader in the per capita death rate of health and social care professionals.
“It is disgusting that frontline health professionals compassion has been weaponised against us. This Government are a disgrace.
“They are doing everything within their power to convince us all that it’s acceptable for thousands of people to have become sick and to have died.
“Our health and safety has always been something that we have had to fight for. We need to remember that when anyone tells us that we should wear unacceptable PPE.”