Hancock refuses to apologise to front-line staff forced to work without PPE

Earlier this week Mr. Hancock suggested that some areas were struggling for PPE as NHS staff had overused it.

Ian Snug
12 April 2020
Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock remains insistent that there are record amounts of protective equipment available to front-line workers.

The Health Secretary today refused to apologise to NHS staff who have been forced to care for COVID-19 patients without the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE).

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Speaking at Downing Street’s daily press conference, Matt Hancock remained insistent that there are “record amounts [of PPE] in the system.”

Both the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the British Medical Association (BMA) say their members are still reporting incidents where healthcare staff are being forced to care for patients with “either no or poor access to PPE”.

Earlier this week Mr. Hancock suggested that some areas were struggling for PPE as NHS staff had overused it.

Asked if he would apologise, the Health Secretary instead said: “As I said we’re working night and day to make sure we get the right PPE.

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“And actually the thing I want to do is pay tribute to the unbelievable efforts of a huge number of people to get to the position we are in now.

“Which as I said, is improving, but we won’t rest until we get there.”

At the time of publication, 41 health and social care workers are thought to have died from COVID-19. 

New guidance from the RCN guidance urges workers to refuse to treat patients as a “last resort” without adequate PPE.

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Yesterday the home secretary Priti Patel admitted some issues with distribution but said; “I’m sorry if people feel that there have been failings. I will be very, very clear about that.

“But at the same time, we are in an unprecedented global health pandemic right now. It is inevitable that the demand and the pressures on PPE and demand for PPE are going to be exponential.”

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