Front-line NHS workers ‘not being given appropriate PPE’, claims union

They claim that staff are not being given advice, training, protective clothing or hand sanitisers by many NHS trusts.

James McKay
12 March 2020

When staff raised concerns they were dismissed as ‘fake news’.

NHS staff are not being provided with the correct PPE to deal with Coronavirus (COVID-19), a union had claimed.


GMB has claimed that many NHS workers have still not been provided with advice, training, protective clothing or hand sanitisers by many NHS trusts.

A hospital worker at Epsom and St Helier trust is being tested for COVID-19 after unwittingly moving an infected patient who had tested positive for the virus.

Non-emergency patient transport drivers also report they have been asked to drive a vehicle potentially contaminated with COVID-19.

Their concerns over the infection risk were dismissed by management as ‘fake news’, the union claims.


Helen O’Connor, GMB Organiser, said: “Hospitals are going to be the focal point for those with coronavirus, so our members are most at risk of becoming infected.

“The reports we are getting from members are unbelievable.

“GMB Union is pushing hard to ensure NHS workers outsourced to contractors like Mitie and HATs group are getting the support and the resources they need to protect themselves – and don’t unwittingly spread the virus both inside and outside the hospital.

“We want all hospital staff to feel confident in supporting patients with the virus  – but they must be provided with the training and specialist PPE they need to protect themselves, patients and the public.


“The anger amongst our NHS members is growing and they are calling for immediate action and resources to deal with the risks they face or they will not come into work.”

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