The health secretary claims the NHS has a “massive supply” of protective equipment.
The vast majority of nurses and other healthcare workers don’t have access to the minimum personal protective equipment (PPE) recommended for COVID-19, according to a recent survey.
In a survey of front-line health care workers from across the county, Nurses United found that four out of five workers (83%) lacked access to one or more items of PPE deemed necessary by Public Health England (PHE).
The minimum PPE currently recommended by PHE for all healthcare workers is; gloves, apron, surgical face mask, and eye protection.
Two out of three workers also say they haven’t been trained in putting protective equipment on and off safely, and the same number haven’t been ‘fit-tested’ for the masks they need to wear.
Protecting front-line workers.
A massive 80% of staff revealed they do not have access to appropriate testing for COVID-19 and a small number (6%) said they felt unable to take leave to themselves self-isolate.
Earlier this week, Matt Hancock insisted that the NHS already had a “massive supply” of PPE.
Unions have spent weeks calling upon the government to take urgent action in order to protect front-line health and social care workers.
Lead Organiser for Nurses United, Anthony Johnson, said; “As a Nurse myself I’ve struggled to get alcohol gel out in the Community when I’m working. These results show that for all the Government’s talk, the kit isn’t getting there.
“We’re the people fighting this fight. We wouldn’t send our soldiers into battle without equipment so why are we doing it to our Nurses?”
NursingNotes has approached the Department of Health and Social Care for comment.