Shortage of protective equipment persists – doctors

Protective gowns and goggles are still scarce despite national efforts to bring personal protective equipment (PPE) to the front lines, doctors have suggested.

The UK Physicians’ Association (DAUKP) said that while there have been improvements in the provision of PPE, there are still areas where stock levels are low.

Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are concerned for their own safety, the safety of patients and their own families, DAUK said.

The campaign group set up a tracking app to assess frontline shortages.

The NHSppe app has received feedback from over 1,500 doctors from 250 hospitals and general practitioner practices across the UK.

Data collected Tuesday morning from the app shows that:

– 38% of those questioned declared that they had no eye protection in the form of visors or glasses.

– Only 52% of physicians performing procedures generating high-risk aerosols had the correct long-sleeved gown.

PPE Coronavirus HEALTH
Personal protective equipment for health workers (PA Graphics)

“While we recognize that there have been improvements and that obtaining PPE globally is difficult, we are hearing reports of low stocks or even no delivery in some areas.

“Doctors, nurses and caregivers are concerned for their own safety, the safety of patients and their own families.

“Opportunities to source PPE internationally through an EU program have been missed.

“Our primary care physicians had no choice but to take matters into their own hands.

“The Doctors’ Association UK has partnered with Messly and crowdfunding partners NHS Heroes Support and Let’s Beat Covid to raise money and deliver as much of this vital PPE as possible to where it’s desperately needed. “

It comes after Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said the government was confident that joining the EU’s ventilation programs “would not have made any difference to the supply of PPE”.

Speaking to LBC, Ms Coffey said the UK “is in a better position now than we necessarily would have been under the EU agenda”.

She said: “The important point is that we have over 700 million PPE that are delivered.”

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Ms Coffey added that the UK “continues to need to increase our domestic production of key PPE measures” such as gowns and visors.

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