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Independents' Day

Every GP practice now has PPE against coronavirus, says NHS England

Every GP practice in the country has now received a delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE), NHS England has said.

It has also launched a PPE 'hotline' which GPs can call upon 24h a day if they require more PPE.

The measures come as doctors appealed to the Government over the weekend to urgently address the problem of PPE shortages.

In response, NHS England said it has sent PPE to over 200 NHS organisations - including GP practices - over the past three days.

'Every GP practice, dental practice and community pharmacy has now had a PPE delivery,' it said in a statement.

From this week, NHS England will receive help from the army to deliver PPE equipment where it is needed, with service personnel to make deliveries during weekday, evenings and weekends.

NHS England added that it continues to work closely with the Government, NHS Supply Chain and others in the industry to ensure supply.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘In the face of this unprecedented global emergency, never has the need to bolster our workforce and arm them with the vital tools they need to save lives been more crucial.

‘We are taking urgent action to ensure dedicated frontline NHS and social care staff – who are working tirelessly to tackle this outbreak – feel supported. Today they are getting millions more PPE kits as part of that promise.’

Professor Keith Willett, medical director for acute care and emergency preparedness at NHS England, added: ‘The full weight of the Government is behind this to ensure supplies we need across the NHS are procured and delivered to replenish hospital, ambulance and community stocks.’

Last week, the Department of Health and Social Care said global demand for PPE and a ban on export of the products in China was causing constraints on securing additional UK supplies.

But Friday's daily coronavirus briefing saw deputy chief medical offier Dr Jenny Harries declare that problems around protective equipment had been ‘completely resolved’.

Over the weekend, the Sunday Times carried a letter signed by nearly 4,000 frontline health professionals who voiced significant outstanding concerns regarding PPE availability.

And BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul echoed the sentiment in an appeal to the Prime Minister.

He said: ‘While we have been advised by Government that there are sufficient central stocks of the supply of PPE, the reality is that doctors on the frontline are experiencing shortages and many are extremely anxious over the adequacy of the equipment currently being provided to healthcare professionals.

‘At a time when we need our NHS more than ever, staff must be properly protected and should not be exposing themselves to high-risk situations where they could become infected – this could have a potentially devastating impact on our workforce capacity and effectiveness of our already stretched health service.’

In Scotland, GPs told The Herald that they had been forced to resort to ‘ski masks and swim goggles’ due to a lack of sufficient PPE.

Pulse first raised the issue of insufficent PPE available to GP practices two weeks ago.

 

Readers' comments (15)

  • Pants on fire! A paper mask, bit of plastic apron and short gloves will not protect you against COVID19. Medics are at high risk and make up 8% of infected Italian patients. They get repeated exposure and then can pass it on - potentially to hundreds of people, it's not the same as those who may have fleeting contact with the infected, the viral load is potentially much higher. NHSE are being reckless by not supplying WHO recommended kit to the front line - it's fairly easy to see what is going wrong if you look at any pictures of overseas medics then compare to us. This is a disaster - like lambs to the slaughter.

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  • Oh no we dont.

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  • Lies.

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  • No protection, no face to face consults, none.

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  • Not me. Anyone as proper hazmat suits instead of the expired placebos?

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  • A construction worker gets hard hat, gloves and dust mask, a spray painter gets hazmat suits, a fireman gets helmets, axe, fire retardant suits. What do we get? a flimsy apron and expired masks for something that can kill or cause long term disability.

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  • We are cannon fodder. Waste of time wearing what they provide may as well not bother.

    Doubt Matt Hancock et al would see a covid19 patient with what we and the hospitals are being given.

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  • the stuff we have does not protect against COVID and certainly will not be doing any home visits until we get proper PPE

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  • We've had some surgical masks, aprons. No FFP3 or gowns. Apparently only for situations where aerosolisation is a risk. Thought that meant a cough.....?
    When this disaster is over and the finger-pointing begins, good grounds to sue the NHS for putting us at risk. For those clinician who will sadly die, grounds for corporate manslaughter charges?

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  • will they ever stop telling lies and trying to do us down ? this is a statement put out by the government to convince jo public that we are fully protected. when we decline to work in these unsafe conditions, jo public will then say "moaning doctors etc.....rather be out playing golf etc even though they've now got their ppe" (even though golf clubs presumably closed !)

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