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GPs go forth

PPE problems 'completely resolved' for hospitals 'and other care workers'

The deputy chief medical officer has said that the problems around protective equipment have been ’completely resolved’, so that hospitals and ’other workers in the care system’ will receive adequate supplies.

Dr Jenny Harries told the daily coronavirus briefing that ’the country has a perfectly adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the moment’.

She said that encompasses ’quite a wide range of different gowns, masks, gloves, all sorts of things’.

However, it was unclear whether ’other workers in the care system’ included GPs.  Pulse has contacted the Department of Health and Social Care to clarify.

Dr Harries admitted that there had been concerns on a local basis.

Pulse revealed that the majority of GPs didn’t have an adequate supply of protective equipment by the start of this week, and their concerns were exacerbated by receiving face masks that had a label stuck over their 2016 expiry date.

But Dr Harries told press gathered at the Prime Minister’s briefing: ’There have been some differential deliveries in some areas which has caused a degree of concern recently. That is completely resolved now and in fact what we’ve done in the last 36 hours is set up an entirely separate PPE oversight and supply chain which allows hospitals - but also we need to be very clear there are other workers in the care system who are equally important - and will allow that appropriate management to ensure that the supply and demand is there.

’We do need to be really clear that this is an unprecedented health event for this country and so it is not unlikely that we will have found a pressure in the early days where an individual hospital, trust or organisation has had to suddenly ramp up its demand.’

She added: ’But that supply is there and running alongside that is a call out to arms - a bit like ventilators and testing as well - to make sure that we are exploring every avenue and opportunity for keeping those supplies coming through.’

Readers' comments (21)

  • Vinci Ho

    On the subject of PPE specifically, I only have one message to the prime minister and health secretary:

    I hope you have read carefully and thoroughly the tragic story of Dr Li Wenliang in China and his ignominious treatment leading to his death from Covid-19 by the Chinese government.
    There is only one message :
    ‘ A government must listen to all frontline healthcare colleagues and act accordingly.’
    And please do not give me the excuse that this kind of injustice would only happen in a totalitarian, autocratic regime .

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  • I am putting a message on practice website, Facebook page, notice on front door etc saying that the statement of deputy chief medical officer is untrue. In reality we have no adequate PPE. And ask patients to write to their MPs or petition the cause by any other means. Public needs to know the truth. Maybe if we all did this, public and politicians will get it eventually.

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  • Never mind PPE, we can’t get toilet roll, clini wipes or thermometer covers from any supplier. It’s going to be very hard to fight a viral infection crisis if we can’t take anybody’s temperature.

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  • If you guys click on the link that was sent earlier re the ENT consultant that has sadly died and the other consultant in ITU it’s now been deleted. Has the cover up already started re the real cost of the incompetence of the powers that be? This is deeply worrying and I would urge everyone to keep speaking out about the disgraceful guidance coming out of NHS England and PHE re not needing to follow WHO recommendations for PPE.

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  • Doubleplusgood.

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  • Masks with an expiry of 2016 covered with a sticker saying 2021? If the boot was on the other foot, they’d close your practice in a heartbeat and throw away the key.
    How can anyone ever work for the CQC again?

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  • Cobblers

    67 year old French ER doctor died Saturday.

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  • My own little view is that we need to re-evaluate risk

    Visiting a sick patient to be on the safe side is high risk behaviour. Robust triage required. Treat without seeing if possible. Safety net as best you can. If you feel you have to visit then at least wear a mask, gloves and apron. Clean your eqipment after. Much better not to go in. Most home visits are unecessary.

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  • Can not agree more with all of you, it looks like General Practice is an afterthought for the Government and NHS England. What they don’t seem to understand, or pretending not to, that we are the barrier between the sick and the Hospitals. Yes people are laying to get face to face appointment putting us and other patients at risk, and we are not protected adequately, we will 1) get sick and have to isolate and 2) ideal vector for spreading the illness among even more vulnerable, which we are asked to visit. How many of us need to self isolate, without any hope to be tested, so we can resume work ASAP if negative ?! Anyway guys the virus is here to stay for time been, so stay well and may be the Force be with you :)

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