Welsh GPs to receive PPE against coronavirus this week
The Welsh Government will send out packs of face masks, gloves and aprons to GP practices to help protect staff against coronavirus, it has announced.
The packs, which were prepared over the weekend, will be sent out to 640 GP surgeries this week.
Health minister Vaughan Gething also authorised the release of personal protection equipment from stockpiles should they be needed in future.
This comes as four confirmed cases of coronavirus have emerged since last weekend in Wales, bringing the total up to six.
The health minister said: ‘These packs are part of robust infection control measures that we have in place, and I want to reassure people that we are working closely with NHS Wales and social services across the country to implement our planned response.
‘It is important that frontline medical and social care staff have the equipment they need to keep them safe while they help people with suspected Coronavirus.’
Responding to the announcement, BMA Welsh Council chair Dr David Bailey said: ‘We welcome the release of personal protection equipment for GPs and are pleased to see this step-up in arrangements from Welsh Government for our stretched frontline staff.
‘This commitment will go a considerable way to making sure that GPs and other frontline staff can care for patients through this difficult time.
‘We understand that many doctors will be concerned about the current control measures and the possibility of spreading the virus between patients. This PPE commitment begins to allay those worries.’
The Scottish Government began supplying face masks and other PPE to GPs last month.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: ‘All health boards have received adequate supplies of the appropriate PPE masks to distribute to GP practices as a precautionary measure and we have asked all boards to ensure that all practices in their area have received them.’
NHS Lanarkshire health board introduced a drive-through coronavirus testing service last week to improve staff safety.
As of 2pm today, 27 people in Scotland have tested positive for coronavirus.
NHS England announced that it would start sending free PPE packs to GP surgeries last week. The packs include 300 fluid repellent masks, 400 aprons and 300 pairs of gloves.
As things stand, 373 people in the UK have been confirmed as having contracted the Covid-19 virus. Two of those people are staff at a GP practice in Devon.
Six patients who tested positive for Covid-19 have died.