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GPs go forth

Lack of PPE is becoming a scandal

Editor’s blog

I’ve been banging the drum that ministers and NHS managers have an impossible and unenviable tack in managing this crisis. There has been a lot of criticism from people around the Government not moving to lockdown immediately – but as this emotive piece shows, there are other considerations too, including the effects of reducing elective care and even the devastation caused by a potential recession on the poorest in society. This is an impossible situation.

However, one area that has been undoubtedly lacking is PPE. Stories are coming out on an hourly basis around the inadequacy of PPE - both in the supply chain and the quality. This morning, we showed that the emergency helpline was directing GPs to call their usual suppliers.

Stories are coming out on an hourly basis around the inadequacy of PPE

GPs are displaying their innovation again – Dr Dave Triska has been one of the leaders of a movement to help GPs print their own PPE, as he explains here.

But let us get this straight – this should not be happening. This, along with antibody testing, is one thing that the authorities can remedy with willing. All the policymakers’ efforts must go into protecting our front line staff – and GPs must not be forgotten.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at

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Readers' comments (5)

  • Vinci Ho

    My same old question,
    Is NHS England fit for purpose ?

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  • The PHLS - Public Health Laboratory Service was an academically renowned, scientifically fastidious: - National Asset in the UK's protection against Infectious Diseases.

    A National Effective and Reliable "Maginot Line" of I.D./ Public Health "Early Warning and Defence"

    Reference diagnostic Microbiology, + epidemiological monitoring in centres of excellence; regionally, strategically placed, and perhaps potentially invaluable in monitoring and managing the series of regional "sub-epidemics" Covid - 19 ??? (were it still to exist).

    Wasn't this disbanded by Government 2003/2004?

    I understand that The PHLS was replaced by the Health Protection Agency, which, in turn, is recalled to have ceased to exist in (?) 2013.

    I believe that the PHLS was indeed "FIT FOR PURPOSE".
    I do not believe this is nostalgia.

    Is there anyone out there who remembers the PHLS?

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  • The answer is simple Vinci..... NO

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  • Doctors nurses and carers have all died because of the inappropriate PPE. This is a scandal that cannot be washed away. Decisions about purchasing the correct gear must have been recorded and those people who settled for the inadequate gear must be held to account.

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  • We can spend trillions on submarines, but no PPE. Who is responsible for providing proper equipment ? Proper staffing ?

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