Earlier, Jon Snow spoke to Dr Jenny Vaughan, a leading member of the Doctors’ Association. DAUK has launched their #protectthefrontline campaign and written to the government to demand better personal protective equipment for medical staff.
He started by asking her whether the PPE equipment promised by the government was starting to reach the medical staff on the frontline, and what kinds of problems medical personnel had been encountering.
DAUK entirely accepts that the public health threat posed by COVID-19 is unprecedented. In view of the risk to healthcare workers on the frontline we organised a letter signed now by over 8000 healthcare workers.We have three clear messages for the government.
We want all healthcare workers (doctors nurses and paramedics ) combined to have rapid access to PPE both in the hospital the community so that no health care worker is put at more risk than they should be. Although supplies are now getting through there are still local issues with provision which are likely to get worse in the coming days. We are hearing of improvements and deliveries today but there are still stories of NHS staff going to Screwfix to get themselves masks which is unacceptable.
The Doctors’ Association seeks urgent clarification from the government so that everybody can understand why there is a discordance between WHO guidelines as being used in other countries and the level of PPE being used in hospitals.
We reminded the nation of the extraordinary sacrifices that doctors nurses and their families are making to save as many lines as possible during the current pandemic. We called directly on Boris Johnson to keep putting the safety of healthcare workers as one of his absolute priorities going forward to ensure that they get rapid access to testing to keep themselves, their families and patients as safe as possible. We accept that at present there are complications behind these this tests and that lab staff working extremely hard and doing their best but we wish for further, hopefully rapid improvements in the coming days.