AN NHS boss has told how he is “losing the will to live” after struggling to source protective equipment for staff, pleading: “God help us all.”
Alan Hoskins, chief officer of the Health Care Supply Association, spoke of his fears as more medics warned of life-threatening shortages. New clinical guidelines tell staff to wear a face mask, apron and gloves when coming within 1metre (3ft) of a potentially infected patient. The stark advice applies to those offering general care but also those taking X-rays or blood samples, doing home visits and physios.
Even cleaners have been ordered to put on a mask when cleaning areas where diseased patients may have been. The near-blanket use has seen the health service churn through personal protective equipment (PPE) at record rates.
Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, from DAUK, said: “Frontline NHS doctors, and indeed all clinicians, are putting their lives at risk every day they turn up to work.
“The news that manufacturers have offered their services to the government weeks ago but haven’t had an order will be devastating to doctors who have told us they feel they are being treated as expendable.
“Despite assurances on PPE from the government, doctors on the frontline are telling us everyday that the problem is far from fixed.At a time when the country is relying on frontline NHS staff this is unforgivable.”