Concerns have been raised by healthcare professionals about the lack of PPE for NHS staff too. Doctors and nurses have reported shortages of equipment, but there are also worries about whether GPs and pharmacists are getting the necessary protection they need.
On Sunday GPs in parts of Wales admitted they were having to buy their own PPE, with some even asking schools to make it for them with 3D printers. A GP practising in the Aneurin Bevan health board area, one of the worst hit areas of the UK, said doctors often had “no choice” but to wear PPE more than once, describing the situation as “dangerous” and “unacceptable”.
Dr Rinesh Parmar Chairman of the Doctors’ Association UK has warned existing staff may feel forced to leave because they do not have adequate PPE.
“That’s the travesty of this situation – that the Government needs to protect frontline health workers and in return they will give 100 per cent,” he said.
“But the Government hasn’t kept its side of the bargain with NHS staff by not having enough PPE available to safeguard the health of doctors and nurses.”
It came after the death of GP Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, who passed away in Southend hospital and is feared to be the first doctor in the UK to die from Covid-19.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson added: “We are working around the clock to give the social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak.
“The full weight of the Government is behind this effort and we are working closely with industry and social care providers to make sure care staff have the protection they deserve.”