Doctors and nurses are being ‘bullied and shamed into treating coronavirus patients and are told to hold their breath due to a lack of masks, Doctors’ Association UK has said.
The government remains under pressure to order enough personal protective equipment as NHS staff continue to battle on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘Lack of personal protective equipment continues to be a critical issue. It is heartbreaking to hear that some staff have been told to simply “hold their breath,” due to a lack of masks,’ Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, president of the Doctors’ Association UK said.
On Monday DAUK joined other doctors’ unions in criticising the government over a lack of PPE. A letter signed by various unions read: ‘There have been repeated assurances from the government that there is plenty of appropriate PPE.
‘However it is widely reported from the front line that PPE is in very short supply, and that what is available does not adequately protect from infection. Deliveries do not arrive and hotlines that have been set up do not work.
‘In desperation many health and social care workers have taken it upon themselves to source their own equipment from DIY stores, and some have made agreements with local secondary schools to make visors on 3D printers. This situation is wholly unacceptable.’
According to the Guardian, a report from DAUK found 72% of doctors cannot get hold of a protective mask when they need one, while almost half of medics cannot access a gown.
‘Doctors are dying. Nurses are dying. We are devastated, and can no longer stand by and watch as more dedicated colleagues lose their life,’ Dr Batt-Rawden said