DAUK in The Mirror: UK government should have stockpiled gowns

Virus-hit hospitals are in danger of running out of lifesaving ­protective kit within hours.A national alert was issued to all 217 NHS trusts tonight after rattled Health Secretary Matt Hancock appeared unable to guarantee supply.

The alert added that single-use kit would have to be reused, stressing that the “exceptional circumstances do not reflect the Health and Safety Executive’s standard approach”.

Mr Hancock told the Health and Social Care Select Committee that 55,000 gowns were arriving.

He said: “We are tight on gowns. That is the pressure point at the moment.”

Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, president of the Doctors’ Association UK, said Mr Hancock should have stockpiled crucial items earlier.

She said: “We raised concerns about planning for coronavirus in February, yet we were told time and again that ‘the NHS is well prepared’. Sadly, our fears have been realised and doctors across the UK are putting their lives on the line due to inadequate PPE.”