DAUK on BBC Radio 5 Live: 1/3 of doctors do not have access to FFP3 masks

The Doctors’ Association lead, Dr Rinesh Parmar, spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live about the lack of availablity of personal protective equipment (PPE). This was at a critical time – when our NHS PPE app discovered that over a third of doctors had inadequate access to face masks and almost half lacked access to full length gowns.

Doctors’ Association UK have been hearing doctors across the country do not have PPE.

Two weeks ago, we developed an online app in conjunction with Messly. Doctors across the UK can download the app on their phone, allowing them to respond in real time with concerns of PPE

So far, 1,200 doctors have responded, in over 260 different settings; hospitals, GPs and Hospices and the data collected is still quite concerning. 23% responded they had no eye protection especially with AGP. 38% responded they didn’t have access to the right type of FFP3 masks. 47% responded they do not have access to long sleeve gowns. This is at a time when we were worried certain hospitals would run out of gowns over the weekend and are awaiting delivery from Turkey.

Dr Rinesh Parmar, DAUK lead

He continued to discuss some of the barriers that have affected medics accessing tests, such as being turned away from testing centres or being unable to drive and therefore unable to get to the centres.

The Health secretary reports capacity for testing today is 51,000, however, over the last 24 hours, less than 24,000 tests done and less than 15,000 people being tested. We are not appreciating that capacity and not utilising the full capacity yet. It’s also important to know that just a few weeks ago we were talking about 250,000 tests in a couple of weeks. That ambitious target has now been revised to 100,000 tests.

Until we start to get to the real big numbers we are not really going to be in a position to track, test and trace large numbers and large numbers in the population which was what we really need to do if we are going to start relaxing some of the lockdown measures.

It’s tremendous support that healthcare workers both within NHS and care settings are getting. We thank members of the public who really get behind us, clap for us every Thursday and coming out with amazing messages of support’

Dr Rinesh Parmar, DAUK lead

The full audio is available on our Soundcloud.