Unusable PPE survey


 After being approached by doctors concerned that they had been given PPE that had degraded we ran a survey to find out how widespread this issue is. 

 On the 5th May 2020 DAUK ran a poll across our social media platforms for 48 hours. Respondents were asked whether they had been given ‘unusable’ PPE. 

DAUK received a total of 896 responses. 1 in 5 doctors responded that they had been given unusable PPE. 


Doctors also told us that a senior nurses’ FFP3 mask failed during an AGP. Two GPs also told DAUK that they eye protection they were delivered is ‘totally unfit for purpose’. The doctors told us that the visors had ‘fallen apart or fallen off altogether’. Several doctors told us the PPE they had been delivered smells strongly of mould and is degraded. 

Another doctor from York told us they had been delivered a batch of gowns that were unusable. The Trust allegedly initially rejected a stockpile of 650 gowns as these were the pull over the head type, instead of the tie at the back type. Clearly lifting a contaminated gown upwards in front of your face when doffing presented a significant risk of contamination. Since then 650 gowns were delivered. These were said to have stickers on the back ‘similar to a puncture repair kit’. The poppers were also said to be ‘faulty and rusty’. The gowns had to be repaired by NHS staff.

Dr Rebecca Lewis, DAUK senior executive committee member and a surgeon:

 “At the Doctors’ Association UK, we are continuing to hear from concerned doctors about the quality of the PPE they are being given in hospitals. This includes mouldy masks sometimes many years out of date, gowns with holes in and PPE that has failed during high risk procedures. Doctors are having to attempt repair of these items themselves, or work without PPE. After weeks of campaigning for an increase in the supply of PPE to hospitals, this is extremely difficult to hear. The health and lives of healthcare workers and their families are at risk. This is not a tick-box exercise, and simply increasing the number of deliveries of unusable PPE serves only as a political soundbite. This issue needs to be addressed immediately.“