BMA chair of council Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “Although Public Health England has produced updated guidance, what fundamentally matters is that doctors and healthcare workers get the adequate and appropriate supplies of PPE on the frontline. Without these supplies there is continued unacceptable danger to the health and lives of healthcare workers and their patients.
“It is four days since the minister Robert Jenrick gave the assurance that no frontline staff should be working without the right protective equipment. Yet this week the BMA has received concerns from doctors in over 30 hospital trusts about PPE shortages and GPs across England reporting grossly inadequate supplies and who are yet to receive the essential eye protection that PHE recommends”
“Doctors are being put in a harrowing position. Faced with a national emergency, they stand committed to meet the immense challenges that lay ahead and to save lives. However, the lack of PPE provision is not only risking the health of doctors but also of them becoming vectors of infection and potentially turning them into super-spreaders, carrying the virus to non-Covid 19 patient after patient. This is putting the lives of the most vulnerable at risk – the very people we are all striving most to protect.
“Lives are at stake. The government must stop at nothing to protect doctors and patients and act urgently to provide proper and adequate supplies of PPE on the frontline. Given global shortages we call upon government to repurpose UK manufacturing to a massive scale to provide the protective equipment healthcare workers and carers so desperately need.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
For media enquiries please email [email protected] or call 020 7383 6448.