Doctors distressed by the adequacy of their PPE and corresponding personal safety will be able to speak directly to FPC (first-point-of-contact) advisers staffing a new out-of-hours phone line and webchat.
The hotline, which will field calls from doctors working between 8pm and 8am, will seek to provide reassurance, review or clarification of the rights of any doctors who are concerned they are having to put themselves at risk owing to inadequate protective equipment.
As well as speaking to an FPC adviser calls may also be escalated if you need further help or if you believe that you have no alternative but to refuse to treat.
Above and beyond
BMA council deputy chair David Wrigley said the unprecedented circumstances under which thousands of NHS staff now found themselves working meant doctors required support services that went above and beyond ordinary working arrangements.
He said: ‘At a time when doctors are working 24/7 dealing with the COVID-19 crisis this additional round-the-clock support offered by the BMA is ground-breaking.
‘Even in the middle of the night when faced with a challenging workplace dilemma the BMA is there for you and ready to offer human interaction and support. This is yet another great benefit of BMA membership.’
Here for members
BMA representative body chair Helena McKeown welcomed the hotline, adding she was well aware doctors working on the front lines of the NHS against the virus needed the support of their association more than ever.
She said: ‘The BMA is here for its members, that is our purpose, and we shall be here whatever time of the day or night.
‘While doctors are working tirelessly and selflessly to save lives, it is vital that we do not unnecessarily put our own health at risk or be pressured by employers into working with inadequate and unsafe PPE.
‘The BMA will continue to relentlessly back its members’ rights to be able to work safely in the struggle to overcome this pandemic.’
If you are starting a night shift or in need of urgent advice about inadequate PPE in your place of work, you can call us 24/7 on 0300 123 1233 or contact an adviser using webchat.