Tuesday 7 April 2020 10:46 PM UTC
LONDON April 8: Doctors’ lives are still being put at risk by a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), the British Medical Association today warned.
More than two thirds of doctors (69 per cent) questioned by the union said they do not feel protected while fighting Britain’s COVID-19 outbreak.
The snapshot poll of 2,000 medics also found some feel forced to come into face-to-face contact with infected patients without the right equipment.
And doctors warned that some of the aprons and goggles they are currently relying on to fight the coronavirus crisis is ‘useless’.
The BMA and other doctors’ unions have repeatedly warned NHS staff will die unless frontline staff are properly equipped with protective gear.
Hospitals have taken to begging for equipment from companies and DIY stores on social media amid a nationwide shortage of PPE.
While one frontline doctor resorted to spending £90 on motorcross goggles to make improvised equipment for his team.
It comes as the Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that some hospital bosses say issues with supplying oxygen to hospitals is the ‘new PPE’.
Some said the engineering workforce is ‘spread too thin’ and supplies were running low, though NHS England has said the story is untrue.
A senior leader at a trust outside London told HSJ they had been trying to get more engineering support for more than a week.
She said: ‘It is crucial to how we align our oxygenated beds with the modelling that has been done for our region.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the Government has a ‘very high degree of confidence in the supply’ of oxygen.
Over the weekend, Watford General hospital declared a critical incident after a technical problem with its oxygen equipment.
Experts first warned of an oxygen shortage in the NHS last month, saying hospitals could run out of the gas within hours if hit by a wave of coronavirus patients.
Gas suppliers were told to quadruple production to help hospitals prepare and military drivers may be requisitioned to do the deliveries.
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