Personal protective equipment is a basic health and safety issue. The fact that frontline health workers are having to use bin bags to protect their lives is shameful and wrong. Homerton Hospital had to use science goggles from local schools and local sewers are making scrubs. St Joseph’s Hospice had to put out an emergency call for supplies and local dentists are struggling. This is completely unacceptable. Clearly, more needs to be done to protect NHS workers on the front line.
Not providing adequate PPE to all frontline workers has been one of the Government’s biggest failure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are now over a month into the UK lockdown, and over three months since the Government started to prepare for the pandemic. I have pressed the Government to ensure every frontline worker has adequate personal protective equipment appropriate for where they work. If schools reopen this will be another demand in the system which the Government must plan for. I have also raised this with the National Audit Office.
I am continuing to work with colleagues to hold the Government to account on this very important issue. I have alerted the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jon Ashworth MP, about examples in Hackney South and Shoreditch. Please let me know if you have any other examples of PPE being unsafely rationed or not being provided at all.