Labour deputy leadership candidate and A&E doctor Rosena Allin-Khan has declared the lack of personal protective equipment “simply not acceptable” as she described the circumstances of her NHS colleagues working on the frontline.
In an ITV interview this afternoon, the contender to be the next deputy of the Labour Party told viewers that her hospital was “very lucky” because it had received supplies from local schools and the community.
The Tooting MP explained how while working a shift on the weekend, she saw ambulance workers coming into the A&E with “one set of PPE for an entire 12-hour shift” when “they are supposed to be changing it between every single patient”.
Allin-Khan said: “It is simply not acceptable that frontline NHS and care staff do not have the PPE that they need not only to keep themselves safe, but to stop the spread of infection to those they love when they come home – and most importantly between the patients that they are trying to so desperately treat.”
I spoke to @itvlondon about the effect of not having enough PPE in our health service. Paramedics are unprotected with only one set of PPE per shift. This shortage has gone on for far too long, four doctors have died. Government inaction is costing lives. pic.twitter.com/2YrSED5YOV
— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) April 1, 2020
Speaking on Ridge on Sunday at the weekend, the A&E doctor and Labour MP revealed that: “In the last few days in my hospital, they have started to receive the personal protective equipment.”
She also questioned the fact that senior politicians have been tested while NHS and care staff have not, and has been pushing for the government to rapidly increase the number of tests for health workers.
The south London Labour MP has been a vocal critic of the government’s response since the start of the outbreak, and has said that the mixed messages from Boris Johnson will “cost lives”.
The lack of PPE for frontline health workers has been branded a “national scandal” by trade union GMB as the number of ambulance staff self-isolating after displaying Covid-19 symptoms across NHS Trusts exceeded 4,100.
The Royal College of Physicians revealed that one in four NHS doctors has been signed off from work due to illness or because they are self-isolating.
There are now a total of 29,474 cases of coronavirus in the UK, although the true figure is thought to be higher. 2,352 people have died from the disease with 563 new deaths in the past 24 hours.