COVID-19: Do You Have Access to the Protective Equipment You Need?

Tim Locke

Disclosures

March 19, 2020

Editor's note, 23rd March 2020: This poll has now closed. The results are reported here. Thank you to everyone who took part.

Despite assurances from NHS bosses, reports continue of shortages of essential masks and protective equipment.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said employers "have a legal, moral and ethical responsibility to protect staff and to make sure that enough reliable masks, gowns, goggles and gloves are available".

On Tuesday, NHS England officials called before the Commons Health Select Committee promised there would soon be more protective equipment for staff after being asked about distressing accounts of a lack of PPE protective gear in A&E.

However, the BMA has reports of staff trying to buy masks from DIY stores.

BMA Chair of Council Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said in a statement: "There are limits to the risks to which doctors, indeed all healthcare workers, can reasonably be expected to expose themselves to.

"Frontline staff must have the proper personal protective equipment if they are treating patients with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19."

The BMA is also concerned about a lack of testing for NHS staff. Dr Nagpaul said: "Rapid and effective testing shows that they don’t have Covid-19 and don’t present a risk to their patients and so can return to work as soon as possible. This in turn helps create greater resilience in the workforce for what is going to be an incredibly stressful time ahead."

So what's the situation where you are?

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