Why Is Essential PPE Not Being Utilised?
Aontú Councillor for Mid Ulster, Denise Mullen, is extremely concerned over reports from NHS staff that large amounts of PPE that has been donated or supplied are not being utilised or given to frontline healthcare staff. Speaking to NHS staff members, Cllr Mullen was particularly disturbed by the reports given earlier indications that PPE was in direly short supply, and also given the high rates of infection amongst frontline NHS staff. Members of the public, businesses, schools, and charities have donated PPE in the expectation these donations will be put to use protecting frontline staff – why then is the PPE not being supplied & frontline staff left exposed?
These reports confirm and come of the heels of the findings of a recent survey by the Royal College of Nursing in the North, where:
- 42% of staff in high risk environments involving patients suspected of having Covid-19 or being on ventilators said they had been asked to reuse single-use PPE;
- 38% of staff in other environments treating confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases also confirmed they had been asked to reuse single-use PPE;
- Only 48% of staff believe they have adequate supplies of alcohol rub;
- 1 in 10 staff are relying on PPE purchased themselves;
- 51% do not have access to adequate changing facilities;
- 58% do not have access to adequate showering facilities;
Against the backdrop of these figures, it is unacceptable that whilst NHS staff are fearing for their health at work – that PPE is not being utilised. Our frontline staff need every resource made available to not only do their work, but to be safe and healthy whilst and after doing so. Cllr Mullen calls on the Northern Executive to ensure that any and all PPE resources are being supplied to frontline staff and that the Northern Executive explains why such resources were not being supplied to staff in the first place.