Island NHS staff ‘receiving better protection levels’

Isle of Wight NHS staff fighting the coronavirus are receiving better levels of personal protection equipment, according to a national spokesman.

Those who work at St Mary’s Hospital, ambulance staff, GP practices, pharmacists, care homes and hospices will receive additional supplies, including facemasks, in kit drops from the Department of Health and Social Care, to continue to match demand.

Professor Keith Willett, medical director for acute care and emergency preparedness, for NHS England, said: “The NHS is now having to use high quantities of equipment to protect staff and combat the virus as it spreads, and hospitals are now receiving substantial extra deliveries to meet their needs.

“The full weight of the government is behind this to ensure supplies we need across the NHS are procured and delivered to replenish hospital, ambulance and community stocks.”

Calls for personal protection equipment (PPE) were shared on social media, saying the Island’s only hospital was running low of basic essentials like face masks, paper hoods and overalls, asking members of the public to donate some to health service.

An NHS spokesperson said: “We know that the availability of personal protective equipment is important for frontline NHS staff, both nationally and on the Island, whether they are working in GP surgeries, hospitals, or in the community.

“The supply of equipment has been ramped up in recent days, and there has been an announcement from the government regarding the further strengthening of arrangements. We have regular contact with all our care services regarding PPE and supply is being closely monitored.”

More supplies will continue to come to frontline services whilst the pandemic continues to spread however due to global demand on and manufacturing slowing down in affected countries there are added pressures.

As part of the new guidance, trusts will also be asked to ensure all relevant staff have received the necessary training , with new courses put on for staff using PPE.