|[Published: Wednesday March 25 2020]
Doctors threaten to quit over kit shortage
LONDON 25 Mar (ANA) - A massive NHS recruitment drive to help contain the coronavirus pandemic risks being undermined by the prospect of doctors quitting over fears of inadequate protective equipment, groups representing frontline staff say.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said on Tuesday that 11,788 retired NHS staff had agreed to come back to work to help tackle the crisis – and announced the creation of a new 250,000-strong corps of “NHS Volunteer Responders”, who would be asked to take essential supplies to the most vulnerable people being “shielded” at home.
But as the crisis reaches what is expected to be its most dangerous period, doctors’ and nurses’ groups say their members are being expected to take unacceptable risks.
Dr Rinesh Parmar, chair of the Doctors’ Association UK, which represents grassroots medics, told the Guardian: “The longer this epidemic goes on for, if doctors feel that there is a widespread lack of personal protective equipment [PPE], then some doctors may feel they have no choice but to give up the profession they love, because they feel so abandoned by not being given the PPE that the World Health Organization recommends.
“That’s the travesty of this situation, that the government needs to protect frontline health workers and in return they will give 100%. But the government hasn’t kept its side of the bargain with NHS staff by not having enough PPE available to safeguard the health of doctors and nurses,” he said.(ANA)
FA/ANA/25 March 2020-----