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Nursing staff safety and ability to care “fundamentally compromised”

8 April 2020

Royal College of Nursing Chief Executive Dame Donna Kinnair has revealed that despite recent announcements, personal protective equipment (PPE) against COVID-19 is still not reaching the nursing frontlines.

In a letter to the Chair, published today, she said the lack of PPE is contributing to fear and anxiety amongst nurses and, along with the lack of testing, is adding to existing staffing pressures.

The Committee understands that some nurses are having to share PPE, reuse single-use equipment and equipment donated by the public that does not meet the required specifications.

Along with the letter, the Committee have published the Royal College of Nursing’s evidence submission, in which efforts to resolve the distribution issues around PPE, have been called out as “slow and not transparent”.

The RCN argue there has been a disproportionate focus on ensuring supplies only for NHS hospitals, while nurses working in other care settings such as General Practice and care homes have “either no or poor access to PPE, and no hand sanitiser.”

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Image: PA