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From: The Socialist issue 1083, 21 April 2020: Where’s our PPE? Where’s our testing? Where’s our money?

Search site for keywords: Coronavirus - Health - Bus - Covid 19 - Food

Coronavirus

PPE shortages: "I feel so bloody angry"

Personal protective equipment is vital, photo (public domain)

Personal protective equipment is vital, photo (public domain)   (Click to enlarge)

The guidelines we follow on use of PPE have changed dramatically during this pandemic. At first we were told we must wear full PPE for every patient suspected of having Covid 19. Since then the guidelines have changed repeatedly. Clearly, this has not been because they are 'listening to the science'. It is being driven by budgets and the lack of stock.

When the Tories realised how many people would be hospitalised the 'science' changed. So it's now OK to wear flimsy aprons when treating patients with the most infectious virus we have ever experienced!

We have pulled out everything we have to get through the weekend. Used gowns and the higher quality masks have been saved from intensive care. This is unprecedented, and risks staff becoming contaminated. And we are still unsure how to decontaminate them. Even the hazmat suits have come out of storage, as any coverall is better than none.

Local people don't just bring chocolate and hand cream. They make us visors, hats and masks. But the news that the gowns are not coming after all is devastating. It's not safe for us or our patients, and clinicians are making some very tough decisions on treatment.

The lack of gowns at Southampton has become critical. It means I can't relieve staff attending long theatre cases because they need full PPE, and there's not enough for more than one radiographer. So one of my colleagues worked right through, without food or water, only getting out at nearly 8pm. Also, intensive care had to borrow our only specialist mask because they had run out.

I just feel so bloody angry that my colleagues are being thrown under the bus!

Many of us will never get over the cruelty of this disease, and the cruelty of a system that puts getting business up and running ahead of saving lives.

An NHS health professional

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The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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Food keywords:

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Article dated 21 April 2020

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