60% Welsh Doctors Forced To Find Their Own PPE

Figures have been released from BMA Cymru.

More than half of doctors in Wales say they've had to source their own personal protective equipment during the coronavirus outbreak.

The survey comes from the BMA in Wales who are calling on the Welsh Government to be transparent about supplies.

The figures also suggest 67% of doctors here don't feel fully protected when at work.

Dr David Bailey, BMA Cymru Wales Council Chair said: "The survey shows that overall, there has been an improvement in the provision of PPE, but there’s clearly still a lot for the Welsh Government and employers to do to reassure staff. We are calling on Welsh Government to be transparent about supplies.

"27% of doctors have reported shortages of gowns with long sleeves, in settings where they are most at risk, caring for the sickest COVID-19 patients. 

"17% of doctors either failed or had not been fit tested for a FFP3 mask – a mask of this type is used when performing highly infectious medical procedures and which if not properly fitted means a healthcare worker remains at significant risk of becoming infected.  It’s unacceptable to compromise their safety in this way."

"33% of doctors told the BMA they wouldn’t bother to speak up about an issue such as PPE or staffing shortages, as they didn’t think anything would be done about it, 7% said they feared speaking out.

Dr Bailey said: "I’m not surprised that doctors feel this way, I’ve heard it from my colleagues first-hand – it’s appalling – Welsh Government must remind employers to encourage staff to raise concerns in the workplace. Staff must feel supported to do so.

"I’m deeply troubled by the fact that 67% of doctors do not feel fully protected from COVID-19 in their place of work.

"With one in four reporting worsening mental distress during the pandemic including depression, anxiety and burnout, we are asking Welsh Government and employers to reflect on the results of this survey - and act fast - to protect frontline staff who are putting their lives on the line to keep the people of Wales safe and well, regardless of whether they themselves feel safe or not.

"It’s important, now more than ever, that they know their mental health is being supported.

"Alongside the Heath for Health Professionals Wales service, the BMA has a wellbeing support service for doctors, which is free, confidential and available 24/7. 

"I’d encourage all doctors to make use of these services."


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