Dr Hilary calls for government to accept PPE help from other sources
During a discussion with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary called for the government to take up the offer of help to create and provide personal protective equipment (PPE).
On the subject on the shortage of PPE, Dr Hilary explained that he had been approached by people who have the necessary equipment but were struggling to get it through to the NHS staff and care workers.
"We are seeing young people die from this disease on a daily basis. Those health care workers are making the ultimate sacrifice. They are on the frontline seeing a lot of patients. They are taking risks and they know that and it is iniquitous that they don't have the PPE they need," he said.
"We have so many people that are offering the government their services where they can produce gowns and masks and yet there's a bottleneck of red tape where we can't assess the efficacy and the quality of this material."
He added: "I've had so many people approach me personally saying 'we've got masks, we've got face shields, but every time we approach the government, all we get is an automated reply saying that they'll look into it'. They don't get back within days and I just wish we could have some sort of departmental guru saying 'let's deal with this and if they can produce the face shields, let's get them'."
Dr Hilary also expressed his concerns that the PPE shipment from Turkey won't last long on the frontline.
Believing that the equipment could run out in a matter of days, Dr Hilary said: "It doesn't last very long because a lot of it is not reusable. Another question is if it's in Turkey now, where has it originated from and what is the quality like? Those questions haven't been asked or answered yet. So we will need more than that, that's just one delivery. We know that there are planeloads coming in from other parts of the world on a daily basis, but it's not going to be enough."
Addressing Piers' question about why the country wasn't prepared with enough PPE, Dr Hilary replied: "Because we've always undervalued and under-resourced our wonderful NHS. We did have a rehearsal - Exercise Cygnus in 2016 - and the conclusion then was that we were underprepared."
He added: "We needed more resources, we needed more PPE, we needed more intensive care but it was put on the back burner because no one saw a Pandemic coming. We thought it was a theoretical risk. But there were lots of advisors and scientists saying we need to be prepared. All we need is one of those viruses to become airborne and more transmissible. We saw that happening in January and we should have been making efforts then to get PPE."