Southend Hospital staff warn of need to cut services due to limited protective gear

Medics at an Essex hospital have warned they may need to limit services to a "bare minimum" amid concerns over a shortage of protective equipment for staff.

Staff at Southend Hospital said they're concerned about the rationing of personal protective equipment (PPE).

In a letter sent to management, staff have warned if the standard and availability of PPE is not improved, they will introduce "restricted services" in high-risk areas of the hospital.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Victoria Lampard

In a statement sent to ITV Anglia, bosses at Southend Hospital said they are committed to keeping their staff safe

PHE guidelines on how healthcare professionals should put on their PPE Credit: PHE

Global shortages of PPE have led to shortfalls on the NHS front line.

The government has made assurances that millions of pieces of kit have been delivered across the country.

At least one GP practice in the UK has ordered face shields on online marketplace Amazon in a bid to protect its staff when the regular supply chain failed.

The government is due to update its PPE guidance later this week, but NHS leaders have said this is "long overdue".

It comes as some leading trade unions warned the lack of PPE is a "crisis within a crisis".

Seven unions outlined how staff are being forced to risk their lives and face disciplinary action if they speak out.

Unison, the Royal College of Midwives, GMB, Unite, TUC, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the British Dietetic Association released a joint statement.

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