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Frontline doctor tells ITV Central NHS workers are at risk because of lack of protective equipment - full interview

Sameena Ali-Khan and Dr Rinesh Parmar Credit: ITV Central

ITV Central has spoken to the chair of the Doctors Association UK, Dr Rinesh Parmar. He is also a frontline Intensive Care doctor.

We asked him a series of questions about the coronavirus outbreak, asking him about the lack of protective equipment supplies within the NHS, the fear among healthcare workers about contracting the disease themselves, and how staff have been overwhelmed by the support they've received from the public.

Our presenter Sameena Ali-Khan began by asking for his reaction to the news that a doctor at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester became the first frontline NHS worker to die with the disease.

He then spoke about his concern about the lack of personal protective equipment among NHS staff.

He said some staff have had to deal without, which not only puts themselves at risk but also their families back home.

Dr Parmar then told us that he knew of NHS staff who have resorted to buying personal protective equipment online or from home DIY stores.

Sameena then asked Dr Parmar about the standard of the protective equipment. Dr Parmar said some of his colleagues are working with equipment that is insufficient for the job.

We then asked about the testing of NHS workers. Dr Parmar said he hasn’t seen any sign locally of NHS staff being tested for COVID-19.

He said a lack of testing is worrying because frontline staff could unnecessarily be isolating at home, which is adding to the staff shortage.

Sameena then asked about how he feels in the knowledge that the Midlands has become a hotspot for the virus, and how the NHS is preparing for a large rise in the number of patients by creating a hospital at the NEC in Birmingham.

Dr Parmar then said that the UK has half of the number of intensive care ventilators compared to Italy.

He said he was concerned about the number of staff who were qualified to operate the machines.

Dr Parmar ended the interview by saying he was humbled by the support NHS workers received last week in the #ClapForOurCarers campaign.

You can watch the full interview here:

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