Clarity needed on stock and supply of personal protective equipment in Wales as "frontline staff fear for their safety"

Wales TUC and BMA Cymru are calling for greater clarity on the stock and supply of personal protective equipment.

In a joint statement they say assurances are needed for all health and social care staff to get the PPE they need.

Together they say they have been contacted by hundreds of frontline workers with concerns about inadequate levels of PPE to enable them to do their jobs safely.

Frontline staff simply cannot be expected to treat patients without appropriate PPE.

Dr David Bailey, BMA’s Welsh Council Chair

In the statement, they explain cases from frontline workers where “no PPE is provided at all, insufficient or unsafe PPE is given, or PPE has been provided to an employer but withheld from staff.

It also includes examples of staff not able to access adequate changing facilities, workers forced to buy their own PPE, and where staff have become terrified to go to work for fear of making themselves and their families ill.

“Frontline NHS workers fighting COVID 19 are deeply scared and anxious about their safety, particularly as the death toll of front line workers continues to increase.

Shavanah Taj, Wales TUC’s General Secretary

The statement calls for far more detailed information from the Welsh Government to fully understand their plan to ensure that workers’ health and safety is being adequately considered, and to provide our members with the reassurance they deserve as they continue to serve the public.

On Saturday, the Welsh Government said it was working to ensure people had the right equipment to do their jobs safely.

Frontline NHS and social care staff are working hard, in difficult circumstances, to care for people with coronavirus.

Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services

They unions are also calling for independent inspectorates to ensure that supplies are getting where they need to go.