Some hospitals have sought to water down PPE requirements in order to “accelerate” the return of planned surgery, senior doctors have said, as they issued new guidance aiming to inform the decision.
The Royal College of Anaesthetists, along with partners including the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, released a document to members to tackle “marked uncertainty amongst operating theatre team members as to which infection prevention and control precautions should be taken when treating screened patients in planned surgical pathways”.
The document provides recommendations for teams on how to adjust PPE usage, which the college said was “supportive and consistent” with current Public Health England guidance.
Professor William Harrop-Griffiths, consultant anaesthetist and council member of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, told HSJ some hospitals wanted to decrease the amount of PPE used as it might enable them to “accelerate and increase the workload”.
However, the college has argued that there is currently “no clear guidance on when you might consider making that change”.
“You have to balance that to the risk to the staff,” Professor Harrop-Griffiths stressed.
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Source: HSJ, 29 June 2020