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Thousands still being denied PPE for procedures with ‘high covid risk’

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Thousands of frontline workers delivering treatments where the risk of transmitting coronavirus is heightened are still being denied personal protective equipment (PPE), according to multiple unions and professional bodies.

Eleven organisations, including Unison and the British Association of Stroke Physicians, believe numerous procedures have been “wrongly excluded” from the list of 13 “aerosol generating procedures” that require PPE, despite the NHS now having adequate supplies.

They say their members are “facing illness and even death” while performing procedures such as chest physiotherapy, introducing feeding tubes, and assessing whether a patient can swallow safely.

The unions have formed an alliance to lobby on the issue, and its chair Dr Barry Jones told HSJ: “We’ve asked ministers and the Department of Health and Social Care again and again to take action and provide PPE to frontline NHS staff carrying out procedures which are not currently listed as AGPs but which the scientific evidence shows should be.

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Source: HSJ, 13 November 2020

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