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Staff in ‘near revolt’ over protective gear crisis

Lack of staff testing, workforce shortages and running out of personal protective equipment (PPE)are the three biggest concerns for trusts fighting the coronavirus outbreak, according to an HSJ chief executive survey conducted over the last 36 hours.

Thirteen of the 34 trust chief executives who responded to the snap survey, who were from trusts across England, also warned they would run out of intensive care capacity by next week as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise.

The survey also revealed some trusts were already being forced to dilute safe staffing ratios and ration facilities. One chief warned: “We are preserving ventilation capacity by ensuring that only those who may survive are considered.”

However, the majority of respondents were supportive of system leaders’ guidance so far. Several respondents praised the “impressive pace and detail of the advice."

The three biggest areas of concern raised by the chiefs surveyed were:

  • Lack of staff testing, raised by 26 of the 34 respondents (77%);
  • Staff shortages, raised by 26 of the 34 respondents (77%); and
  • PPE shortages, raised by 23 of the 34 respondents (68%.

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Source: HSJ, 24 March 2020


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