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COVID-19: nurses sign open letter demanding better PPE and ventilation

Political leaders told to improve equipment to reduce airborne transmission on general wards

Political leaders told to improve equipment to reduce airborne transmission on general wards

Hundreds of nurses and other healthcare professionals have appealed for higher-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) amid growing concern over airborne transmission of COVID-19.

The open letter to political leaders was written by Fresh Air NHS, which describes itself as a group of frontline healthcare workers and supporters who recognise the importance of airborne SARS Co-V 2.

Intensive care unit (ICU) staff have better protection

The letter claims that healthcare workers on general wards are twice as likely to contract COVID-19 than intensive care unit (ICU) staff.

The authors suggest this is due to workers in

Political leaders told to improve equipment to reduce airborne transmission on general wards

Hundreds of nurses and other healthcare professionals have appealed for higher-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) amid growing concern over airborne transmission of COVID-19.

The open letter to political leaders was written by Fresh Air NHS, which describes itself as ‘a group of frontline healthcare workers and supporters who recognise the importance of airborne SARS Co-V 2.’

Intensive care unit (ICU) staff have better protection

The letter claims that healthcare workers on general wards are twice as likely to contract COVID-19 than intensive care unit (ICU) staff.

The authors suggest this is due to workers in ICU having increased aerosol protection given by higher-grade PPE and better ventilation.

The letter adds: ‘We implore that these recommendations are implemented across the UK as soon as possible. Mass vaccination and its impacts on rates of transmission will take time to take effect.

‘It is therefore imperative to maximise science-based preventative measures towards aerosol/airborne transmission in addition to standard droplet precautions in healthcare settings now.’

Nurses can add their names to the list of signatories by filling in an online form.

RCN demands that staff are ‘sufficiently protected from the new variant’ of COVID-19

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has backed the appeal.

Dame Donna Kinnair

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: ‘Nursing staff and all healthcare professionals need urgent reassurance from government ministers and scientists that they are sufficiently protected from the new variant both by PPE and safety procedures in their place of work.

‘Without delay, they must state whether existing PPE guidance is adequate for the new variant.’

She called for staff caring for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be given higher-level PPE, and called for a review 'of the effectiveness of ventilation in health and care buildings’.

Government responds to appeal for better PPE

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘The safety of NHS and social care staff has always been our top priority and we continue to work tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect those on the front line.

‘UK guidance on the safest levels of PPE is written by experts and agreed by all four chief medical officers. The guidance is kept under constant review based on the latest evidence and data.’


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