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COVID-19: Staff received bin bags to use as PPE, claims GP

Scottish Government responds to Beth Hadden’s tweet
Pictures of 'bin bags' in GP's tweet

Scottish Government responds to Beth Haddens tweet

Healthcare staff in general practice have been sent repurposed bin bags as personal protective equipment (PPE), a GP in Scotland has claimed.

Beth Hadden tweeted her concern and confusion to followers on Sunday 10 November.

Sent repurposed binbags as official #PPE 1)How do you doff?! Over head?Covid shimmy dance?Hulk smash rip? 2)Do they meet infection standards? 3)Dont fit all 4)Double plastic waste #undervalued @Feorlean @DrDomPimenta @heraldscotland @xandvt @TheDA_UK @BMAScotland @DrGregorSmith pic.twitter.com/xZ2s0JbkZM

Beth Hadden (@drTeaLady) November 10, 2020

The post has been retweeted hundreds of times.

Dr Hadden was asked by a fellow doctor

Scottish Government responds to Beth Hadden’s tweet

Pictures of 'bin bag' PPE in GP Beth Hadden’s tweet

Healthcare staff in general practice have been sent ‘repurposed bin bags’ as personal protective equipment (PPE), a GP in Scotland has claimed.

Beth Hadden tweeted her concern and confusion to followers on Sunday 10 November.

The post has been retweeted hundreds of times.

Dr Hadden was asked by a fellow doctor on Twitter, ‘Are you serious?’

She replied: ‘Yup. Sent to GPs all over Scotland! Not impressed. Some are still labelled “polythene bin bag”.’

PPE delivery ‘leaves staff feeling undervalued and fearful’

Dr Hadden told Nursing Standard what she thought about what had been sent to them and other practices in Scotland.

She said: ‘This, sent to us as ‘PPE’, is very disappointing and leaves staff feeling undervalued and fearful of what further PPE may be issued.

‘I would like to know what would be considered the correct doffing procedure to avoid high-risk exposure to contaminants.

‘This, so many months into the pandemic, when millions have apparently been spent on PPE, is a kick in the teeth to front-line workers.’ 

Nurse says PPE make her feel ‘unprofessional’

A practice nurse working in NHS Highland, Scotland, spoke about her experience of wearing the PPE that was delivered.

She told Nursing Standard she was ‘disgusted’ when she first saw the packaging.

‘It doesn’t make you feel very valued when you are expected to wear a bin bag to see your patients,’ she said. ‘I also felt quite unprofessional.’

She added that several patients commented on the PPE, asking if she was wearing a bin bag.

Removing the PPE presents a challenge 

Donning and doffing also proved difficult. 

‘You either have to pull it over your head or rip it down the side. Eventually, I let it drop to the floor and stepped out of it, as I felt that was the safest way to take it off,’ said the nurse.

‘Our work is not remote; I am in close contact with patients all day, often for quite a long period of time.

‘It is important that we have appropriate PPE.’

Scottish Government responds to bin bag claim

The tweets come only a matter of weeks after the government in Scotland released its PPE strategy

It stated that the government would ensure that ‘the right PPE of the right quality gets to the people who need it at the right time’.

Commenting on the tweets, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of a small number of comments on social media around PPE provided to a doctor, which was mislabelled.

‘We can confirm that the items in question are PPE, not bin bags. Among the half a billion PPE items supplied to date, this is a rare instance of mislabelling and NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) continues to urgently work with supply partners to remedy these as swiftly as possible.

‘We have spoken with NHS NSS who have confirmed that all items, including these ‘smock-style’ aprons, fully comply with all regulations and have passed rigorous quality assurance.’


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