HCSA has issued the following statement in response to new Public Health England guidance for "acute PPE shortages".
We shall be issuing guidance for members over the weekend.
Public Health England has this evening issued new weaker guidance on the use of personal protective equipment in the face of supply shortages.
Responding, HCSA – the hospital doctors’ union President Dr Claudia Paoloni said: “This is nothing less than a betrayal of front-line NHS doctors who have taken an oath to heal but who will now be asked to choose between their safety and the lives of patients.
“It has emerged only a matter of hours after Matt Hancock evaded challenges on this very issue by the Health Select Committee.
“Gowns and other equipment are an essential part of the protective arsenal not just for Covid-19 positive patients but for many other procedures.
“It is intolerable that safety guidelines are now being weakened to reflect shortages in supply when the government has had months to prepare for this outbreak.
“There has been ample international evidence of the frightening stresses which the virus has placed on other healthcare systems. There should be no element of surprise.”