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BAPIO writes to Sir Simon Stevens the CEO NHS Contradictory Guidance on use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Sir Simon Stevens, 30 March 2020
Chief Executive Officer,
NHS England,
Skipton House,
London Road, London SE1 6LH

By email:

Dear Simon,
Contradictory Guidance and variable interpretation on use of Personal Protective
Equipment (PPE)

You will be aware of the concern expressed by many organisations, including ours, that the lack of
PPE is putting our frontline health and social care workers to risk from contracting the COVID-19
virus. Indeed as we have witnessed in the last week there have been three deaths of doctors, all of
whom were COVID positive. While we do not have all the facts, one can reasonably assume that one
or all three were due to a lack of PPEs. We are certainly aware that a number of our members have
been tested as COVID positive while being in the line of duty.
And worryingly a number of them have been asking Trusts to provide them with PPE which the
Trusts have said is not necessary because of their interpretation of the contradictory guidance from
PHE and NHS England. And yet other Trusts have no hesitation in doing this.
Such variation in practice is not acceptable and therefore we are asking that you give more direct
instructions to all Trusts and CCGs that all front line workers must be supplied with PPE. The
suspected cases must be dealt like confirmed cases and protection with full gown and proper face
mask with visors must be made available. There must be no ambiguity in applying this rule, as
otherwise we are likely to see further needless loss of the lives of those who have devoted their
careers to serving the NHS.

Best wishes,
Yours sincerely,

Dr Ramesh Mehta
cc: Mr Charlie Massey

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