BMA calls for urgent review of PPE guidance

Public Health England must urgently review the adequacy of its PPE guidance for healthcare staff amid growing concerns that inadequate PPE is placing many at serious risk of coronavirus.

That is the message from the British Medical Association who, in a letter to PHE, highlight the need for wider use of respiratory protective equipment, such as FFP3 respirators, in other high-risk settings across primary and secondary care.

Warning of the ‘significant and growing concerns about the role of aerosol transmission of Covid-19 in healthcare settings’ at a time when the NHS is facing unprecedented pressure, the BMA says that guidance should be updated ‘to take a more precautionary approach to better protect those working on the frontline’.

Additionally, the BMA has also written to the Department of Health and Social Care urging that PPE provision must be adequate to meet the ‘diverse needs’ of the healthcare workforce.

Warning that the current ‘one-size-fits-all’ is ‘not appropriate’, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul writes: “Guidance and provision must take account of differing needs of the individual healthcare worker - no matter who you are, you should have proper-fitting PPE, regardless of gender, ethnicity and religion.”