UK health workers want the government to update 'inadequate' Covid PPE guidance
Almost 20 healthcare bodies representing a wide range of health professionals - including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists - have said the guidance on personal protection equipment (PPE) needs to be updated in order to reflect the risks to medics and care workers from airborne transmission of coronavirus.
‘There is now no scientific doubt that Covid-19 spreads via the airborne route’
In a letter to the Prime Minister, a variety of healthcare bodies - including Royal College of Nursing, British Medical Association and the Royal College of Midwives - said that current measures in place to reduce the airborne spread of Covid in healthcare settings are “inadequate”.
The current UK Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidance - which determines both the selection and use of PPE across the UK - “does not accurately depict the airborne risks when sharing health and care settings including working in patients’ homes and public buildings,” the letter said.
The letter, which stated “there is now no scientific doubt that Covid-19 spreads via the airborne route,” said that current policies focus on contaminated surfaces and droplets, but “do not properly address airborne transmission”.
The healthcare organisations said at least 930 health and care workers have died of Covid-19 and more are experiencing long-term effects, calling on the Government to update PPE measures and to urgently intervene in order “to prevent further loss of life".
They would like all scientific evidence regarding airborne transmission in health and care settings to be published in an accessible form, and further research carried out in order “to fill any knowledge gaps”.
The letter has been copied to the health ministers in all four nations of the UK and hopes that it encourages “a change in approach” to be quickly implemented in order to “protect patients and staff consistently across the UK.”