Nurses on the coronavirus front line are given ‘cagoules’ to wear while they wait for proper medical gowns to arrive
- An aircraft carrying PPE from Turkey arrived nearly 48 hours later than promised
- Some hospitals have taken to carrying out trials of washing single-use gowns
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Government was ‘pursuing every option’ to get more PPE
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Tearful nurses are being forced to wear ‘cagoules’ instead of proper medical gowns as the NHS awaits supplies from Turkey.
In a fiasco that prompted fury from health leaders, a flight which was meant to collect 84 tons of equipment from Istanbul was delayed for two days.
The aircraft finally left Turkey yesterday evening and was due at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire early today. But it is nearly 48 hours later than ministers had promised.
Tearful nurses are being forced to wear ‘cagoules’ instead of proper medical gowns as the NHS awaits supplies from Turkey
Two other UK flights bound for Turkey to pick up vital supplies, which include 400,000 protective gowns, were still awaiting take-off last night. Yesterday the Royal College of Nursing warned that its members were being left in tears at having to wear gowns that resembled cagoules or raincoats.
Glenn Turp, of the RCN’s Yorkshire and Humber regional team, said: ‘Members have contacted us saying that they haven’t got adequate PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] and therefore have been provided with clothing that resembles cagoules. They are so worried and afraid. They cry before they go to work, they cry at work and they cry when they come home.
‘Clearly our members are exceptionally concerned by this and they feel that they are not safe to practise and the Government have failed them.’ In addition to the stocks from Turkey, ministers have obtained supplies from Myanmar in Asia.
Niall Dickson, of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals, said the UK needed to ‘look at domestic production’.
Some hospitals have taken to carrying out trials of washing the gowns – which should be single-use – to disinfect them.
Yesterday Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Government was ‘pursuing every option’ to get more PPE. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said it was a ‘global supply problem’.
Yesterday Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) said the Government was ‘pursuing every option’ to get more PPE