Statement by the Chief Medical Officer for Wales on personal protection equipment
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton, recently (28 March 2020) welcomed the announcement of a rapid review into personal protection equipment (PPE) guidance in the UK and updated the latest position in Wales.
Dr Atherton recently said:
We have issued more than 3.4m items of PPE to frontline health and social care workers in Wales from our pandemic flu reserves. This is in addition to the normal supplies available.
The current UK guidance is clear PPE should be used when dealing with people who have or are suspected to have COVID-19. The current guidelines about what PPE is needed differs by setting and procedure. It is essential those who need PPE have access to it but we should not use it unnecessarily in order to avoid wastage and to ensure we have sufficient stocks as the coronavirus pandemic progresses.
For many critical workers, including staff in some healthcare settings – those who are not dealing directly with people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 – standard good practice, which includes thorough hand washing and social distancing will protect people from the spread of the virus.
In light of the current situation and following discussion with my UK counterparts, we think it right that some of the existing guidance should be reviewed and simplified if possible. A rapid review of the guidance has been announced, which will also look at any supply issues and the most efficient use of current stocks.
The health and wellbeing of our health and social care staff is our prime concern. It is vital they are protected and that they feel confident when working.
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