The Prime Minister must intervene to ensure that nurses treating patients with COVID-19 have sufficient protective equipment, the RCN has warned.
The College has written to PM to demand personal intervention into the situation. The letter also calls for staff testing to be increased, while cautioning that protection is also needed for nurses in surgeries and care homes, not just hospitals.
‘Our members have been unstinting in their dedication and professionalism to protecting the health and wellbeing of United Kingdom – they must be supported by the Government and health sector in return,’ said Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary.
‘Our members are coming out of retirement, students are interrupting their studies, and nursing staff are deploying from non-clinical settings, all to support the front-line in the battle against Covid-19. We ask you to personally intervene and act to ensure enough supply of PPE and testing for Covid-19 is available for all nursing staff and our colleagues across the health and care system.’
As of 9am on 23 March 2020, a total of 83,945 people have been tested, of which 77,295 were confirmed negative and 6,650 were confirmed positive. As of 1pm on 23 March 2020, 335 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus have died. On 23 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK would be entering a lockdown phase to stem the tide of the virus.
‘To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it - meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well,’ said Mr Johnson.
‘So it's vital to slow the spread of the disease. Because that is the way we reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time, so we can protect the NHS's ability to cope - and save more lives. And that's why we have been asking people to stay at home during this pandemic.’