Ashford Hospital: Concerns over PPE

We were told by a source close to the hospital on 25 April: ‘The policy at Ashford Hospital is for medical and nursing staff to have full Personal Protection Equipment (proper FFP3 mask, full length fluid resistant gown, face visor, gloves) only if they are performing an aerosol-generating procedure such as intubation, laparoscopy or rectal examination. Even though coughing is obviously an aerosol generating activity, it is not a ‘procedure’ being performed on a patient so doesn’t count as a reason to have full PPE. So staff are working in wards populated entirely with coughing Covid-19 patients with only a paper surgical mask and plastic apron. Some have access to face protection visors which have been donated by the public but are NOT provided by the NHS.’ When we asked the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust for a comment on this, a spokeswoman said: “I can confirm we are currently providing and using PPE in line with the current national guidance across our hospitals.”


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