THERE remain “serious questions” about how much personal protective equipment there is to protect NHS and care workers, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM has said.
New PPE guidance was issued today by the UK Government and will be applicable in the four nations.
The Shadow Health Minister also called for clarification on why some equipment previously deemed inadequate was now “seen as suitable”.
Mr ap Iorwerth added that the Welsh Government had had several weeks to get additional PPE in place and it was “worrying” that it would be some time yet before a supply chain was in place.
Mr ap Iorwerth called for a “comprehensive audit” of what PPE was alread available and what would be needed including an “urgent investigation” of how to increase “home-grown production”.
The Plaid Cymru AM also called for “much more acknowledgement” that protecting and testing health and care workers was also “essential”.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said,
“Whilst we welcome the clarification that PPE should be extended in a range of health and care settings, there remain serious questions over how soon there will be enough equipment to protect the NHS and care service heroes. We also need clarification about why some equipment deemed inadequate previously is now seen as suitable.
“Welsh Government has had several weeks to get this in place, and it is very worrying that they admit it will be ‘some time’ before a reliable supply chain is in place. For weeks, we’ve been confronted with a denial about the scale of the problems.
“We need a comprehensive audit of what we have and what we’re likely to need in coming weeks, as well as urgent investigation of how to increase home-grown production, as happened with ventilators and CPAP equipment.
“I would also like to hear much more acknowledgement that protecting health and care workers is also essential in reducing the overall infection rate. That applies to the need to rapidly increase testing of staff, too.”