Hospital Dr News

PPE issues persist among NHS doctors, RCP survey shows

Personal risk assessments for COVID-19 among staff are lacking, according to a survey by the Royal College of Physicians.

A quarter (24%) report having had neither a formal nor informal risk assessment, despite persistent government advice that all healthcare workers be risk assessed for COVID-19.

Eighteen per cent felt they did not have the PPE they needed for managing COVID-19 patients, down from 21% in January.

Almost a fifth of doctors (18%) have still not been fit-tested for their personal protective equipment (PPE), leaving them potentially more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.

Fit-testing is crucial to ensuring that the seal on any tight-fitting respirators (such as disposable FFP3 masks and reusable half masks) fits as effectively as possible to the wearer’s face. Although the majority (82%) of doctors reported being fit-tested.

Many respirators are made to the same specification and this has caused problems for many women and people with ‘smaller’ faces throughout the pandemic.

Levels of confidence in infection, prevention and control (IPC) measures varied, with 60% of doctors saying they were fairly or completely confident that their organisation’s IPC measures were effective, while 16% were not at all confident.

Get the basics right

Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “We’ve been working to tackle COVID-19 for almost a year now, so it is concerning that many organisations still seem to not have got the basics right.

“The guidelines on what PPE to use are only part of the picture. Many haven’t had to use it before, and knowing you can don and doff it correctly is crucial.

“Similarly, to decide what PPE someone needs to use, you need to understand what an individual’s risk is. If it is higher, then a higher level of PPE may be appropriate.”

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation