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Matt Hancock vows 'we won't rest' after NHS mask supply row grows

por Micki Linney (2020-04-22)


Matt Hancock vowed  'we will not' rest to get vital protective equipment to NHS staff today as the main nursing union told its members they could refuse to treat coronavirus patients if they felt unsafe.

The Health Secretary came under mounting pressure at the daily news conference this afternoon as he revealed that under-pressure units face on average a two-and-a-half-day wait to be restocked with personal protective equipment (PPE).

He spoke after the  Royal College of Nursing (RCN) advised its members to refuse to treat coronavirus patients as 'a last resort' amid claims vital items like masks, goggles and gowns are still not reaching the frontlines.  

A spokesman for the union admitted that with-holding treatment would 'go against every instinct', but added that 'their safety must not be compromised'.

One nurse, Becky Usher, 38, who works at Dewsbury and District Hospital in West Yorkshire, remains critically ill on a ventilator after treating patients without a mask.

When asked about the supply of PPE and if the government could commit to a date to deliver more PPE, Mr Hancock said: 'It's impossible because the quest is to get the right PPE to the right people on the front line at the right time across many millions of people across the NHS and social care.

'I'm glad to say that effort is moving in the right direction, we now have record amounts of PPE that's been put out into the system but until everyone gets the PPE they need then we won't rest.'






When asked about the supply of PPE and if the government could commit to a date to deliver more PPE, Mr Hancock said: until everyone gets the PPE they need then we won't rest.'









Becky Usher, 38, is in intensive care at Pinderfields hospital in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Experienced nurse Julie Omar has died, Worcester NHS Trust has confirmed















Ms Usher, ???????? ??? ???? who has a six-year-old daughter, pictured with her partner Martin Parker







The current international death toll from coronavirus


Mr Hancock said it was an 'enormous effort' and experts were currently trying to source more gowns.