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Give proper PPE to health & social care workers or thousands more will die

12 Jan 2021
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They are putting their lives at risk to try and save ours – the least we can do is protect theirs 

GMB has written to the Health Secretary to demand all NHS and social care workers are given access to full PPE to prevent more unnecessary deaths. 

In the letter to Matt Hancock, the union says in order to save lives, workers must be provided with full coverage of skin, hair and clothing, including head covers; goggles; FFP3 masks; coveralls or long-sleeved gowns; shoe coverings; medical grade gloves. 

Read letter (pdf)

According to the ONS, 618 health and social care workers' deaths in England and Wales were linked to covid-19 up to 30 June 2020 (the latest date for which figures are available).

This is the second time the union has written to the Health Secretary making this demand on behalf of members. 

Since the start of the pandemic, GMB has consistently raised concerns about the lack of adequate PPE for health and social workers. 

Health and social care workers are putting their lives at risk to try and save ours – the least we can do is make sure they are properly protected while they do it. 

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer

Despite being assured by Ministers there are sufficient levels of PPE, terrified members report working on the front line with inadequate protection. 

In November, ambulance workers blamed ‘second rate' PPE for thousands of covid-related absences.

Meanwhile in April a hospital worker faced the sack for raising concerns about the lack of PPE.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: 

“Our health and social care services are on the point of collapse due to covid-related absence and Immense pressure on the already creaking system. 

“They are putting their lives at risk to try and save ours – the least we can do is make sure they are properly protected while they do it. 

“Ministers must step in and make sure our health and social care workers have what they need to keep us safe, or thousands of people will die unnecessarily."

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