Protect NHS staff demand health organisations in letter to PM
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) along with other health organisations and unions has written to the Prime Minister calling for better protection and PPE for midwives, maternity support workers (MSW), and other NHS staff as they battle with the pandemic. The call comes as over 900 health workers have died from COVID-19 with many more suffering the effects of having had the virus.
“The vast majority of midwives and MSWs are women and we know that much of the PPE they are given is simply not good enough. It’s often ill-fitting and not designed for women’s bodies. It’s also unacceptable that we have masks that don’t fit black or Asian staff, or gowns and scrubs that don’t fit women’s bodies” said Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM. “NHS staff are three to four times more likely to get or die from the virus because of the dedicated and selfless work they are doing saving lives and caring for people, and they must be protected” said Gill.
The letter calls on Boris Johnson for improvements to be made quickly to protect staff and people using the NHS and lays down five things the PM must do immediately. These include improved ventilation in NHS premises, more research into the airborne transmission of the virus, and updating of guidance on the virus for staff.
Gill Walton added, “Right from the beginning the RCM has been calling for better protection for maternity staff. The Government is asking them and their NHS colleagues to go into the firing line every day, yet almost a year since the start of this pandemic they are still being failed. Boris Johnson must act on the contents of this letter right now to show our incredible healthcare workers that he really cares, because warm words and clapping on the steps of 10 Downing street will not help those who have died, or those suffering the effects of the virus.”
For more information on the letter see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-56112615 .
Employment and clinical guidance for maternity staff can be viewed on the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/coronavirus/.