Panicked NHS staff forced to buy face masks from Screwfix and Wickes as supplies run out during coronavirus crisis – The Sun

A TOP doctor tonight revealed panicked NHS staff are being forced to buy face masks from DIY stores.

The consultant, working in one of the nation’s busiest NHS intensive care units, said staff were panicked by the pandemic.

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Speaking anonymously, the experienced medic told The Sun his NHS Trust could run out of masks and gloves by tomorrow due to the Covid-19 surge.

And desperate doctors are now buying their own supplies from DIY stores.

He said: “I’ve never seen people afraid like this.

“We do not have enough protective equipment, and consultants are buying their own masks from Screwfix and Wickes, but even they have now run out of stock.

“We have around two days’ worth of supply then we have to make a big decision.

The question is do we treat infectious patients without protection and risk ourselves falling ill, or refuse to treat patients and let them die?

“The question is do we treat infectious patients without protection and risk ourselves falling ill, or refuse to treat patients and let them die?

“It is an incredibly hard choice, and a lot of doctors and nurses have young families or older relatives they care for, and they must also think of them.”

The senior doctor said there was anxiety among older NHS workers that they could be particularly vulnerable.

And he revealed around a third of consultants were having to self-isolate because family members had fallen sick.

He said: “There is real anxiety among senior staff. Some of our consultants are older and would be at greater risk if they became infected.

“Around a third of intensive care consultants are already off, as someone in their household is ill.

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“We desperately need to bring in more testing of NHS staff so we can give people the all clear and get as many back on the front line as possible.

“Our clinical leadership have been fantastic, but we are all deeply concerned about the lack of support we are getting.

“We need to cancel all elective operations right now to free up beds and ask private providers to help out, or we will be swamped.

“We have plans to quadruple our number of intensive beds, but they are no use without staff.

“Many of us have young families, and both partners work for the NHS.


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“We need to see some form of childcare provision for frontline workers so they can continue to treat patients when schools or nurseries inevitably close.

“Without immediate action to support the NHS and its staff, it will simply buckle under the weight of demand in the weeks and months ahead.

“Our feeling is that we will not cope with the surge, but we will continue to do our best against the odds.”

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