Nick Ferrari challenges Culture Secretary over lack of PPE for NHS staff

20 April 2020, 08:45

By Adrian Sherling

After the Culture Secretary insisted the government had been well-prepared with protective kit for NHS staff, Nick Ferrari went over all the issues one by one.

Doctors and nurses have consistently complained of shortages of PPE during the coronavirus pandemic.

A delivery of 84 tonnes of protective equipment from Turkey was due to arrive in the UK yesterday and is now expected later today.

Despite all the issues, Oliver Dowden told Nick the government had been well-prepared - so Nick asked him about the problems they've had one by one.

Nick Ferrari grilled Oliver Dowden over the lack of PPE
Nick Ferrari grilled Oliver Dowden over the lack of PPE. Picture: LBC / PA

Nick told him: "We have a situation where doctors and nurses might have to re-use their kit. That can't be right, can it?"

Mr Dowden said: "We've got a singular government effort to get equipment to hospitals. In respect to the re-use of equipment, there was guidance issued by the NHS on Friday about if there are shortages in hospitals, measures you could take consistent with protecting clinical health and the health of NHS workers.

"Our focus is getting more equipment in in the first place."

Nick then asked if he stood by the claim that the government was well-prepared and the Culture Secretary responded: "Yes. I think we have prepared ourselves well for this and we have continued to ramp up preparations.

"Every country around the world is facing huge challenges. This is an unprecedented global health crisis. We haven't got everything right - of course we haven't got everything right - and we need to get more equipment to the front line, but we were well-prepared, yes."

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Nick then put to him that the 84 tonnes of protective gowns equated to just two large lorry loads of PPE - so could that be seen to protect doctors and nurses across the country?

The full interview was a fascinating back-and-forth over the government's PPE crisis.

Hear it in full at the top of the page.