'Appalled' doctor condemns Hancock's 'grossly offensive' PPE claims

23 February 2021, 20:14

By Fiona Jones

Doctors' Association UK's Dr Katie Anderson told LBC she was "appalled" at the Health Secretary's claims there was no national PPE shortage, branding his actions "grossly offensive."

The Health Secretary has come under fire after he insisted there was “no national outage” of personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS staff during the first wave of the Covid pandemic.

Mr Hancock said instead that there were "local shortages" of PPE.

Dr Katie responded, "I was completely appalled by it.

"I just want to take you back to some of the data that was collected on PPE shortages...in the National Audit Office report, which Matt Hancock keeps quoting from, there's a section called the Experience of Frontline Workers and Organisations and of the organisations...in April and May they were reporting that at least 30% members participating in surveys had insufficient PPE.

"I don't know how you can say that's a patchwork of small local problems."

Dr Katie told LBC that within the Doctors' Association union, they collected data which showed that in April and May, 38% of healthcare workers in the 250 medical centres that responded said they did not have the sufficient masks.

Shockingly, 47% also said they did not have have long sleeved gowns.

She continued that 20% did not have any eye protection and more than 60% of the PPE worn was not fit tested.

"The situation was absolutely appalling and this is a pandemic, this isn't an election," Dr Katie said, "How are we going to learn from this if we can't be honest about what happened?"

"It's grossly grossly offensive to the families of healthcare workers who got Covid at work and died, and I think it should be retracted immediately."

Dr Katie quoted Matt Hancock: "I won't apologise because to apologise would imply that I'd do something differently."

She responded, "Can you imagine what it feels like if you are the son or daughter who died after getting Covid at work to hear that?"