Tanya Palmer, UNISON regional secretary. Photo credit: Natasha Hirst
UNISON Wales has today (Saturday) written to the First Minster in the strongest terms about the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) across Wales.
The letter was sent in reaction to the death yesterday of a healthcare worker and UNISON member who contracted Covid-19 after caring for infected patients.
UNISON has received numerous reports from frontline workers about inadequate levels of PPE in hospitals and care homes across Wales.
UNISON Cymru Wales Secretary Tanya Palmer said: “Health, care and other key workers providing local services must have the supplies of gowns, eye protection, gloves, masks and sanitiser they need now.
“This is a matter of urgency. Any supply chain issues the Welsh government is experiencing with the UK government must be overcome immediately.
“UK government ministers urging workers to be careful with their use of PPE are highly irresponsible and will lead to further deaths.
“We need to know urgently, what are the stock levels, where are they being stored and when will they be delivered. This is killing our people.”
Notes to editors:
Letter sent to the First Minister:
I am saddened to have to write to you in the strongest terms about the inadequacy of supply to frontline staff of appropriate PPE.
The senior lay activists have instructed me to contact you as a matter of urgency as they are literally being inundated with very scared and anxious workers who have not received the equipment which will save their, their families and patient lives.
This follows the first death of one of our activists in the community branch from Covid-19.
I have even seen posts on social media of medical staff having to wear goggles from the science department of the local school. Betsi Cadwaladr say they only have PPE supplies to last them until Monday.
We need to know urgently, what are the stock levels, where are they being stored and when will they be delivered. This is killing our people.
We need an honest response now.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.