NHS ramps up supplies of protective equipment to frontline staff in Northamptonshire

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
County health chiefs rush vital equipment out to hospitals, GPs and care providers

NHS chiefs are stepping up supplies of personal and protective equipment to Northamptonshire's frontline staff as the Covid-19 crisis takes a grip on the county.

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced earlier this week that 24.6million gloves, 15.1m face masks and 1.9m eye protectors had been delivered to NHS organisations across the country.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

These are now heading to the frontline with deliveries seven days a week to the county's two hospitals at Northampton and Kettering, GP practices, community trusts and care providers as the number of cases in Northamptonshire starts to rise sharply.

Official figures say 43 known cases have been reported in the county as at 9am yesterday (Wednesday March 25). That number has more than doubled since Monday but Public Health England admits the true scale of the coronavirus pandemic is much greater.

Testing has been focused on those patients with symptoms who are already in hospital so many cases are going unrecorded.

Health workers had warned that a shortage of vital equipment — combined with a lack of coronavirus testing for staff — meant they were at increased risk of coronavirus infection and passing it on to patients.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Northamptonshire's Director of Public Health, Lucy Wightman, said: “Personal and Protective Equipment is essential to ensuring that our frontline staff; doctors, nurses and carers can protect themselves from contracting the virus.

Staff at Northampton General get their "stay at home" message acrossStaff at Northampton General get their "stay at home" message across
Staff at Northampton General get their "stay at home" message across | other

"These healthcare professionals are caring for local people who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, and it is of paramount

importance that we protect our workforce.

“Covid-19 is generating unprecedented global demand on the PPE supply chain. But we would like to reassure the public and our frontline staff, that the NHS is

doing everything it can to work with the industry to secure additional supplies and access further stocks through our extensive list of suppliers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Northamptonshire's health chief Lucy WightmanNorthamptonshire's health chief Lucy Wightman
Northamptonshire's health chief Lucy Wightman

“Nationally we have also been carrying out stringent tests on the PPE products being supplied to ensure they are safe before they’re issued. This includes exposing PPE to extreme conditions for prolonged periods to see how the product deteriorates. Ensuring our frontline workers are safe is a key priority and products that are not up to standard are destroyed.

“PPE only acts as a barrier if it used correctly. Frontline workers are therefore being offered training on how to use the equipment to ensure they are able to stay safe when caring for patients with Covid-19.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.