Updated PPE guidance – Royal College of Surgeons of England response
02 Apr 2020
Responding to the updated Public Health England (PHE) guidance on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Professor Derek Alderson said:
“Last week, following widespread reports of PPE shortages, I advised surgeons not to risk their health. In the absence of clear guidance, the surgical Royal Colleges felt it necessary to provide general surgeons with advice in caring for their patients, while looking after their own health. Over the weekend we urged government to go further in their advice, and fed into a rapid review of government guidance.
“The updated guidance – published today – is certainly an improvement. Its encouragement to use full gowns rather than aprons, and clear acknowledgement of the need for protection in dental settings, are both welcome. We continue to urge our members to wear the highest appropriate grade of facial protection, especially where procedures generate spray or ‘aerosol’.
“Now government must ensure that PPE kit reaches our colleagues, so they are able to follow the guidance. So long as there are shortages of protective equipment in some hospitals, my warning still holds true. And so long as patients are not being tested, we have to consider the likelihood that any patient could be infected. If this is the case in your Trust – do not put yourself, colleagues or patients at unnecessary risk.”
Notes to editors
The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.
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