A paramedic has shared his worry about the lack of personal protective equipment – posting shocking photos of a near-empty PPE store cupboard meant to serve five surgeries.
Gareth Ward, 31, took to Twitter after an order for delivery made “months ago” was initially delayed – before the PPE arrived in pitiful quantities.
Instead of the “pallet loads” ordered, medical centre in Chippenham, Wilts., received fewer than 20 boxes of gloves, masks, and plastic aprons.
The measly supply, which barely fills the corner of the surgery’s PPE store cupboard, is supposed to suppply 40 clinical staff, looking after some 30,000 patients, in five surgeries.
Gareth, from Devizes, Wilts., who is training to become an Advanced Paramedic, said: “I just want people to see the state that we’re in.
“We are trying to assess unwell patients without catching it, and affecting our families. We’ve been awaiting supplies ever since the pandemic started.
“The supplies today were ordered months ago. We were expecting pallets of PPE, not the few boxes we received.
“The surgeries will now have to ration the short supply we have. Between the primary care network, we have approximately 30,000 patients to manage with that stock.”
Gareth initially shared a photo of the PPE store room completely bare on Twitter on Tuesday (31/03).
He wrote: “Hi @BorisJohnson. We are on day 2 of manning our “hot covid pod” for assessment of high risk patient. Here is our PPE store.”
A few hours later, the surgery received their delivery – but it was nowhere near what they had been expecting.
Gareth Tweeted another photo, writing: “Ironically we have had a delivery today.
“But this is to cover a large PCN (5 x surgeries) and a covid pod site for suspected covid patients. This will last a week potentially.”
Speaking about the delivery, Gareth added: “The stock is for all clinicians to use, including nurses and GPs.
“The ambulance service get their own, but they are also massively understocked. And the peak isn’t expected for another week.
“We have to give up our bank holiday weekend to support NHS services, which we don’t mind. But the lack of PPE worries me.”