Health workers are reusing single use equipment due to lack of PPE, SIPTU says 6 days ago

Health workers are reusing single use equipment due to lack of PPE, SIPTU says

"This situation is entirely unacceptable.”

Trade union SIPTU has raised concerns over the increasing number of health care workers who are testing positive for Covid-19.

As of the latest figures released by the Department of Health up to 23 January, 283 cases out of 1,164 were healthcare workers.

SIPTU said some of their members are reporting a shortage of Personal Protection Equipment in hospitals, and that they're forced to reuse equipment which is ordinarily only fit for single use.

"SIPTU members have said that the numbers [of cases in healthcare workers] are related to the availability of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)," SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Paul Bell, said.

"Our members are reporting that PPE is not readily available to all health workers in the quantities required.

"This issue must be given high priority as some hospital departments are now telling SIPTU representatives that stock rooms have no PPE left and health workers are resorting to re-using equipment normally only fit for single use. This situation is entirely unacceptable.”

Speaking on Wednesday evening, Dr Colm Henry CCO of the HSE said the HSE is making significant progress in securing personal protection equipment for healthcare workers.

He said a deal had been secured with China which meant "millions" of items should begin arriving on planes from Sunday onwards.

Earlier on Wednesday, doctors working in St James’s Hospital in Dublin made an appeal seeking donations of PPE from other areas such as pharmaceutical and food industries.