I AM dismayed at the Government’s handling of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The World Health Organisation guidelines published on March 19 are clear. They state that 'healthcare workers providing direct care to COVID19 patients' should have:

n Medical mask

n Gown

n Gloves

n Eye protection (goggles or face shield).

This is the minimum PPE that frontline NHS workers should have.

Those in higher risk situations, e.g. intensive care, should have more extensive protection.

The Government says that they are taking action. But even the latest gov.uk guidelines released last week, still do not meet WHO standards, particularly with regard to gowns.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has spoken of the ‘Herculean’ PPE effort but this is unfortunately not being felt by many frontline workers who remain inadequately protected.

Many frontline staff do not have access to long sleeved gowns and have to take their potentially infected uniforms home to wash themselves, which also puts their families at risk. These are just some of the reasons why I, along with over 738 000 others, have joined the campaign on change.org calling for adequate PPE for all frontline NHS workers.

I hope that our local MP will be proactive, not reactive, and show solidarity with our frontline healthcare workers.

I’d like to encourage everyone else in our area to sign the petition at change.org/PPEnow

James Walker

Address supplied