Coronavirus: Asbestos firms and car workshops asked for PPE

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image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe Essex NHS group is appealing for more personal protection equipment

An organisation that runs GP practices is calling on car repair shops and asbestos removal firms to donate protective equipment to NHS staff.

The West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group says "demand is outstripping supply" as frontline workers battle the coronavirus pandemic.

It is also appealing to the county's building companies and dentists to "help bolster the national supplies".

The group runs 32 GP practices across Harlow, Uttlesford and Epping Forest.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionWorkers wearing asbestos protective suits during a street clean

A wishlist drawn up by the West Essex CCG of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes disposable aprons and gloves, single use face masks, plastic goggles and scrubs - as well as alcohol-based hand sanitiser, liquid soap and paper hand towels.

CCG chair Rob Gerlis said: "The World Health Organisation has identified that the current global stockpile of PPE is insufficient, particularly for medical masks and respirators; the supply of gloves, gowns and goggles is soon expected to be insufficient also.

"The NHS supply chain has been providing PPE and is increasing its capacity but demand is currently outstripping supply."

He said "piles of commercial PPE stocks lay idle" within firms that have had to close temporarily during the outbreak, "such as dentists, car body repair shops, building supplies and asbestos companies."

"This is equipment that NHS and care organisations in West Essex could be using to bolster the national supplies," Dr Gerlis added.

Any business that can offer help is asked to contact the West Essex CCG.

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