Leeds & West Yorkshire

Coronavirus: Yorkshire hospitals 'major concern' over gown shortage

Pinderfields Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption A shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline NHS staff at the trust has been highlighted by the chief executive

A hospital boss says a serious shortage of protective gowns has been a "major concern" for days.

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals, said the problem was worsening stress for staff.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has apologised for problems in supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline NHS staff.

The trust said it did not know when more gowns will arrive.

The government has put in place plans to tackle the problem and insists there is enough of this "precious resource" to go around.

Trust chief Martin Barkley has made comments about the problem following an intervention by Yvette Cooper the MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford on Tuesday, the Local Democracy Reporting Service says.

Ms Cooper said she had spoken to frontline nurses about the "struggles" they face with a lack of PPE.

"The shortage of long-sleeved disposable gowns has been a major concern at the trust for almost a week," said Mr Barkley.

"We are unsure when our next delivery will be, and this creates a very stressful situation for our staff.

"The trust has been doing absolutely everything we can to secure gowns, including ordering alternative garments to try and ensure our staff have the protective clothing they need."

All hospital Covid-19 patients in the Wakefield and Dewsbury districts are being treated at Pinderfields Hospital.

Meanwhile, protective gowns and masks could be reused by health workers under "last resort" coronavirus plans, revealed in a leaked Public Health England document.

Emails seen by the BBC also showed that some hospitals have begun laundering single-use gowns to preserve stocks.

The British Medical Association said this "underlines the urgency" of dealing with the equipment shortages.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites