Shropshire

Ludlow Community Hospital 'bars GP over Covid-19 response criticisms'

Ludlow Community Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption Dr Catherine Beanland says Ludlow Community Hospital told her she was frightening patients by wearing her own protective gear

A GP has been barred from working at a hospital after she accused it of being "dangerously lacking" in its coronavirus response, she claims.

Dr Catherine Beanland said Ludlow Community Hospital was "very slow" in protecting staff and patient isolation.

Dr Beanland says she was told to stop working after her comments and that her own protective clothing was "frightening patients".

The hospital trust insists it has followed national guidelines.

Guidance for health workers on personal protective equipment (PPE) was expected to be updated within two days, the BBC reported on Friday.

'Significant impact'

The NHS Confederation has said staff feel "at risk" of contracting Covid-19 unless they wear PPE as they treat all patients.

Dr Beanland, a GP partner at Portcullis surgery in Ludlow, has been helping to "lead the response" to the outbreak in the town, the practice said.

In a post on social media, the surgery said she had taken to wearing the protective equipment to protect patients and prevent her catching the virus, which could have a "significant impact" on the town's provision of primary care.

She has warned the hospital "on a number of occasions" their response around PPE "and appropriate isolation of possible Covid-19 patients has been dangerously lacking".

But Shropshire Community Trust told her she was not following national guidance and "frightening both patients and staff" by wearing it, the post said.

She was told on Friday "to no longer provide patient care" at the 40-bed hospital.

'Cannot disregard guidelines'

In a statement Dr Jane Povey, medical director at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, did not comment on Dr Beanland's claims.

But she said medical staff had been reminded of the importance of sticking to national guidelines on the use of PPE and it was in regular contact with Public Health England to respond to any changes.

"We must use PPE responsibly and cannot disregard those guidelines in one hospital and start applying a different policy," she said.

"In order to further strengthen medical provision on our community hospital wards, we are piloting a seven-day medical rota led by our community hospital medical advisers."

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