Coronavirus: Doctors and unions issue joint PPE call

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Wales TUC and BMA Cymru have issued a joint letter to the Welsh Government about PPE

The professional body for doctors and the organisation for trade unions in Wales have called for "clarity" from the Welsh Government about PPE.

Wales TUC and British Medical Association (BMA) Cymru have published a joint message about the problem.

It comes after Unison Cymru said a lack of PPE was "killing" front-line staff.

On Saturday, the Welsh Government said it was working to ensure people had the right equipment to do their jobs safely.

Shavanah Taj, from Wales TUC, said: "Front-line NHS workers fighting Covid-19 are deeply scared and anxious about their safety, particularly as the death toll of front-line workers continues to increase.

"We urgently need clarity on PPE stocks and supply."

David Bailey, of the BMA's Welsh council, said: "Front-line staff simply cannot be expected to treat patients without appropriate PPE.

"Staff must receive assurances that appropriate PPE will be available, and that a national strategy is in place to ensure supplies will continue.

"We are calling on Welsh Government to be transparent with staff about supplies."

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has called on the Welsh Government to source PPE from abroad, after the Northern Irish government ordered £170m-worth of equipment from China.

In a statement issued in response to Unison's comments on Saturday, the Welsh Government said: "We're truly grateful to our NHS and social care staff who are working hard, in difficult circumstances, to care for people with coronavirus.

"So far we have distributed more than 8 million extra pieces of PPE from our pandemic stocks, over and above the usual supplies."

The Welsh Government has been contacted for a further response to the BMA and TUC comments.