Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the UK has been instructed by the Government to only leave our homes if it is essential. This includes shopping for basic necessities such as food or medicine, one form of exercise per day for example a run or walk, for any medical needs including to donate blood, or if you are travelling for work purposes only where you cannot work from home.
The UK Government has defined ‘key workers’ as those who are critical to the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services within the UK, such as those who are at the frontline of health and social care. These frontline workers include doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics and social workers.
NHS frontline workers are putting themselves at risk everyday by coming into contact not only with many other individuals but those who are known to be Covid-19 positive. The risks taken daily by healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients have been sadly illustrated by a growing number of NHS worker deaths. Unfortunately, several NHS workers have already lost their lives after contracting the disease from patients and that number is likely to continue to rise.
The Government is also under pressure to accelerate the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and address growing fears that frontline staff risk both catching and spreading coronavirus. PPE is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work, and includes items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection and masks. Global demand for this equipment is at unprecedented levels and several countries have placed export bans on the sale of PPE.
Due to this extremely high demand, there has been a significant shortage in PPE equipment in the UK and there are concerns that some PPE supplies are close to running out. The NHS is currently using about 150,000 gowns a day.
To help with this shortage, there have been many heart-warming stories of members of the public and businesses stepping up to make gowns, masks and other PPE equipment charitably using their own resources.
One of these stories includes Dawn Leyshon, along with friends Yvonne Cawell and Sue Morton from Lancashire, who begun making masks, aprons and scrubs for frontline workers out of donated fabrics at home. Dawn has since spent £6,000 of her own savings on materials, along with a donation from Plumbs fabrics.
Thankfully, the Government has a plan in place in order to rectify the problem, and it has 3 strands: guidance, distribution and future supply.
We are extremely grateful for the amazing work that all frontline workers in the UK are currently doing. Without them, the country would be in a much worse situation than it is in and even more lives would have been lost.
For more information about Covid-19 from the NHS, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
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