Shavanah Taj, Wales TUC’s General Secretary said:
“Frontline NHS workers fighting COVID 19 are deeply scared and anxious about their safety, particularly as the death toll of frontline workers continues to increase.
“We urgently need clarity on PPE stocks and supply.”
Dr David Bailey, BMA’s Welsh Council Chair said:
“Frontline 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.
“It’s imperative that staff are protected so they can continue to protect patients.”
Tanya Palmer, Unison Cymru Regional Secretary said:
“"We need to know urgently, what are the stock levels, where are they being stored and when will they be delivered. We need an honest response now”
The joint statement in full reads:
“Our affiliated trades unions in the health and social care sector have been contacted by hundreds of workers with concerns about inadequate levels of PPE to enable them to do their jobs safely.
“This includes cases where no PPE is provided at all, insufficient or unsafe PPE is given, or PPE has been provided to an employer but withheld from staff. It also includes examples of staff not able to access adequate changing facilities, workers forced to buy their own PPE, and where staff have become terrified to go to work for fear of making themselves and their families ill.
“While we have maintained regular dialogue with Welsh Government over PPE provision in health and social care settings, we need far more detailed information to fully understand their plan to ensure that workers’ health and safety is being adequately considered, and provide our members with the reassurance they deserve as they continue to serve the public. This includes:
“We believe that the information requested above should be available publicly so that trade unions can support their members to get the PPE they need to carry out their work safely, and so that workers can feel confident that the necessary measures are in place to ensure that no health or social care setting runs out of PPE.
“We are also calling for the relevant health and social care inspectorates to proactively check that Welsh Government policy on PPE and social distancing is being delivered in health and social care settings. We appreciate why routine inspections have been put on hold, but the way in which PPE is delivered by health boards and local authorities has raised concerns, including around unequal provision and insufficient supplies. We therefore think that the necessary checks should be introduced to provide greater confidence in the system and minimise the risks posed to our workforce.”