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Hospital suspends NHS worker for refusing to work on coronavirus ward without proper PPE

A medical student says her shifts have been cancelled after refusing to work in an area for confirmed coronavirus patients without a gown, visor and respiratory mask. A suspended healthcare assistant (HCA) claims several NHS staff at Eastbourne District General Hospital became involved in a standoff with the on-duty sister over a lack of adequate PPE on Tuesday, April 14. She says seven workers stood in the corridor and refused to go into the Covid-19 bay because they did not feel safe with only aprons and standard surgical masks. She says she was ‘flabbergasted and appalled’ when she was asked ‘why are you fighting?’ for raising guidelines saying staff can refuse to work if they have not been given adequate equipment. After one of the nurses fell ill and was sent home with a temperature of 38.9C, the HCA says she went to see the site matron who gave her the equipment they needed. The following day the agency worker received an email from East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and told she had been ‘restricted’ from working for ‘refusing to wear PPE in line with national guidance’. She told the Metro newspaper: ‘I just thought it was very irresponsible working as someone in a managerial position to put me in that position where I might have contracted it and it could be detrimental to my health and I could pass it onto someone else.

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seven workers stood in the corridor and refused to go into the Covid-19 bay because they did not feel safe with only aprons and standard surgical masks.

 

Ken Uwotu

Senior Care Consultant

 

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