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Government has failed to protect us against coronavirus, health workers say

One in three of all healthcare workers felt the crisis had already had a detrimental impact on their physical health.

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Medical staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) wait to receive coronavirus patients at the door of the Respiratory Assessment Unit at the Morriston Hospital in Swansea, as the health services prepare their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Medical staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) wait to receive coronavirus patients at the door of the Respiratory Assessment Unit at the Morriston Hospital in Swansea, as the health services prepare their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Medical staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) wait to receive coronavirus patients at the door of the Respiratory Assessment Unit at the Morriston Hospital in Swansea, as the health services prepare their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

More than seven in 10 healthcare workers do not think the Government has done enough to protect them from Covid-19, according to a new poll.

The survey of 996 UK workers – including nurses, midwives, doctors, allied health professionals and managers – also found a third believe their health has suffered since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

When asked if the Government had done enough to protect workers, such as by providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing, 72% said it had not.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

The poll, from YouGov and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), found this figure rose to eight out of 10 workers in London, which has seen a large number of Covid-19 cases.

The study also found that one in three of all healthcare workers felt the crisis had already had a detrimental impact on their physical health, with this most commonly said by doctors and nurses.

A separate poll of the general public showed 96% supported more interventions to protect health and care professionals.

Harry Quilter-Pinner, head of IPPR’s better health and care programme, said: “Our heroic health and care staff are risking their own lives on a daily basis in order to save ours, but they cannot do this if they get sick themselves.

“The Government must act now to ensure they have all the protective equipment they need to do their job properly and safely.

“There is a particular problem in the social care system where there are severe shortages of protective and testing equipment.

“For too long social care has been an afterthought. Care workers are risking their lives just like NHS staff. At this time of crisis we must finally deliver parity of esteem between our health and care systems.”

PA