Sinn Féin health spokesperson Colm Gildernew has called on the Minister for Health not to adopt new guidance from Public Health England (PHE) which puts the health and safety of frontline health workers at risk.
Speaking after PHE published revised guidance on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in light of shortages, Mr Gildernew said:
“The revised guidance on PPE shortages released for England is deeply concerning and must not be adopted.
“Of particular concern within these revised guidelines is that single use PPE can be re-used – something such PPE is not designed to do.
“This will put frontline health staff – already putting themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis – at an increased risk.
“It’s simply not acceptable.
“I spoke directly with Minister Swann today to emphasise the deep concerns felt by health workers and urged him not adopt these or similar guidance for the north of Ireland.
“This worrying development emphasises the very serious situation about shortage of PPE, which Sinn Féin has been raising for weeks.
“The Department of Health needs to listen to frontline workers and their unions; give assurances that the revised guidance will not be adopted here and the minister should redouble his efforts to ensure sufficient supply of PPE is secured and made available when and where it is needed.”