- Disposable coveralls will supplement surgical gown supplies in trusts’ personal protective equipment deliveries
- Health and Safety Executive has approved the use of disposable coveralls as personal protective equipment in the place of gowns
- Changes come amid concerns over a national shortage of the vital supplies
Trusts will receive coveralls in their personal protective equipment deliveries, amid a national shortage of surgical gowns, NHS England has said.
NHS trusts, warned last week, they were at risk of running out of surgical gowns needed for clinicians working with covid-19 patients, HSJ exclusively revealed.
However, this week the Health and Safety Executive approved the use of disposable coveralls as personal protective equipment in the place of non-disposable surgical gowns.
Public Health England has since updated its PPE guidance to allow clinicians to use coveralls “for aerosol-generating procedures or when working in higher risk acute areas,” such as an intensive care unit or emergency department.
In a letter on Friday, NHS England and Improvement told trusts coveralls, as well as gowns, will be part of the PPE deliveries over the bank holiday weekend to those that had contacted the national supply disruption line.
“It is most important that all PPE is used in line with the UK guidance to maintain staff safety and supplies,” it added.
The changes to guidance also had the support of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Royal College of Nursing.
According to the letter more than 200,000 gowns were delivered to NHS trusts this week. HSJ understands a large acute trust can often use between 4000 and 7000 gowns in a single day.
NHS England and Improvement was approached for comment.
NHS England and Improvement letter