Health Staff: Following days of meetings UNISON ensured that the Chief Nursing Officer’s letter re PPE was withdrawn. This means the agreed guidance is still in place. UNISON continues to meet with the employers and government fighting for staff to have the PPE that they need to keep safe.
Staff do have ‘a duty of care’ to patients but they also have a responsibility to their own health & safety. Employers also have a duty of care to staff to ensure that they are safe at work and a letter has been issued to remind them of this duty. Staff must stay healthy in order to provide care to patients.
It is unhelpful of RCN to advise their members to just not go in to a care situation if they do not have PPE. This will cause more anxiety for members.
All agreed guidance is available here. The guidance is clear that staff should make their own professional assessment. UNISON’s advice is that if members are in a situation where they feel they do not have adequate PPE they should;-
- Pause: to assess their needs
- Escalate: immediately to their manager & wait for responsive action
- Revisit: the situation when adequately protected
This is in line with the guidance provided by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
If issues arise members should contact their branch