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Ambulance service warns of hand gel shortage

PUBLISHED: 11:53 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:53 23 March 2020

The ambulance service warned staff of alcohol gel shortages. Picture: East of England Ambulance Service

The ambulance service warned staff of alcohol gel shortages. Picture: East of England Ambulance Service

East of England Ambulance Service

The region’s ambulance service has warned it is facing a shortage of hand gel as the health secretary admitted there had been “challenges” supplying the NHS.

One private ambulance boss said it was One private ambulance boss said it was "impossible" to get supplies of hand gel. Picture: Archant

In an internal message to staff at the end of last week, the East of England Ambulance Service said it may have to use alternatives to hand gel in the short term, while it waited for more supplies.

It asked staff to use soap and water or anti-bacterial wipes instead.

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The message also urged staff to not stockpile supplies and to avoid touching their face.

“Please be assured that your safety or the patients’ safety will not be compromised,” it read.

On Monday health secretary Matt Hancock admitted there had been “challenges” suppling NHS staff with protective equipment.

He spoke after the chair of the Doctors’ Association Dr Rinesh Parmar said: “We have had doctors tell us they feel like lambs to the slaughter, that they feel like cannon fodder. GPs tell us that they feel absolutely abandoned.”

A letter in the Sunday Times from almost 4,000 NHS workers called on the Prime Minister to “protect the lives of the life-savers” and resolve the “unacceptable” shortage of protective equipment.

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