Search

Don’t mention PPE on social media, hospital staff warned

PUBLISHED: 13:41 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:41 21 April 2020

NNUH staff have been told not to mention PPE, such as face masks and gowns, on social media. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

NNUH staff have been told not to mention PPE, such as face masks and gowns, on social media. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Archant

Medics have been warned to not mention one of the biggest issues of the coronavirus pandemic - the lack of protective equipment for frontline staff.

Some Norfolk and Norwich University hospital (NNUH) staff were told in an email on Monday to avoid talking about personal protective equipment (PPE) or the NNUH on social media after a “number of inappropriate” messages were brought to the attention of hospital bosses.

The hospital said the email was just a reminder and its social media policy had not changed.

Last week the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust also told its staff to not mention PPE publicly, describing it a “political issue”.

Despite shipping millions of items of PPE - such as gloves, gowns and face masks - to hospitals and care homes, problems providing enough of it has caused awkward questions for the government.

Unions and staff say lives are being put at risk. One doctor, who warned the prime minister about a lack of PPE, has died.

A British Medical Association poll last week of 6,000 doctors found half reported shortages of gowns or no supply at all.

And NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, has warned some will run out of gowns.

This newspaper reported staff fears about a lack of PPE in March, including a doctor who appealed on Facebook for a diving mask to protect them.

Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis said: “Health and care workers have been contacting me for weeks asking me not to inadvertently reveal their identities to their employers when we’ve been following up on their concerns, which are overwhelmingly about PPE.

“I am in absolutely no doubt that, just to do their jobs, public-facing workers are routinely being expected to put their health and that of their loved ones in jeopardy because of the shortage of protective equipment.

“What are these workers meant to do? Just shut up about it and wait to get ill or die?”

An NNUH spokesman said: “The Trust is providing daily updates to all staff during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep them informed on the latest developments.

“Some of these include reminders on existing policies on... social media policy, which have not changed during the Covid-19 pandemic.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press