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This week Healthcare Professionals across the country have been warning the government that supplies of essential items such as masks are aprons are running low. Despite the Prime Minister’s assertion that NHS staff would get everything they needed, a NHS Trust has taken to Twitter begging for soap for their nurses. With us barely two weeks into the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, worried healthcare staff are left wondering if the supply situation will improve.
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, (SLAM), describe themselves as providing;
“The widest range of services in the United Kingdom (UK) for people with mental health problems or an addiction to drugs or alcohol.”
They provide impatient services at four hospitals including Lambeth Hospital and Lewisham University Hospital, with outpatient psychiatric services at five including Guy’s and Kings College Hospitals. They also carry out many home visits across their area.
At 9:30pm last night, 19th March, the Trust’s Twitter account put out the following tweet for help:
“Can anyone help? We are in urgent need of single use soap sachets for our nurses and wondering if there are any organisations who might be able to help us out 🤚🏽🧼 any help would be really appreciated 🙏🏼 #WashYourHands #nhsworkers #Convid19uk”
The plea was soon picked up by thousands of people offering to help. Most of the help came from ordinary members of the public reaching out a d offering to but the soap sachets themselves.
One offer to have 800 sachets delivered was met by Head of Nursing, Simon Darnley responding from his personal twitter account saying;
“Absolutely! That’s 400 home visits! Amazing @TigerTaylorpins. Im absolutely buzzing!! Thank you soo mulch”
Just yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was challenged about healthcare staff reporting the shortage of vital supplies to help them deal with the Coronavirus outbreak. He and The Chief Medical Officer assured people that there are enough supplies and that everyone will get what the need.
Six hours later and a NHS Trust is so desperate, they feel they have to beg online. If it wasn’t for the generosity of people across the country, they’d still be left short.
Whether it more an issue of the supplies being in the wrong place, or if there is an actual shortage, The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) need to get a grip of the situation quickly.
The UK is reported that be on the rapid increase phase of the Coronavirus outbreak, simple things like soap and hand sanitizer are going to be vital to helping at least slow the spread and protect vulnerable people at risk of complications from COVID-19.