Hospital bosses puzzled by claims of PPE shortage among frontline staff at Northampton

"We have been overwhelmed by generosity and kindness, we have plenty of stock now"

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 17th April 2020, 10:47 am
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 10:48 am

Hospital bosses are puzzled by a website claiming frontline staff in Northampton are struggling with dire shortages of life-saving equipment in the fight against Covid-19.

An online plea for respirators, facemasks, gloves and safety glasses or visors was posted on Wednesday (April 15) on the new frontline.live app created for NHS workers to appeal for personal protection equipment and tools to help treat patients.

But equipment managers at the Cliftonville site say they have been so overwhelmed by locals donating PPE they are currently asking only for a few specific items.

The plea for PPE at Northampton General was posted on Wednesday

A statement from Northampton General Hospital said last night (Thursday): "We are extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from members of our local community and businesses over the past few weeks.

"We have been overwhelmed by their generosity and kindness towards our staff and patients. On their behalf we want to thank everyone who has made headbands or visors, donated PPE supplies, iPods, books and Kindles, or helped to boost morale by donating food and other treats.

"We’ve received plenty of donations of personal protective equipment including PPF2 (N95) masks, goggles and visors. We have plenty in stock now so don’t need any more supplies of those.

"However, we are happy to accept donations of coveralls and examination gloves which meet standards EN455, EN420, EN374 or FFP3 reusable masks with filters.

"If anyone would like to get in touch with us about donating items or supporting the hospital they can email [email protected] or contact the Northamptonshire Health Charity."

Latest official figures say 27 NHS staff have died after testing positive for coronavirus and a shortage of PPE has been a hot topic at daily Government briefings.

The frontline.live app was dreamed up by a "a group of techies, data specialists, social media gurus and digital storytellers" for NHS staff to report anonymously equipment they need. PPE requests are plotted on a real-time map and can be viewed by policymakers and suppliers.

Serial entrepreneur Katz Kiely, chief executive of innovation agency Beep, and her team identified 25,000 tweets from NHS staff about PPE shortages.

She told BBC News: “We just felt like we needed to make a difference. We thought if we had live open data, that could only help the decision-makers make better decisions."

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