Where is the kit to protect NHS workers? – podcast

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As medics and carers report widespread shortages of protective equipment, the government is facing pressure to explain why it appears the UK went into a pandemic under-resourced. Daniel Boffey and Rob Davies unpick the strategy and its failures

With reports of medics using bin bags in place of personal protective equipment (PPE), the government is under growing pressure to explain its preparedness for a pandemic and its efforts since the crisis struck to protect frontline workers.

The Guardian’s Brussels bureau chief, Daniel Boffey, describes how the government declined to take part in a joint EU procurement scheme at the same time it was failing to secure enough equipment from other sources. Meanwhile Rob Davies has been investigating how British firms such as Burberry have switched from fashion to the production of PPE. And the government’s attempts to dramatically increase the stockpile of ventilators as manufacturers take up the challenge to produce established and new designs.

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World news | The Guardian

With reports of medics using bin bags in place of personal protective equipment (PPE), the government is under growing pressure to explain its preparedness for a pandemic and its efforts since the crisis struck to protect frontline workers.

The Guardian’s Brussels bureau chief, Daniel Boffey, describes how the government declined to take part in a joint EU procurement scheme at the same time it was failing to secure enough equipment from other sources. Meanwhile Rob Davies has been investigating how British firms such as Burberry have switched from fashion to the production of PPE. And the government’s attempts to dramatically increase the stockpile of ventilators as manufacturers take up the challenge to produce established and new designs.

But the apparent failure to properly protect staff in frontline healthcare roles comes as the number of NHS staff who have died of coronavirus has surpassed 100. On Tuesday people in the UK held a minute’s silence in their memory.

A worker of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) wears PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) outside Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool
Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA

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