Guidance for health workers on personal protective equipment (PPE) is expected to be updated within two days, according to the BBC.
There have been calls for greater clarity from the government on PPE as the NHS deals with more patients suffering from the coronavirus.
As part of daily updates from Downing Street, health secretary, Matt Hancock said providing PPE to the NHS would be a “military effort”, however guidance on how it is to be used and in what instances remains unclear to many.
The NHS Confederation says staff feel “at risk” of contracting Covid-19 unless they wear PPE for all patients. The confederation has also said that documents also show the NHS supply chain “hasn’t been able to manage” delivery of the items, such as masks, to them.
However, the prime minister said on Wednesday that he had been “assured” stocks of PPE were on the way to NHS staff, and the army had distributed 7.5 million pieces of equipment in 24 hours.
In addition, Christina McAnea, Unison assistant general secretary, has said that “supplies for the NHS have rightly been given a lot of attention. But any shortages in social care are equally crucial.”
In recent days the trade union has said social care staff looking after the elderly and vulnerable are “frightened and frustrated” at not getting access to protective equipment. The union has received reports from care workers that employers are denying them masks and basic protection such as hand gel, and that supplies of other kits are running low. However, the union affirmed these safety essentials are “vital in cutting the risk of them infecting the frail people they support”.
Unison is urging employees to call the new government hotline set up to ensure PPE reaches care workers who need it. This includes anyone who is experiencing shortages or no safety kit at all, and those concerned they are not receiving the correct guidance.
Local councils commission home and residential care from thousands of different private and not-for-profit providers. The concern is this fragmented, understaffed and underfunded system is struggling to cope with the coronavirus crisis.
McAnea, added: “Solving this problem could help reassure thousands of care staff that they’re not putting themselves or the people they look after at risk. We’d urge everyone who has a concern about PPE to call the new government hotline. This way we can ensure all providers have adequate supplies to protect staff and the people they care for.”