The BMA has called on the Government to bring in more Covid-19 measures to protect the public and reduce pressures on the NHS.
Last Thursday Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA chair, called on the government to reintroduce:
- Mandatory face masks indoors, including all hospitality settings.
- Two-metre social distancing rules in all indoor public settings.
- Widespread use of lateral flow tests before social mixing in all settings and as expectation for entry to all hospitality venues, regardless of vaccination status.
- Limiting large indoor gatherings.
- Legal requirements on ventilation in indoor public and educational settings.
- The recommendation to wear FFP2 masks, in particular for those who are clinically vulnerable.
GPs have already warned the NASGP that when working in ‘hot clinics’, some rooms are unventilated and they are working in surgical masks, not FFP3s.
In a statement last Thursday Dr Nagpaul said: “I want to reassure you that the BMA is calling for you to have the support and protection you need as we face the coming weeks.
“Our priorities include ensuring you are adequately protected: infection control measures to be reintroduced in healthcare settings, including the introduction of high-grade FFP3 masks where healthcare workers are seeing patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID, and for higher grade masks (FFP2) for all patient care, adequate ventilation and physical distancing of patients.”
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “Party politics has taken on a whole new meaning over the last few weeks, leaving many of us unsure of what advice to follow, so we’re hugely grateful to Dr Chaand Nagpaul to step into this policy void and issue some guidance that we can actually trust. This is a significant announcement by the BMA, and signals to each individual GP to make sure that they take their safety into their own hands and not necessarily rely on the correct equipment being offered in all the different practices where they work.
“As an organisation, we recommend our members remind each practice where they work about this BMA recommendation, insisting on these appropriate masks being available to you.
“And for any members who need to isolate and can’t otherwise support practices locally, remember we have a remote working pilot that can enable you to continue supporting other practices in need.”
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