‘Wear FFP2 masks’, BMA warns GPs working face-to-face

7th January 2022 by NASGP

‘Wear FFP2 masks’, BMA warns GPs working face-to-face

The BMA has advised GPs to wear FFP2 face masks ‘as default’ when consulting face to face, Pulse reports.

Before Christmas the BMA called on the Government to bring in more Covid-19 measures to protect the public and reduce pressures on the NHS.

Now a notice shared by Lancashire and Cumbria LMCs and Cleveland LMC, advised: “In this case, and in the absence of readily available fit testing, there is a growing consensus to use non fit tested FFP2 masks as a default when seeing patients.

“A well-fitting FFP2 with a decent seal will provide better protection than a FRSM [fluid-resistant surgical mask].”

The notice added that GPC England has called on NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) to “make available or reimburse associated costs” FFP2/3 masks and has written to NHSEI asking for provision of FFP2 as a default for all practices.

Pulse has also reported that 95% of practices were experiencing staff absences before Christmas.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of NASGP, said: “Last month we advised our members to remind each practice where they work about this BMA recommendation, insisting on these appropriate masks being available to you. That guidance stands.

“Although the impact of catching Covid on one’s health is now less than it was at the beginning of the pandemic, it’s now much easier to catch, and the impact on our livelihoods of having to cancel work in order to self-isolate as a GP locum still remains. If a practice has run out of FFP2 masks for its staff, it’s always a good idea to bring your own supply along just in case.”

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