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More than one in three ambulance workers have contracted Covid-19

07 Feb 2021
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Almost a third of all NHS staff have had the virus, health workers desperately need gold standard PPE

More than one in three ambulance workers has had Covid-19 according to a new poll by GMB Union.

In the survey of more than 1,600 ambulance workers across the country, 37% of them have had coronavirus – with a massive 84% of them saying they caught it while on the job.

Almost 30% of ambulance workers who had covid said their symptoms were ‘really bad’ or ‘required medical attention’.

Across the whole NHS, 30% said they had caught the virus with almost 60% saying they passed it to a family member.

GMB is clear that poor PPE is to blame, and the union is calling on the Government and Public Health England to urgently review PPE guidance for health workers.

Ambulance workers report having to attend patients with flimsy gowns instead of proper PPE, nurses in hospitals working amongst Covid-19 patients say they are given only the most basic of surgical masks, while hospital trusts are not isolating and testing patients efficiently.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said:

“Our health workers are dropping like flies – yet the Government and Public Health England still won't give them proper, FFP (Filtering Face Piece) level 3 protection.

“We're a year into the pandemic - this is a disgrace.

"Our paramedics, technicians and practitioners are expected to treat suspected coronavirus patients with nothing but a flimsy mask and a plastic apron.

“GMB has called for guidance to be reviewed since the start of the pandemic and unless ministers sit up and take notice, our health service will be overwhelmed.”

GMB surveyed 3,506 NHS workers across England and Wales, of whom 1,616 were ambulance workers.

Ambulance workers:
37% have had covid
61% of those had it this winter
29% said their symptoms were ‘really bad’ or ‘required medical attention’
63% are still not fully recovered with 23% saying they’ve got long covid/are still unwell and have lasting effects
30% had a close family member who has had covid
34% of those whose family member had covid think they caught it from them

All NHS:
30% have had covid
57% of those had it this winter
57% had a close family member who has had covid
58% of those whose family member had covid think they caught it from them.

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