Members please find below a transcript of a letter from NIPSA Assistant Secretary, Maria Morgan to Minister for Health, Robin Swann.
I am writing to you on behalf of NIPSA members at this time of great anxiety for us all. NIPSA appreciates the complexity of issues that you, the DOH and HSC Management colleagues are dealing with. On behalf of our union and our members, I wish to reiterate NIPSA’s commitment to help and support all of the HSC staff and emergency staff working to provide services across our communities in the inevitable difficult weeks that lie ahead.
To do that safely, our members providing vital services across hospital and community services require the appropriate PPE to keep them safe at work. Our members are reporting to us, despite public assurances from Health Trusts and the DOH and yourself, that the supply of PPE remains a serious and ongoing issue. This is at all levels in the Health Services from domestic staff, to residential staff and nurses working across the HSC. There remains further concern on such matters regarding the appropriate gowns that are required and also in relation to masks and in particular the appropriate use and availability of FP3 and water resistant masks.
While I am aware that you will know of these concerns, and have released emergency stock to deal with the current increases in demand, NIPSA is seeking further assurances from you. This is in relation to further equipment that will be made available and that the production sought for this is from all possible parts of industry. It is imperative this remains under constant review so that our members will be given an assurance by you in your capacity as Health Minister that they can work safely to get us through his public health emergency.
I look forward to hearing from you