Scots GP sent ‘repurposed bin bags’ as PPE

The British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland union has alerted government officials after a GP claimed she received repurposed bin bags to use as personal protective equipment (PPE).

Dr Beth Hadden tweeted a picture of the 'PPE'
Dr Beth Hadden tweeted a picture of the 'PPE'

Dr Beth Hadden, a GP at Connel Surgery in Argyll, said they were delivered in place of PPE aprons.

She said the box was previously labelled as polythene bags and questioned if the items met infection standards.

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A BMA Scotland spokesman said: “Clearly this has caused concern to those who have received this PPE.

“We are urgently bringing this to the attention of the Scottish Government and the chief medical officer, to seek the clear assurances required – in line with the commitment made by the Cabinet Secretary to address any concerns our members have over PPE.”

Dr Hadden posted on Twitter: “Sent repurposed binbags as official PPE . One, how do you doff?! Over head? Covid shimmy dance? Hulk smash rip?

“Two, do they meet infection standards? Three, don’t fit all. Four, double plastic waste.”

Dr Hadden added the aprons could not be doffed – removed – safely.

Many PPE aprons tie around the waist and have a thin neck strap, reducing the potential for contact when removing.

Dr Hadden said the “bin bag” aprons could not be removed as easily, requiring the whole item to be lifted past the face, increasing the risk of contact.

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.

It came as it emerged the four Chief Medical Officers of the UK, the General Medical Council (GMC), Medical Royal Colleges and the NHS had written to doctors asking them to prepare for a rough winter ahead.