GP surgery in ‘desperate need’ of masks for coronavirus fight

Burlington Primary Care in Ipswich has appealed for masks. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Burlington Primary Care in Ipswich has appealed for masks. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

A doctors’ surgery in Ipswich has revealed it is in “desperate need” of masks in its frontline fight against coronavirus.

Staff at Burlington Primary Care, in Burlington Road, said they had “checked every hardware store locally and online and every industrial shop we can find” in search of equipment to protect workers treating possible coronavirus patients - to no avail.

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A letter from Burlington Primary Care partner Dr Dean Dorsett said: “All the distribution centres for PPE (personal protective equipment) were cleared out by the public, who are understandably scared.”

As such, he said the “only ready supply is in homes or in industrial settings” - even though: “There is little realisation that there is no need for the public to have medical masks and the problem it creates for our NHS team.”

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Adding that the “current masks we have are inadequate to properly protect our team, our families and our patients”, Dr Dorsett has asked members of the public with masks they would be willing to donate to call the surgery.

He even said he would personally arrange to come and collect any masks that people can donate, provided they are FFP2 or FFP3 specification.

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“This will be of great help as we start to see more and more sick patients,” he said.

Dr Dorsett thanked partners of surgery staff - along with Elm Street Dental Surgery and ChipsAway at Martlesham Heath - for donating PPE equipment including medical masks, gloves and overalls.

He also said the #ClapForNHS at 8pm on Thursday “lifted the spirits of all of our team at Burlington Road Surgery and even moved some to tears”.

Dr Dorsett added: “Our number one priority for our healthcare team is to stay safe and not to get infected, not to infect their families at home and at their NHS family at work but most importantly not to infect and harm our vulnerable patients as we continue our work.

“The viral pandemic has had a big impact on mental health and psychological impact on everyone, from kids to the elderly.

“We are concerned about our patients’ wellbeing.”

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Anyone who can donate masks should call Burlington Road Surgery on 01473 211661.

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