The West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has asked people not to panic if they see ambulance crews arriving at calls in personal protective equipment.
In a statement, WMAS said:
“West Midlands Ambulance Service is doing everything it can to keep staff safe and protect the people of the West Midlands during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Trust is continuing to follow Public Health England guidance in relation to the rapidly evolving situation around the coronavirus outbreak.
“Due to this, you may encounter more of our frontline ambulance staff wearing a surgical mask and a disposable apron in addition to their standard gloves when responding to 999 calls.
“We would like to reassure people that this additional personal protective equipment (PPE) is being worn in order to protect our staff at a wider range of emergencies that they attend, as well as minimise any potential risks to patients.
“It doesn’t mean that we think you have coronavirus (COVID-19); we are just being careful to protect you and our staff.
“In addition, our fantastic ‘Make Ready’ teams who clean and restock all of our emergency ambulances 24/7 are following enhanced cleaning guidance.
“As an ambulance service, all of our staff are working exceptionally hard to continue to provide the best possible care to patients across the region during this Level 4 National Emergency”.
WMAS Paramedic Rob Moore tweeted to say:
“If you see us in PPE, it doesnt mean our patient has COVID-19. We’re protecting them, ourselves and our loved ones.
“You can do your bit too.
“Only share official guidance and take heed of any instructions and advice from the NHS or government”.
It is expected that the same measures concerning frontline staff wearing PPE as a matter of precaution will be extended to more ambulance service Trusts as service bosses seek to protect their staff from the virus.
Meanwhile, many emergency services personnel have been told that all leave will be cancelled until further notice as the country battles to minimise the effect of COVID-19.
For all of the latest advice, please visit NHS.uk/coronavirus.
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