Majority of public think government has poorly handled coronavirus PPE situation

Health Secretary Matt Hancock arrives ahead of the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital; Stefan R

Health Secretary Matt Hancock arrives ahead of the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital; Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A snap poll has shown that a majority of people think the government has done a bad job delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) to the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.

A survey by YouGov found that 65% of respondents felt the government had poorly handled the delivery of vital PPE to frontline NHS workers.

Around 33% of respondents said the government had doing a 'very bad job' while 32% felt it was doing a 'fairly bad job'.

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Only 21% reckoned the health department was doing well. A meagre 5% thought it was doing a 'very good job'.

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Around 3,000 people responded to the poll which asked if they thought the government had done enough to supply NHS staff with PPE.

In Wednesday's coronavirus press briefing, foreign office secretary Dominic Raab iterated that he had been on the phone 'every day' trying to guarantee the delivery of essential kit from overseas suppliers.

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty added that a dearth of certain PPE items were occurring at different times. He said: 'It is very clear that we are very tight at different times with different items of PPE. Different things at different points have been very close to the line.'

He said the issue was made worse because the government had failed to stockpiled enough PPE before the outbreak and because of 'inefficiencies' among local healthcare providers.

He also intimated that social distancing measures could be in place until the end of the year.

This comes as an EU Commission spokesperson told reporters that Boris Johnson's government had 'ample opportunities' to join the EU's PPE bulk-buying scheme.

In other news, a shipment of protective equipment finally landed in the UK after it was stuck in Turkey due to communication issues between London and Ankara.

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