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RCSEd President responds to latest PPE guidance published by Public Health England (PHE)

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18 Apr 2020

Responding to the latest PPE guidance published by Public Health England (PHE), Professor Michael Griffin OBE, President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said:


“We are deeply concerned about this latest change to the PPE guidance as it has been developed and published without the explicit support of medical Royal Colleges. There is a significant risk that this will cause confusion and anxiety for our front line surgeons and doctors.

Asking front line staff to reuse equipment or work without full length gowns puts clinicians and patients at risk particularly in surgical settings. Moreover, the guidance suggests that surgeons and their teams can operate without appropriate PPE. We can appreciate that waterproof gowns that can be laundered may still be available in many operating theatres, however surgeons who cannot access fluid repellent gowns or coveralls should not put themselves, their teams or their patients at risk. 

We wish to make it clear that The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh was not involved in the production of this guidance and requests further clarification. It is imperative that appropriate PPE is sourced and made available to the extended surgical team to ensure that those who still require important emergency, cancer and trauma surgical care, now and in the immediate  future,e are able to be treated safely and expediently.”


Please click here for the latest PHE PPE Guidance. 


About The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

RCSEd (www.rcsed.ac.uk) was first incorporated in as the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1505, and is one of the oldest surgical corporations in the world with memberships approaching 25,000 over 100 countries worldwide. The College promotes the highest standards of surgical and dental practice through its examinations, and is also increasingly involved in the provision of surgical training and education, offering the UK’s only Faculty of Surgical Trainers, open to all those with an interest in surgical training regardless of College affiliation. RCSEd’s commercial enterprises offer conferencing and event facilities at The Playfair Building, Symposium Hall and Quincentenary Hall, and runs the Ten Hill Place Hotel.

Find RCSEd on Twitter www.twitter.com/RCSEd and on Facebook www.facebook.com/rcsed

The College is based at Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW and can be reached on (0)131 527 1600 or mail@rcsed.ac.uk.

For communications and media enquiries contact the Communications Department on (0)131 527 1594 or comms@rcsed.ac.uk

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