Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Covid-19: open letter to the UK government

Prevent loss of life by providing all NHS staff with WHO standard personal protective equipment

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 27 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1275
  1. Isabelle Hero, retired consultant histopathologist
  1. Leamington Spa CV31 1HE, UK
  1. isahero{at}

As a retired consultant histopathologist with 40 years’ experience of working in the NHS, I am appalled that NHS staff are not being provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

PPE that meets the standard set out by the World Health Organization is still today, 27 March 2020, not reaching many wards and clinics.12 All NHS staff need to be protected. All hospital departments, general practices, ambulances, and care homes need adequate PPE. We must prevent what happened in Italy.345

In the UK, six doctors and nurses are already fighting for their lives on ventilators, and one surgeon and a GP have already died from covid-19.678910 And the battle has only just started.

Please prevent the loss of numerous precious NHS staff through lack of PPE of WHO standard.


  • Competing interests: None declared.