The British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland union has alerted government officials after a GP claimed she received repurposed bin bags to use as personal protective equipment (PPE).
Dr Beth Hadden, a GP at Connel Surgery in Argyll, said they were delivered in place of PPE aprons.
She said the box was previously labelled as polythene bags and questioned if the items met infection standards.
Sent repurposed binbags as official #PPE 1)How do you doff?! Over head?Covid shimmy dance?Hulk smash rip? 2)Do they meet infection standards? 3)Dont fit all 4)Double plastic waste #undervalued @Feorlean @DrDomPimenta @heraldscotland @xandvt @TheDA_UK @BMAScotland @DrGregorSmith pic.twitter.com/xZ2s0JbkZM
— Beth Hadden (@drTeaLady) November 10, 2020
A BMA Scotland spokesman said: “Clearly this has caused concern to those who have received this PPE.
“We are urgently bringing this to the attention of the Scottish Government and the chief medical officer, to seek the clear assurances required – in line with the commitment made by the Cabinet Secretary to address any concerns our members have over PPE.”
Dr Hadden posted on Twitter: “Sent repurposed binbags as official PPE . One, how do you doff?! Over head? Covid shimmy dance? Hulk smash rip?
“Two, do they meet infection standards? Three, don’t fit all. Four, double plastic waste.”
Dr Hadden added the aprons could not be doffed – removed – safely.
See my other reply. Label on the box confirms these are polythene bags. Evidently modified badly in some batches with uneven "shoulders". The also cannot be doffed safely. Crucially important. pic.twitter.com/sYcTrna4yv
— Beth Hadden (@drTeaLady) November 11, 2020
Many PPE aprons tie around the waist and have a thin neck strap, reducing the potential for contact when removing.
Dr Hadden said the “bin bag” aprons could not be removed as easily, requiring the whole item to be lifted past the face, increasing the risk of contact.
The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.