The Health Secretary’s announcement of the new rule on masks has infuriated most of the National Health Service trust managers as they were not consulted.
Last night the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announced that starting on 15 June it will be compulsory for all hospital staff, visitors as well as patients to wear surgical masks, “without any notice or consultation” of the NHS trust managers.
The chief executive of NHS, Chris Hopson said that the trust managers felt “completely in the dark” about these “significant and complex” changes.
In a tweet, he said: “How, as a Government, do you really irritate NHS trust CEOs at the end of another difficult, busy, hard, week? A. Announce two major operational policy changes on visiting and PPE usage at 1700 on a Friday afternoon without any notice or consultation. They are not amused!”
However, the Department of Health argued that the National Health Service England was well-informed of the announcement which was made last night and the managers had more than a week to prepare.
Mr Hopson said: “Potentially 1.2 million NHS staff are now being asked to wear face masks. Does that apply to every single site and building in the NHS where there is no patient-facing activity?
“How many masks as a trust leader will you need? What backup, buffer stock will you need? Have you got enough space to store that stock? Where are you going to issue the masks from? Are you issuing the supply to every member of staff each day, each week, each fortnight? ”
Meanwhile, the rail unions have been threatening to protest claiming that they were not informed of the plans for “army” of volunteers to give out free face masks before wearing them was made compulsory on public transport.