Public Health England (PHE) is set to ask doctors and nurses to treat Covid-19 patients without wearing full-length protective gowns, according to a report in the Guardian.
Current PHE guidelines state that full-length waterproof surgical gowns should be worn for all high-risk hospital procedures, but in new guidance to be sent to all 217 NHS trusts in England, PHE will tell staff to wear plastic aprons when gowns have run out.
Alternative measures include borrowing gowns from hospitals with extra supply or wearing coveralls, which are one-piece items that cover the whole body.
The British Medical Association said using aprons instead of gowns would increase risk to staff.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said earlier today that the UK was “tight” on gowns, and that the government was trying to source extra stock from overseas.