Nicola Sturgeon claims Scots doctors not issued with PPE 'bin bags'

Anger among Scots GPs over being issued with "bin bags" as PPE was down to a "labelling error", the First Minister has told MSPs.

Nicola Sturgeon insisted that aprons sent to doctors around the country were not "reformulated bin bags" as their label indicated and they met with all safety standards.

The SNP leader came under pressure over the error as she clashed with Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie at First Minister's Questions today.

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The Lib Dem leader said he wanted to avoid a repeat of the personal protective equipment (PPE) problems from earlier this year when there were concerns over a shortage of supplies to frontline staff.

Dr Beth Hadden tweeted a picture of the 'PPE'Dr Beth Hadden tweeted a picture of the 'PPE'
Dr Beth Hadden tweeted a picture of the 'PPE'

"Last week GPs were given new supplies - it was supposed to include aprons," he said.

"But they were given white-tint polythene bags instead. Holes had been cut out for heads and arms. GPs are annoyed about this."

Mr Rennie added: "Whatever the label, they do look like bin bags and manufacturers believed they were bin bags and they are not making GPs feel particularly valued at this time.

"The PPE hub told a GP that they were at the mercy of the PPE push from the government and that no others were available at that time. I think GPs will just want to know that these will be taken out of circulation and they’ll have aprons in future.”

Ms Sturgeon insisted one of her "most important responsibilities" was to ensure that health and care staff have the PPE they need.

"We will continue to make sure that our stocks are resilient and that the quality of PPE is as it should be,” she said.

"In this particular instance there was firstly a concern about the labelling of these aprons as bin bags that had been reformulated.

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"It has been confirmed that that was a mis-labelling and not correct. These were PPE aprons and also the second point and most important point is that these aprons fully comply with regulations and have passed rigorous quality assurance."

Ms Sturgeon said any GP who wished a "different style" of apron can issue a replacement request with the local health board's supply team.

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