To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps have been taken to provide appropriate personal protective equipment to NHS staff with religious beards.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to provide personal protective equipment for NHS staff with (a) turbans and (b) other religious head coverings.
We are clear frontline staff should have the equipment they need to do their job safely. The National Medical Director and Chief Nursing Officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote on 24 April 2020 to NHS Chief Executives, Chief Nurses and Medical Directors, emphasising the importance of proper fit testing of disposable sessional personal protective equipment (PPE) face masks (such as FFP3 masks). The Government is dedicated to providing appropriate fitting PPE for all frontline staff, including those with religious beards, turbans and other religious head coverings.
We are also working to secure products for specific groups of patients and staff, for example, having 2,000 powered respirators that Sikh male doctors or others who cannot fit test well against masks will be able to use.