Press Release


With the news of increasing numbers of c-19 infections and deaths in east London combined with the continuing reports of the failure to provide workers with suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) and training, trade unions in Waltham Forest have set up an on-line petition calling for swifter action to protect workers and patients lives.

Linda Taaffe, Secretary, Waltham Forest Trade Union Council, said:

We should not be expecting those front line workers who care for and aid recovery of the elderly, unwell and dying to have to risk their lives any more to deliver that care. The need for PPE, testing equipment and training must be fully met NOW and when we come out of the other side of this pandemic there must be a thorough and frank review of how we got into this position in the first place and act to prevent it ever happening again.

The petition to Barts Health Trust reads:

We the undersigned are very alarmed that some staff at Whipps Cross, and in the social care sector, are being asked to work in extremely dangerous conditions.
• They have not yet received adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep them safe.
• They are not receiving the proper training that goes with wearing PPE.
Health workers are not soldiers. They did not sign up to the NHS to put their lives on the line.
The NHS has been underfunded, privatised, marketised and casualised for decades. Now the shortcomings of this type of organisation have been cruelly exposed by the coronavirus crisis, leaving the system unable to provide adequately for its staff, who are the real heroes that keep the hospitals working, no matter what they face.
We come out on Thursday evenings to applaud our doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners and all, and we will continue to value their work.
These are unprecedented times. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken unprecedented measures. We now call on the Trust to take unprecedented measures too.

As a matter of urgency we call on Bart’s Trust to cancel the PFI debt and use the money
• To buy PPE for NHS workers
• For local industries to switch to producing PPE

The petition can be found here: