ONE in four GPs has seen Covid-19 patients face to face without any protective equipment, a survey has found.
More than half — 52 per cent — of doctors in general practice reported feeling unsafe at work because of a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), according to the GP magazine Pulse.
Only a third said they had received an adequate supply of face masks.
Ministers have come under mounting criticism over failures to ensure front line medical staff treating coronavirus patients have the protection they need.
More than 80 NHS workers, at least four of them GPs, are confirmed to have died during the pandemic.
GPs reported difficulty accessing PPE, with only 13 per cent saying they have received adequate eye protectors, while just 12 per cent said they have been provided with gowns.
Three-quarters of GPs said they fear for their health and/or their life.
Meanwhile, 61 per cent of respondents to the survey of 675 GPs, carried out between April 17 and 21, said they were adopting a ‘no PPE, no see’ policy at work.
The magazine said a number of GPs had reported seeing asymptomatic patients who were later found to be Covid-19 positive.
One in five reported that they had the disease — either confirmed or suspected — and more than a quarter said they have self-isolated, increasing pressure on the workforce.
Ministers have insisted they are pursuing ‘every possible option’ to secure additional kit, but, with unprecedented worldwide demand, the situation is ‘very challenging’.
Two RAF aircraft carrying 400,000 medical gowns, but also masks and gloves, arrived in the UK from Turkey on Thursday.
The Department of Health and Social Care said a further order of 140,000 gowns would be arriving from Myanmar in ‘the coming weeks’.