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Former police officer praises NHS staff in West Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 14:00 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:00 27 May 2020

Louisa Pepper, chair of the medical ethics advisory group, set up as part of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Covid-19 response. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

Louisa Pepper, chair of the medical ethics advisory group, set up as part of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Covid-19 response. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

Archant

A retired police officer now working as a non-executive director at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) has praised the efforts of staff during the coronavirus crisis.

Louisa Pepper has spoken of the “courage, fortitude and self-sacrifice” of the medical staff working in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic despite PPE equipment not readily available in some sectors.

As a former police officer, Ms Pepper has experience of having to wear the necessary safety gear to deal with potential hazardous situations and recalls how she relished discarding the protective clothing after a long shift.

She said: “I often found PPE and public order helmets cumbersome, at times uncomfortable, not to mention when my glasses often steamed up. I can imagine gowns, gloves and FFP2 and 3 masks are similar. Mine protected me from weapons and petrol bombs, and that of my colleagues protects them against an unseen virus, Covid-19.”

One of Ms Pepper’s roles is that of chair of the medical ethics advisory group, set up as part of the WSFT Covid-19 response, which aims to provide support for decision making on ethical issues arising from the provision of patient care.

Ms Pepper said: “The debates have been lively and forthright, with those present seeking to effectively balance patient safety, staff safety and patient choice. New and emerging issues are considered, as well as previous recommendations if further information becomes available.

“The committee’s recommendations are forwarded to a strategic executive group for their decision.

“It is not easy, and choices have to be made, all with the best intentions, in this difficult pandemic.”

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