The Wesleyan Foundation has made a donation of £65,000 to support research into the effects of wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for prolonged periods. This study will help to evidence the repercussions PPE has on doctors’ and nurses’ health and ability to perform their roles.
PPE is designed to prevent disease transmission in high-risk scenarios. During the COVID-19 pandemic its use increased within medical environments, and this trend is predicted to continue. Dr Christopher Mullington, MBBS, FRCA, BSc(Hons) and PhD & Dr Helen Jones from Imperial College London are leading the research project for the British Medical Association (BMA) with the goal of helping to improve working conditions for medical professionals in the event of a future pandemic.
Dr Christopher Mullington, Principal Investigator and Consultant Anaesthetist said; “During the peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS staff wore PPE throughout 12-hour shifts without breaks. We need to shine a light on an overlooked issue that PPE can negatively impact the physical and mental well-being of the doctors and nurses that wear it.
“PPE limits heat loss and places wearers at risk of heat illness, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. This study will quantify the impact of wearing PPE throughout 12-hour shifts and will help highlight the need for interventions to improve working conditions.”
Mario Mazzocchi, Wesleyan Group Chief Executive, said: “Many of our customers are medical professionals and were on the front line of the pandemic dealing with immense pressures and challenges every day – we will be forever grateful for their hard work and dedication.
“In addition to the financial advice we offer, our mutuality means we can invest in helping the professions we serve, we hope that donating to this important project, through our Wesleyan Foundation, will result in helping doctors well-being and ease their challenging working conditions.”
The BMA Foundation said; “As a charity, the BMA Foundation is fully reliant upon the generosity of donors. Without the money received as donations we would not be able to fund medical research and continually strive to improve health.”
In 2017 Wesleyan launched the Wesleyan Foundation as part of their commitment to supporting great causes that are important to their members and the communities in which they live and work. The Foundation has since donated over £5m and supported more than 440,000 people across 500 different UK charities, community groups, research projects and social enterprises.