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FFP3 face masks could save NHS £360 million a year.

If hospital staff changed from surgical masks to FFP3 respiratory masks this would reduce staff sickness and infections caught in hospitals, saving the NHS an estimated £360 million a year. These findings were made in a study by York Economic Health Consortium (YHEC) and Vital Economics.

The study found that upgrading all staff to FFP3 masks cut hospital acquired Covid infections by half. This would reduce working days lost due to sickness by an estimated 1.8 million days, boosting NHS treatment levels.

The associate director of the YHEC, Hayden Holmes said:

"There is existing evidence which demonstrates that FFP3 repirators are more effective than standard surgical masks at preventing respiratory disease infections like COVID-19."

According to NHS England, more than seven million people are waiting for treatment in the NHS. The government wants to reduce waiting times, but low staff levels are preventing substantial reductions in how long it takes to be seen by a medical professional. Wearing FFP3 face masks could help increase staff levels.

Improving staff levels through recruitment and training new employees is a slow and expensive process. Wearing well-fitting FFP3 masks provides greater protection from Covid and other airborne viruses, preventing staff from becoming sick and taking time off work.

NHS staff report that they are still wearing ill-fitting PPE masks. The threat from Covid remains. For those working in hospitals and other workplaces where staff need protection from viruses, properly fitting FFP3 masks are recommended rather than cheap disposable fabric masks.


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