The nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment has been criticized for how the UK has handled the crisis. The apparent shortage of daily essentials has been less well documented and comes two weeks before admissions of coronaviruses are expected to peak.
At least nine NHS trusts have turned to Amazon wish lists to request toiletries for staff and patients, making requests for thousands of sanitary products, body washes, shampoo, balm for lips, face wipes and hand cream.
Hospitals have also asked the public to donate new pillows, pillow cases, towels, sleepwear and sleeping bags. One trust even asked for cots so the doctors could sleep.
Doctors at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex have requested disposable clogs and empty bottles of nail polish remover to fill with their own antibacterial hand gel. On Wednesday, an appeal launched by a local company had raised donations of 25 pairs of hooves, 100 sanitary products, 40 shower gel packs, 40 walkie-talkies, 40 telephone charges and 50 razors.
A trust based at Northampton General Hospital has requested donations of skin cream and moisturizer. Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough hospitals have requested additional supplies of hand cream.
Nurses at Norwich Hospital and Norfolk University asked for 20 iPads so patients could “talk and see families while in hospital during Covid-19”. They also requested hundreds of packages of toiletries and hand cream for caregivers of patients with coronavirus.
Nancy Fontaine, the head nurse and director of infection prevention at the hospital, said, “We have received so many donations, such as kitchen supplies for staff spaces, shower gels for staff and pretty cakes. We are sincerely grateful and request that this continue. The items we have added to our wish list are aimed at improving the experience of patients and staff during this difficult time. “
The Swansea Bay Board of Health has also appealed for donations of bathrobes, slippers and sanitary napkins to patients. In an article on his charity Facebook page, he said patients lacked clean toiletries and sleepwear because almost all of the visits were canceled due to a coronavirus. “This is already a problem that is likely to worsen in the coming weeks,” said the statement.