A hospital trust has asked firms which have shut down to donate protective equipment such as goggles and masks so they can be used by frontline staff.
The global shortage of the gear used by medics to keep themselves safe has led to shortfalls in the UK.
At least one GP practice has ordered face shields on Amazon in a bid to protect its staff when the regular supply chain failed.
Gateshead Foundation NHS Trust issued a plea on social media on Monday asking for local businesses to help.
The Facebook post thanked firms for the food, drink and supplies already provided, then added: “If you have any additional equipment such as goggles or masks that you no longer need due to the shutdown and would be interested in donating please get in touch and we can put them to good use.
“Email us at email@example.com”
The shortage in personal protective equipment (PPE) has caused an outcry.
Nurses have pointed out that construction workers would not be allowed on a building site without a hard hat, high-vis jacket and steel toe-capped boots, with one commenting: “In any other industry, you would not go into a job without the correct equipment.”
The Government has made assurances that millions of pieces of kit have been delivered across the country and that staff with concerns can call a national helpline.
At Tuesday’s daily Downing Street briefing, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said: “Just yesterday hundreds of thousands of aprons, eye protectors, respiratory masks, surgical masks and gloves reached the frontline and there is a 24-hour helpline if any frontline NHS worker is concerned about not having the PPE equipment they need, they can call in order to ensure that PPE is delivered.”
Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer for England, added: “The first thing to say is that the UK has always had sufficient stocks to date that it needs, against its guidelines, and those guidelines are amongst the best in the world.”