LESSONS have been learnt following an investigation brought about by the death of Furness General Hospital radiographer, a trade union leader has said.

The chief executive of the Society of Radiographers spoke out after it was revealed by The Mail the Morecambe Bay NHS trust breached health and safety laws during the pandemic.

The Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation following the death of FGH radiographer Simon Guest in April 2020.

Richard Evans, of the trade union and professional body for radiographers, said the safety of protective equipment for those in the profession had since improved.

"The investigation helps to move things forward with the proper fit testing of personal protective equipment in future," he told BBC Radio Cumbria.

"The sad situation at the beginning of the pandemic was that there was insufficient personal protective equipment for staff in the NHS and of course we were all learning fast how to get on and make sure that people were safe.

"The very sad circumstances that led to this investigation have clearly brought about some learning and I'd like to think we'd never be in a position again where health service staff were put at risk through lack of equipment or lack of knowledge of how to use it properly."

He said radiographers had been coming into close contract with Covid patients during the pandemic because x-rays were on the best ways to test for the virus and monitor its impact on the body.

The society has been campaigning for appropriate fit testing of equipment.

Mr Evans said the safety situation for radiographers had since improved 'by and large'.

HSE inspectors issued formal written advice after ruling there had been a breach of health and safety law at the trust.

A HSE spokesman said: “HSE conducted an investigation at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust after being notified of the sad death of a colleague due to Covid-19.

"The investigation identified that not all persons had received adequate face fit testing to ensure that the masks, worn as protective equipment for certain procedures, formed a tight seal to the face.

"Confirmation was provided by the trust that remedial action had been taken.”

The trust declined to comment.