County authorities have raised concerns that some of their staff have yet to receive PPE, whilst care home providers are reporting that prices have increased exponentially since the Coronavirus outbreak.
Below, the network responds to tonight’s announcement.
Cllr David Fothergill, health and social care spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said:
“We welcome the guidance published today and the importance being placed on personal protection equipment (PPE) for all social care settings. However, county authorities are reporting real challenges securing a range of PPE supplies and therefore the guidance must come hand in hand with a significant increase so care workers and frontline council workers have access to it.
“The NHS and social care are two sides of the same coin when it comes to Coronavirus, as many of those in nursing or residential care are those who fall under the ‘at risk’ category. Care workers tend to very vulnerable people who are most likely to become seriously ill from Coronavirus so it is essential they are able to effectively limit any risk of staff passing it on in such a tinderbox environment where an outbreak could be catastrophic.
“Equally as important is the need for swift discharge from hospital of those requiring care in the community, to free up more beds for those with the virus. Many providers in the private and voluntary sectors may not always wish to risk the safety of their existing residents by admitting recent Coronavirus recoverees unless they can be sure it is safe to do so – and that begins with being able to give care workers PPE.
“Remember, we are asking our care workers to go above and beyond in the national effort to tackle Coronavirus, but in the absence of access to PPE many of them are risking their own health as well as those of our most vulnerable.”