Council acting to ensure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the social care front line
28 April 2020Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which includes surgical gowns, gloves, eye protection and masks, is vital to protect vulnerable residents and the staff that care for them from COVID-19 as well as other infections.
PPE is used alongside other infection control measures, such as environmental cleaning and effective hand washing, to help manage outbreaks and limit infections in care settings but as many of these items are disposable, they are required in large volumes every day.
PPE is in national short supply, and government stock-piles have been insufficient to meet local demand. The council is working carefully to monitor and maintain its stocks so it can support council services and staff, as well as its 200 local care providers whose 5,000 strong workforce provide services in care homes, nursing homes and across the community.
The Council has now provided 60,819 units of PPE including 23,570 items of emergency PPE to care providers. Specialist Infection Control Nurses are providing daily advice and guidance to care providers.
The Council is also making significant investment to ensure the borough has the required stocks of PPE to last throughout the pandemic and beyond. These supplies will be issued on an emergency basis where care services cannot secure enough PPE through their established suppliers.
Councillor Val Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health for Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Our care staff are doing a fantastic job in exceptionally challenging circumstances and great efforts are being made to provide them with the required equipment to safely carry out their vital role in tackling COVID-19.
“The scale of this pandemic has raised issues that we’ve never encountered before and challenges with PPE do still remain which we have been actively raising at the highest level.
“Some limited stocks are now being supplied to local authorities by the government however this still does not meet the needs of our care providers so we are continuing to work alongside providers and government to do all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our carers and residents.”