The deputy leader of Wigan Council has admitted it is sourcing its own PPE amid a ‘lack of supplies’ from central government.
Councillor Keith Cunliffe, who is also the council’s lead for adult social care, said there had been a failure in national supply chains of PPE to get to care homes in sufficient quantities, but added that the council will do all it can to help.
‘At Wigan Council we have sourced 50,000 masks a week through a private company but given the increasing demands on the workforce this is not a sustainable solution,’ said Cllr Cunliffe.
‘We look forward to greater support from the government to ensure our caring heroes have all the protection and support they need to carry out their vital jobs in this challenging time.’
Wigan Council said it has made at least two deliveries of PPE to all care homes and settings at no cost and with a commitment that more is on the way.
As well as making sure any poorly residents are cared for, staff have also been ensuring residents remain happy, healthy and active with activities such as daily exercise and fitness, art and baking and doorway bingo.
They have been supporting residents with staying in touch with family and friends through video chats and some residents have been sending specially made postcards to keep in touch with their loved ones.
A new team has been created to help people get home quickly and safely from hospital, this includes rapid response homecare within two hours of someone being discharged from hospital.
Two floors of the Mercure Hotel have also been utilised to support vulnerable residents including people who have been discharged from hospital and the homeless.
Earlier this week, the government announced it had appointed former Olympics chief Lord Deighton to lead the national effort to produce PPE for frontline health and social care staff.
According to the government, it has delivered almost a billion pieces of PPE around the country by 16 April.
‘We continue to be desperately concerned about the lack of supplies from government of PPE to our workers in social care and homecare sector in Wigan borough,’ added Cllr Cunliffe.
‘So far the national PPE supply chain has been chaotic with previous drops being insufficient to meet demand and leaving councils like ours with no choice but to try and source their own supplies.
‘The health secretary’s statement and action plan of a stepped-up national supply chain is welcome, but we need this to be implemented as soon as possible to protect all frontline workers.’
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