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CORONAVIRUS: Government pledges PPE for care workforce by end of next week

Matt Hancock

Social care providers will receive personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent the spread of coronavirus by the end of next week, the government has promised.

Speaking on BBC’s Question Time last night, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock (pictured) said the UK had shipped 2.6 million masks and 10,000 bottles of hand sanitiser in the last 24 hours.

The moves follows warnings from the sector that it was struggling to obtain the essential PPE and supplies that it needs.

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Earlier this week the government announced a package of emergency measures to help support the social care workforce.

The emergency measures include allowing recently retired workers to return to the profession without any impact on their pension and enabling volunteers to leave their main jobs for four weeks to support the sector.

Meanwhile, as all schools prepare to close their doors today, care workers have been included amongst a list of key occupations who qualify for education provision should they require it.

Children with at least one parent working in the sector can continue to attend school if necessary under the measures.

The developments came as the number of deaths from the virus grew to 144 in the UK with 3,269 people having tested positive from COVID-19.

Tags : Health and Safety
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The author Lee Peart

31 Comments

      1. I have 6 Carers who care for my disabled sister and we are struggling to get PPE, where will we be able to get PPE to protect my sister and the Carers

          1. PPE is supposed to have been delivered to all care homes, Marie, though there have been problems with the supply chain.

  1. Hi I am carer in a care home and I have copd and been told to stay at home but I am confused because will I get paid as it is not choice beleave me please can you tell me how I would find this out thankyou

  2. In 40 year of nursing I have never cried the night before going in to work, due to fear of catching Covid-19. It is disgraceful that you are telling nurses and carers to ‘dig deep’ when that it all we have ever done – and continue to do. I am a nurse in a walk in centre. Pateints come to us when they cant get through on 999, cant get face to face appointments with their GP, are turned away from 999, and are desperate with covid 19 symptoms.
    I feel as if Im playing russian roulette with my life and that of my children every single day. You are telling everyone to stay at home – yet telling nurses and carers to go out there without PPE! Are we not human too? Are we just numbers to you?
    I note there are no replies on this page and wonder if ou actually read any of this

    1. Well said couldn’t have said it better myself, and im pretty sure you will not get a response complete joke stay safe x

    2. I work in a care home I’m a maintenance man. I have COPD and the manager has told me I cant wear a mask as it frightens the residents theres already one resident there with Corona virus and I’m scared for my health. Do I wear a mask or risk myself.

      1. Hi Les I’m also a maintenance man in a care home and I deal with PPE and guidance on everything that goes hand in hand with it. Your manager has no right to tell you not to wear one she should provide you with PPE for what ever reason you need one for. Wear one you have your rights to do so.
        Mike

    3. I am speaking to the BBC. We have surgeonsome cutting out there own visars sticking them together with duct tape. In theatres the whole production teams; making equipment from the children’s science goggles things are bought on Amazon or the hardware store nothing obviously is standard approved making the most of bits that charities or hairdressers vets universities. I hope to say that Hancock should go in all the gear and then face the staff working with no protection donated

  3. The care company my partner works for does not deem masks for carers essential, all the carers are going into numerous homes everyday looking after vulnerable elderly and disabled people putting themselves and the people they are caring for at risk day in day out, it’s disgusting!!!!! all whilst they are sat in their offices isolated.

    1. Do carers in a care home for disabled people who dont have coronavirus need to wear masks I live in a home with adult with complex physical needs

  4. Hi, my parents get two carers from a care company coming into their homes every morning. The care company have told the care workers they will only be providing equipment (as in full PPE masks etc) when someone is showing any symptoms or is diagnosed with coronavirus, obviously by which time it’s too late for carer/client and any other clients the carer goes to. Often they have 12 calls a day. Clearly this is a route for grave concern given that all visited clients will be vulnerable/elderly of some description, otherwise they wouldn’t need carers in the first place. Last night we have been discreetly been made aware via another carer that one of the carers has had to go off work with covid 19 symptoms. The same carer that has been going into my parents homes every day Monday to Thursday. The carer with the symptoms who has gone off has told her colleague that she “felt poorly since Monday with a bad chest” yet still continued working until Thursday before going off work. She was apparently “scared to say anything”! Now my biggest concern is that my parents have been exposed to coronavirus for 4 days in a row via a carer with only gloves as equipment! You can probably imagine how worried we are about this now. My mam has cerebral palsy (wheelchairbound) and renal failure, my dad has heart failure, emphysema, COPD, and an abdominal aortic aneurysm. They are both extremely high risk of dying if they contract the virus. They have both been in isolation for weeks however now we fear that a carer may have knowingly brought the virus into their home. Not only just that, the same carer does daily rounds of many other people’s homes also. I absolutely dispair at the mentality of some people. The care company the carer works for has not contacted my parents to inform them that they have potentially been exposed to covid19 via their carer. Surely the care company has some kind of duty of care to at least advise vulnerable clients that one of the carers who has been into their homes has gone off with symptoms? At least to make clients aware of the potential exposure. The crazy thing is:- I personally bought a stack of masks and gloves and other equipment myself weeks ago and left them at the door for the carers to use. They were given the option and the choice about using them as obviously I can’t make them! They were all aware that I’d made many more provisions than their own company. Some of them choose to use them, some of them choose not to. Where sterile equipment is available for use and has been for weeks, the company surely should be telling the carers that where equipment is available they “should” use it. At least to minimise any spread. Some protection is better than no protection. We are wanting to ring the company and let them know we are aware of the circumstances about having been potentially exposed, however in doing that it would risk the job of the one carer who had the decency to let us know. It would risk her job as carers are not allowed to contact clients outside their roles. Does anyone have any advice about where to start with this one? So far my parents aren’t showing any unusual signs or symptoms, however I am aware that there is an incubation period of 5 to 7 days before symptoms show, so now it’s a waiting game.
    Thank you

  5. I’m a self employed carer of 5 clients and struggling to get PPE . I sent an email and was refused help with PPE
    Do my clients and myself not need protection And help from the government against covid 19 ?

  6. My partner works in a care home as a cleaner and there are no ppe and when another cleaner put a mask on supervisor told her to take it off or she will be disciplined

  7. Thanks for trying but I contacted them about direct payment carers, and got a response that said they absolutely will not supply PPE to:

    • Palliative care organisations;
    • Non-Residential Substance Misuse;
    • Personal Assistant type services;
    • Social Workers;
    • Unpaid/informal carers;
    • Retirement;
    • Private Healthcare facilities.

    So that’s the end of that. Disgusting.

  8. My daughter in law works in a private care home. They are being asked to work extra shifts to cover for staff self isolating but are not provided with any PPE. The staff are not in a happy place at the moment, mentally or physically, as they are all extremely worried for their own help and that of their families.
    Please can you advise me of who we can contact to enable them to receive the necessary protect quickly.
    Thank you.

    1. Please contact the NSDR via the 24/7 helpline: 0800 915 9964 (Freephone number in the UK), and a Direct Line from overseas: 0191 283 6543.

  9. Hi… I work in the utility sector and struggling to obtain ppe so engineers can enter customers properties to keep the lights on…. Any advice on where we can obtain this vital safety equipment in the current climate….. I appreciate NHS and care sector 1st but there are numerous other essential service providers struggling to obtain any ppe…??
    Any help available??

    1. Please contact the NSDR via the 24/7 helpline: 0800 915 9964 (Freephone number in the UK), and a Direct Line from overseas: 0191 283 6543.

  10. I am speaking to the BBC. We have surgeonsome cutting out there own visars sticking them together with duct tape. In theatres the whole production teams; making equipment from the children’s science goggles things are bought on Amazon or the hardware store nothing obviously is standard approved making the most of bits that charities or hairdressers vets universities. I hope to say that Hancock should go in all the gear and then face the staff working with no protection donated

  11. I work in a care home and we have been told we are not allowed to wear ppe unless someone shows symptoms and then it’s only allowed to be worn in their bedroom, could someone please advise me on this thanks

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