The chairman of an Independent Care group in Yorkshire says a government promise to provide adequate protection equipment to guard them against coronavirus “is not working”.
Mike Padgham, the chairman for the Independent Care group for York and North Yorkshire has told The Yorkshire Post the Government have been “caught out” and the promise to provide adequate PPE “hasn’t worked”.
“It’s a pity they (the Government) didn’t see us as in the front line much earlier,” he said.
“They say they are sorting testing out and they are sorting PPE out but I’ve heard that before.
“At the moment it’s not working, it hasn’t worked.”
Mr Padgham is also the managing director of the Scarborough-based care provider St Cecilia’s, which operates four care homes across North Yorkshire, where 3 residents have died and another five still have symptoms of COVID-19.
His comments come after the Government has promised an increased focus on containing the spread of coronavirus in care homes after they faced fresh criticism over protective equipment being produced locally and hand-delivered due to shortages.While Mr Pagham said he welcomed the new social measures put forward, he said said the Government should have reacted to the need for help in care homes and hospices sooner in the UK, as further deaths of residents were reported.
“There has been a bit of a lag,” he said. “The problem is we have heard it a few times before and it’s not materialised.”
He added: “I think eventually the PPE will get up but the amount needed nationally is absolutely tremendous.”
“The problem is demand out there and I know it is a massive problem across Yorkshire.”
Mr Padgham said his staff currently had sufficient levels of PPE for the next couple of days but only because they had build up stock over the month through their own commercial suppliers.
“If we get more cases then the PPE runs out quicker and the question is can we sustain it,” he said.
“And other care homes in Yorkshire haven’t been able to make the needed orders.
“I say to the Government don’t leave it too much longer because we need it today.
“If it hasn’t started sorting itself out by Monday then the words said will be a little bit hollow”.
Mr Padgham added he was not able to order any gowns for his staff – the piece of PPE used to protect the body of those who might come into contact with coronavirus.
The gown should be made of water-resistant material and have long sleeves.
The Government said 55,000 more gowns were arriving in the UK on Friday, but admitted to facing “challenges”.
“I would like to get some full gowns and I can’t get those for luck nor money anywhere,” he said.