A 21st April press release from Calderdale Council says that West Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum has called on the government to declare a national Personal Protection Equipment emergency.
This is due to “very tight’ Personal Protection Equipment supplies for Council staff who are delivering personal care in the NHS and the Council, and for care home staff and domiciliary carers.
The Council’s Chief Executive, Robin Tuddenham, is co-chair of the West Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum.
The government has tasked Local Resilience Forums with distributing Personal Protection Equipment to social care and GP practices
Since the week of 6th April, Local Resilience Forums have been tasked by the Department of Health and Social Care with distributing Personal Protection Equipment supplies to social care and primary care health services, mostly through local authorities.
This move followed public outrage that care homes and domiciliary care companies were unable to buy Personal Protection Equipment for their staff, due to the chaos that Personal Protection Equipment supplies and distribution had descended to.
The 38 Local Resilience Forums have now distributed millions of items of PPE, mostly aprons, masks and gloves, on the basis of the Dept of Health and Social Care’s very belated Covid 19 Adult Social Care Action Plan, published on 15 April.
But these PPE supplies are clearly not enough
As already detailed, Calderdale GPs, community health and social care staff are relying on the kindness and hard work of local volunteer groups – and emergency Personal Protection Equipment imports from China brought in recently on a chartered plan, by a bunch of Councils including Calderdale.
Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership urges businesses to get PPE to health and social care workers
In its recent press release, Calderdale Council says it is also supporting the work of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and their partner organisations to help businesses get PPE to health and social care workers,
“Any businesses able to help are encouraged to visit www.the-lep.com/ppe
Please note that all PPE products must be within their use-by date and must comply with national standards. Please see the Government’s guidance on Technical Specifications for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”
Government has been ignoring UK businesses’ offers of PPE
Such measures come after Network Medical Products, in Ripon, North Yorkshire, said it will begin exporting face visors to Europe from the end of this week if there are no orders from the Government. They say the government has ignored their offers to supply PPE.
The company began PPE production on April 9 and has supplied 165,000 visors to Ramsay Healthcare UK – a network of private hospitals, said it is capable of distributing 100,000 a week to the NHS.
Neil Mercer, chief executive of Network Medical Products, said:
“[T]here’s a huge global demand for our items, mostly from within Europe but also some countries in South America.
“We want it to be sold and used here, the materials were sourced in the UK, but our offers have been met with generic responses from officials, no orders have been placed, so we will have to ship them abroad.”