Portsmouth council calls for more PPE equipment and stricter government guidelines
A COUNCIL is calling on the government to provide more PPE so it can be worn in all care settings, branding the current situation ‘slow, confusing and inadequate’.
The Liberal Democrat administration of Portsmouth City Council has written to health secretary Matt Hancock asking him to enforce guidelines that PPE should be worn by all carers and health staff and ensure enough of it is supplied to allow this to happen.
In the letter health boss, Councillor Matthew Winnington, said: ‘This is a source of ongoing concern for health, social care and other key service areas in Portsmouth.
‘Providers feel the response from yourself and the rest of government has been incredibly slow, confusing and inadequate and they feel like they are constantly at the edge of a precipice in terms of stock they have in hand at any one time with them having no faith in the supply chains that have been set up nationally.
‘Additionally the feeling of staff members and others is that the guidelines are being driven solely by the lack of availability of PPE rather than the overriding concern being for the protection of themselves and people they are caring for from Covid-19.’
It comes after Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt helped set up a new PPE hub for the city to collate equipment and deliver it where needed.
She agreed PPE for front-line staff should be a priority but said she was working to ‘secure more supplies’.
Ms Mordaunt said: 'We must do what is needed - every doctor, nurse, care worker, funeral director and others who needs PPE must have it. I am in continual touch with those managing the situation in Portsmouth and am helping secure more supplies.
'In Portsmouth we are faring better than most areas. This has been due to some excellent and early work by the local resilience forum, our decision to set up our own forward deployed store, incredible local companies making and donating kit and building our own “last mile” delivery system so we have a real grip on the hundred of organisations who need PPE.
'I have written to Lord Deighton, who has been brought in to resolve the ongoing issues in getting large stocks out to the front line with my assessment of what needs to happen to improve the situation.'
Around 90 members of the Hampshire Search and Rescue team are helping to run the city's PPE hub delivery system.