Plea for councils to be given protective equipment with ‘utmost urgency’
Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be delivered to councils with the “utmost urgency”, the Government has been told.
In a plea to ministers, the Local Government Association (LGA) has called for adequate and sustainable supplies of PPE to be handed to frontline council and care services.
A one-off emergency drop of PPE is in the process of being delivered to local resilience forums across the country, however according to the LGA, it will not currently be enough to meet demand.
The body has pointed to councils including Surrey County Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority who have reached out to local firms such as tattoo artists and beauty salons in order to obtain the equipment they need.
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said that it is vital that such equipment is made available to the critical staff who need it.
“Social care staff and other council workers are at the forefront of responding to the coronavirus. They are doing an incredible and dangerous job in extremely challenging circumstances,” he said.
“We have been working with the Government to ensure more PPE is available for everyone who needs it, including those working in home care and care homes.
“We are relieved to know that extra supplies have begun arriving across the country but hugely concerned that deliveries in some areas continued to be delayed. All areas need their deliveries to arrive with the utmost urgency.”
Mr Hudspeth continued: “Councils and care providers not only need good-quality supplies of this PPE immediately but also in the days and weeks ahead.
“It is vital that even more of this vital protective equipment is available to those who need it, including our valuable social care staff, refuse collectors and others providing essential local services.
“Ongoing, consistent and reliable supplies of PPE is needed for all our critical workers, including those in social care but also other parts of the local government workforce who may need it, for councils to be able to support the national effort in beating this disease.”