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Cornwall receives less than a third of its PPE request

Cornwall receives less than a third of its PPE request

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:57am 17th April 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Cornwall Council is to continue lobbying the Government for protective equipment for frontline care workers after receiving less than a third of what was requested this week.

Council leader Julian German revealed today that the council had requested 36,000 face masks but was only provided with 11,000.

The supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a key issue across the country during the current crisis.

Cornwall Council has been trying to get supplies of PPE which would be distributed to care homes, domiciliary care workers and other essential key workers. It is separate from that for NHS staff.

Cllr German said that he was still concerned about the lack of PPE supplies coming to Cornwall.

“It is my single biggest concern. Despite government promises the supply chain is proving unreliable.

“We expected to get a delivery of 36,000 face masks this week but we received 11,000 – less than a third of what we asked for.”

Cllr German said that the situation was “not sustainable” adding: “I once again urge the government to listen and make more PPE available to us.”

He said that the council was working with St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double to try and get more supplies into Cornwall.

PPE

Cornwall councillor Mario Fonk has also raised concerns about the lack of PPE saying that he had received many calls from people concerned that lives were being put at risk due to the supply problems.

He said: “Cornwall Council is desperately trying to acquire more PPE as we are still desperately short, this is not good enough, lives are being put at risk.

“I’m getting a lot of complaints regarding the lack of PPEs in the care sector, I’m now also being contacted by relatives worrying that their loved ones’ lives are being put in danger because of the lack of PPE for the carers.”

Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council cabinet member for adults, has also been trying to ensure there is enough PPE for carers in Cornwall.

He said: “Currently accessing sufficient quantities of PPE is probably my biggest challenge. Here in Cornwall we have been receiving significantly less than we have been ordering, by as much as 30% on occasions and deliveries are usually several days late.

"As a council we have written to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State, about our concerns and we meet the Cornish MPs twice weekly via Skype to press our case for sufficient supplies.

"This is putting both the lives of staff and service users at risk and is unacceptable. I have authorised the purchase of extra face masks outside the contract but it still won’t be sufficient to meet the need.”

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