Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell has called on the Prime Minister to urgently deliver Personal Protection Equipment to care homes in Newcastle. Ms McKinnell has also called for care workers to be included in the UK’s testing regime.
Last Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson promised that all care workers would have their PPE “by the end of the week”. However, Ms McKinnell and her team have been in contact with care homes across Newcastle North constituency and many ‘remain deeply concerned that they simply do not have enough supplies, particularly of face masks’.
Some homes are also having difficulties accessing tests for residents exhibiting symptoms, and careworkers are not being tested forcing some to self-isolate.
In a letter sent to the Prime Minister today, Catherine said:
“This week my team and I have been in contact with care homes across Newcastle North constituency. Many remain deeply concerned that they simply do not have enough supplies, particularly of face masks. Several were trying to source additional masks including via Amazon and calling round other homes. Current supplies are simply not enough to maintain the required level of care. What is the urgent plan to ensure these homes do not run out?”
“I am sure you will agree that this issue must be dealt with as a matter of urgency. If Coronavirus enters a care home, with residents of significant age and a high level of susceptibility to the worst effects of COVID-19, the consequences could be devastating. The only way to ensure our care homes remain safe spaces is to provide adequate PPE protection for staff and to ensure they are free of the virus and safe to continue caring for residents by testing all front line staff.”