Anger over lack of coronavirus protective equipment at Exmouth care home
PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 March 2020
Care workers in Exmouth have been left ‘frightened and tired’ after only being sent face masks to protect themselves from coronavirus.
Carers working at the Manor Lodge Care Home were expecting to receive the same personal protective equipment (PPE) afforded to those working in hospitals.
However, Eileen O’Neill, manager of Manor Lodge, has told the Journal they have only been given face masks to help them fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department for Health and Social Care said they are working ‘around the clock’ to give the social care sector the equipment they need.
Mrs O’Neill said they are concerned for residents and staff. Manor Lodge has sourced PPEs but they are in short supply.
She said: “I have a crisis here.
“We are a care home for vulnerable pensioners and what the Government has sent us is packs of protective face masks.
“I am absolutely beyond angry. I have got respect for the NHS and what they do, but carers are not getting a mention.
“They are tired and frightened – they don’t know what to do.
“We are cleaning around the clock, disinfecting everything to the point where we are almost sterile.
“With the best will in the world, a nurse could bring it in and if that does happen, we’ve only got the face masks to fight it with.”
Mrs O’Neill also said they want some government guidance on the correct protocal when fighting Covid-19 – currently, they are getting the same message as everyone else.
She added: “What happens if the staff get it? We don’t have the resources that they have in the NHS.”
A spokesman for the Department for Health and Social Care said: “We are working around the clock to give the social care sector and wider NHS the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak.
“We have delivered millions more items of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff at care homes, home care providers and hospices as well as to hospitals, ambulance trusts, GP practices and pharmacists.
“The full weight of the Government is behind this effort and we are working closely with industry, social care providers, the NHS, and the army to ensure the right equipment continues to be delivered.”