'Sufficient' PPE for Dorset Council staff

'Sufficient' PPE for Dorset Council staff

Published by George Sharpe at 3:25pm 11th May 2020.

Dorset Council says that it has 'sufficient' stocks of PPE for its own staff and will continue to buy more, as needed.

It is also supplying some care businesses and others.

A public question to this week's online Cabinet meeting from Chris Bradley, asked what the authority was doing to ensure that front line staff are kept safe and have the necessary protective clothing.

"Those who care for us are putting their lives on the line each time they go on duty in a hospital or care home…The people of Dorset should be made fully aware of the full facts concerning the safety of the courageous people risking their lives to save others from Covid-19."

PPE

Cabinet spokesman Cllr Graham Carr-Jones said that the council had worked hard to secure PPE for council workers and for non-NHS partner organisations which have not themselves been able to secure sufficient supplies.

"I am grateful to central government which has provided some supplies of PPE to the council. With the help of military planners we have distributed these supplies fairly amongst our own services and our partners. The council has supplemented these supplies by investing very significantly in buying PPE to support key workers across Dorset.

"It is easy for the questioner to make generalised remarks about staff being at risk by working in cramped conditions where social distancing is not possible, but be assured we are working hard to protect all of our staff, whatever their roles. Where it is possible to do this staff are working from home. Other staff are in frontline services where they cannot work from home and managers are making sensible decisions about how to apply national guidance on the use of PPE to keep service users and staff safe.

"We have systems in place to monitor our stocks and usage of PPE. Guidance on the usage of PPE can change but we hold sufficient stocks and will continue to buy more on an ongoing basis."

PPE

The council's Covid gold lead for the crisis, Aidan Dunn, later told the online meeting that the council had stepped in to buy PPE supplies after the Government's promised supply chain was slow to materialise.

He said that PPE had been, and continued to be, a 'huge issue' in Dorset with the authority setting up what amounted to a 'drive through' to distribute supplies:

"Orders were received overnight and dispatched, pretty much, the next day - a really quick and responsive service."

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter.