We know our care workers are feeling anxious about the potential risk to their health, and the health of people they're providing support to, in carrying out their usual work activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Media stories of threats to the supply of PPE, differences of approach by staff in virtually identical environments, and changes to guidance have increased anxiety.
Although the situation is complex and changing, there's enough known about the epidemiology of COVID-19 to support some clear guidelines for the use of PPE by staff across our region.
South Yorkshire position statement
We've been working with other local authorities in South Yorkshire to provide the position statement below which is based on Public Health England’s (PHE) COVID-19: infection prevention and control excluding specialist scenarios, eg aerosol generating procedures.
Read the South Yorkshire position statement.
We know that accessing suitable levels of PPE is a challenge for those providing care in our community, and applying this guidance places an increased pressure on what are already stretched resources. The statement comes from a position of safety for care workers and those they care for, however we're aware that providers will also need to carry out their own risk assessment based on access to PPE.
To support the maintenance of supplies it's vital that PPE is not overused in either quantity or level of protection. PPE providing a higher level of protection must only be used where the prescribed PPE is not available, and social distancing guidance should be used wherever possible.
The South Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum have established a PPE supply and distribution cell that aims to tackle the issues providers are facing with the supply and quality of PPE.
For providers who are CQC registered, please continue to source PPE through your existing suppliers, and escalate supply issues to the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) helpline on 0800 915 9964 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
We've received a limited supply of PPE from the Local Resilience Forum which can be requested for care workers across the sector. Care providers and people delivering care as a personal assistant (PA) can request PPE from us by filling in our online form below.
To request PPE from us you need to show that you've tried all the other options described above, and that PPE is required to deliver care in line with the South Yorkshire position statement. As our stocks are limited we cannot guarantee being able to meet your request, and we may need to prioritise requests according to those carrying the highest risk. Please make sure the PPE is used in accordance with available guidance.
Our PPE stock could deplete quickly due to the number of providers and PAs working across the borough, and we don't have any guarantee that it will be replenished, although we'll make every effort to attempt to do this. Therefore please make sure your order is for a maximum of 7 days' supply. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee requests will be met and we may need to issue you with a lesser amount to make sure we can manage our stock appropriately.
You can also request PPE by calling our COVID-19 emergency contact centre on (01226) 774444.
If we can approve your request we'll notify you within 24 hours and PPE will be available for you to collect on the same day.