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Cornwall Council calls on government to speed up delivery of PPE supplies

Cornwall Council, in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board, has called on the government to increase the speed at which personal protective equipment (PPE) is made available to key workers in Cornwall.

Council leader Julian German said it was vital that key workers and organisations who need PPE to safely carry out their jobs receive it quickly, and asked for further details about how and when that equipment would be distributed.

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Cllr German said: “I understand that these are unprecedented times and there is a UK shortage of PPE, but I urge the government to quickly clarify how it intends to distribute this vital equipment – particularly in rural areas like Cornwall.

“Our frontline workers are doing an incredible job caring for residents who are sick or vulnerable, and we desperately need to protect them from falling ill so we can keep Cornwall running and prepare for recovery.

“We as a council have appealed for businesses across Cornwall who may be able to help us with the supply of unused PPE to get in touch, and while we greatly appreciate their support we recognise that this is not a sustainable solution.

“We still require clarification about when the government intends to make new supplies available, and how it will deliver those supplies throughout this difficult period. We will help with those distribution efforts where we can.

“I look forward to hearing more about the government’s plans as soon as possible.”

Many of Cornwall Council’s health and social care partners – in particular social care providers - have identified a lack of PPE as their biggest concern when trying to keep staff and service users safe. PPE is not needed for use at home unless you are a health care worker providing regular personal care to someone who has Covid-19 or is displaying symptoms.

A number of organisations across Cornwall are likely to have PPE that they are not using, and we would ask that you make this available to us now, so we can protect key workers from infection and help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

We currently need:

  • Fluid repellent facemasks (IIR)
  • Disposable aprons
  • Disposable gloves (latex and powder free)
  • Eye protection
  • Hand sanitiser gel

Cornwall Council Deputy Director of Public Health, Rachel Wigglesworth, said: “I can’t stress enough how important it is that we make sure everyone who needs PPE receives it and makes proper use of it.

“We want to minimise the spread of coronavirus and providing key workers with the protective equipment they need is an important part of that effort.

“We know that there are issues across the country with the supply of PPE, so we’re calling on businesses here in Cornwall that may have unused stock to get in touch and let us know, so we can get it to the people who need it most.”

 Businesses or organisations that can provide PPE are asked to email the council at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk. Please get in touch via this email address and do not drop any supplies off at County Hall, or any other council building.

Posted on 30 March, 2020.