I am hearing new stories of shortages of PPE for care home staff in the local area, along the lines of the story on BBC Spotlight last night. I gather that new national systems are being established for routine supply of PPE to the health and care sector, but these are still not up and running.
Recognising the difficulty, the Local Resilience Forum has had two emergency drops of PPE in the last week, which have been allocated to district councils and also to the CCG for primary care. It has flown out of the door but Devon does have limited supplies available from this resource for homes which have less than two days’ supply left.
In case of emergency, ie less than three days supply remaining, care homes are advised to go to the National Supply Disruption Resource (NSDR) which is managed nationally. However at least one care home were told that care homes would not be supplied through this route.
It seems we are still some weeks away from having a secure source of supply for the care sector. Meanwhile, the disease has been confirmed in 21 out of 400 or so care homes in Devon, which is probably an underestimate of the extent.
The only encouraging thing I have heard is that one patient from a local home was admitted to Intensive Care – contrary to national reports that care home patients are not being admitted – which seems to confirm the impression that the outbreak here is less severe and there is still capacity.