Care providers are being urged to share their experiences of obtaining PPE during the pandemic in a new government survey.
The survey is aimed at providers who receive PPE from local authorities and local resilience forums and asks about improving communications about PPE, the quality of equipment and any problems regarding PPE that need resolving.
Care workers and unpaid care workers are among those whose views are being sought for the poll.
The survey is for those service providers that are not eligible for the PPE Portal.
The aim is to improve and understand PPE distribution from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to the social care sector.
Care providers have repeatedly highlighted the government’s failures in meeting their PPE needs during the height of the pandemic last year.
A report published in November by the National Audit Office (NAO) found that adult social care providers were not adequately supported by government in obtaining PPE and came very close to running out.
It said the social care sector sector received just 10% of its estimated need between March and July (331 million items), while NHS Trusts received 80% of their requirements (1.9 billion items).
In May 2020, a senior figure at United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) described the struggle that home care providers were facing in sourcing PPE and the “real stress” it was causing business owners and their frontline staff.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast alongside staff from AMD Home Care in Essex, UKHCA policy director Colin Angel said that “every home care provider in the country” was struggling to get a sure supply of PPE and having enough to be confident that they can continue providing care across, in some cases, “days, if not, just a few weeks”.
“It’s a real stress,” he said at the time. “I have a provider who was telling me that he was spending 90% of his time trying to phone round and get PPE delivered. That means he’s looking for PPE rather than being able to run the rest of his service, and that’s a huge problem. The levels of stress that’s creating both for providers delivering care and their frontline care workers is really high.”
To complete the government survey, click here. The deadline to respond to the survey is June 18.