The CEO of national live-in care provider Consultus Care & Nursing has described the lack of personal protective equipment in the social care sector as “nothing short of scandalous”.
In an open letter to the government, Peter Seldon said the lack of equipment has meant care providers are having to rely on private PPE suppliers, many of which are hiking their prices up to “shocking” levels.
“We wouldn’t send our armed forces to war with no body armour, so why are we expecting it from our frontline carers?” he said. “These essential workers who only a few weeks ago were being classed as ‘low skilled’ are now the nation’s heroes, which is why I and many others find the current situation around PPE – and in many cases the lack of it – particularly for social care workers, nothing short of scandalous.”
Seldon said he was preparing to drive “some distance away” to purchase and collect PPE for his team of carers, and that Consultus Care is also relying on teachers and pupils from Tonbridge School in Kent to manufacture and supply the business with handmade protective visors.
“This is the stark reality we are faced with on the front line,” Seldon added. “This is a crisis that we are all in together and it is shocking to be encountering huge hikes in the costs of basic PPE from some private providers for those who are putting their lives on the line to care for the nation’s vulnerable.
“There’s no doubt that our NHS workers are going to herculean efforts to keep caring, but so are our social care workers, and they too should be entitled to freely access PPE to keep them safe.”
The CEO noted that it was “undoubtedly” a very challenging time for the government, but it must “find a way” to protect social care workers.
“Providing sufficient PPE to our carers on the frontline is the absolute minimum we must do,” he said.