The CEO of one of the biggest home care providers in the country has compared the feeling of having dangerously low levels of PPE stock to “being in a lifeboat, waiting to be rescued”.
Speaking during a webinar hosted by LaingBuisson yesterday, James Thorburn, the chief executive of City and County Healthcare, said government supply lines “simply aren’t working”.
“We had one person spend two hours with the designated wholesalers in the government supply chain yesterday and managed to acquire 1,000 aprons. We do 60,000 community visits a day,” he said.
“We also use the national supply response line and got an order of 100 aprons out of that, after quite a while trying to get through. So it’s simply the volume of PPE here that’s the problem.”
City and County Healthcare is now having to reserve its PPE stock for higher-risk cases.
“If we use it up now in lower-risk scenarios, as some local authorities have asked us to do, what’s going to happen is we will run out and that will stop care, creating much more harm,” warned Thorburn.
“If you are in a lifeboat and you don’t know how long it’s going to be until you are rescued, it doesn’t make sense to go through your food quickly, and that is where we are with PPE at the moment.”