CONCERNS about the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Thurrock’s key workers has led Labour to call on local MPs to demand more from the Government and in particular to ensure Thurrock and Basildon Hospitals, alongside local care homes, have adequate and regular supplies.
In an open letter to Jacqui Doyle-Price MP and Stephen Metcalfe MP, Labour Group Leader Cllr Jane Pothecary, and Cllr Victoria Holloway, Chair of Thurrock’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, called on them to hold the Government to account for Thurrock residents.
Cllr Pothecary said “We salute those working incredibly hard caring for our loved ones and it is unacceptable to hear that they don’t have the PPE they need. They don’t need empty words, they need the PPE to help keep them safe. It’s essential they get it now.
“We need our local MPs to do everything within their power to ensure the Government is getting vital supplies of PPE through to frontline staff in the NHS and our care homes, to keep our Thurrock healthcare staff and patients safe.”
Cllr Holloway added “I can’t imagine what our key workers must feel as they go about their caring duties without the protection they need. Or how their families feel about seeing them leave the house each day. They need the right PPE to protect them. They shouldn’t have to go through this extraordinary situation unprotected.
“We hope our local MPs can reassure residents that they are doing everything possible to ensure the Government is protecting our residents.”
Open letter to Jacqui Doyle-Price MP and Stephen Metcalfe MP:
RE: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
We hope you and your loved ones are keeping well in these difficult times. We write to ask you to help protect Thurrock residents and its key workers at this time of global emergency.
We are committed to working across the political divide here in Thurrock, just as the Labour Party nationally is working constructively with the Government. Everyone working in our NHS and care sector are doing an amazing job. We need to be given every guarantee that their lives are being protected whilst they save others.
As local councillors, alongside our residents, we have grave concerns about the supply and ongoing availability of PPE for staff at Thurrock and Basildon hospitals and our care homes.
With Basildon Hospital recording the highest number of deaths from Covid-19 in Essex, our hearts go out to those families who have lost a loved one during this time.
We ask you, as the Members of Parliament for Thurrock, to ensure the Government do the following:
1. That every staff member caring for COVID-19 patients has adequate eye protection and gowns, as well as masks and gloves, as stipulated in the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance.
2. That every member of staff working with COVID-19 patients that require ventilators or other breathing aid equipment has the higher specification of mask, as stipulated in WHO guidance.
3. That enough PPE is available for staff to take adequate breaks, rather than trying to make PPE last an entire shift by not taking breaks.
With our residents and key workers worried, please assure the residents of Thurrock you are raising these issues with national Government at every opportunity and ensuring our NHS staff are fully protected.
Cllr Jane Pothecary
Leader of Thurrock Labour Group
Cllr Victoria Holloway
Chair of Thurrock Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Whilst I agree with PPE being distributed to these facilities it is not down to the Government to supply the vast majority of local care homes, these are privately funded businesses, who in some instances charge vast monthly fees for residents, they should be looking at getting their own supply network for their staff.