Scarborough care homes boss: 'I don't know where next supplies of PPE will come from, we are desperate'
Care homes in Scarborough have had to call on emergency supplies of PPE amidst a national shortage.
Mike Padgham, owner of Saint Cecilia’s Care Group, said they had to turn to the local resilience forum - meant as a last resort - at the weekend.
They managed to secure three to four-days worth of protective clothing from the forum but Mr Padgham said he does not know where the next supplies will come from.
“We’re not meant to use the local resilience forum all the time but commercially, there isn’t enough PPE out there,” he said.
“The Government keeps saying it’s coming.”
Mr Padgham, who runs four homes in Scarborough and is chair of the Independent Care Group, said his homes have had visors donated by Scarborough College and Scarborough UTC, and they have managed to source goggles.
But face masks are still in short supply.
“We’re trying to get supplies. I don’t have the answer,” he said.
Meanwhile his homes are among those answering hospitals’ pleas to take in some elderly patients ready to be discharged in a bid to free up beds.
Mr Padgham described the move as “a challenge” as some of those being discharged may have tested positive for coronavirus.
He is pushing for the Government to provide coronavirus testing for care home staff to help ease the situation.
He is also calling for better financial support from the Government to help care homes get through the hardships caused by the fight against the pandemic.
“My staff are nervous about Covid-19,” he said. “They have seen how professionals in hospital feel and seen NHS staff dying from this on the news.
“They still work long hours and put their residents first.”
Mr Padgham said there have been four suspected coronavirus cases at the care group’s nursing home and three at the care home.
Of those seven cases, sadly five have died, four of whom of suspected coronavirus.
“We’re just taking it each day as it comes,” he said.