SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty MLA has said the lack of availability of appropriate PPE still remains a major issue of concern for healthcare workers on the front line.
Mr McNulty said, ‘The availability of PPE remains a major area of concern for those working in our healthcare sector. Staff in every part of the healthcare system share the same anxiety, from those in hospitals, care homes, GP Surgeries to those providing care in the community. They are putting their lives on the line to care for the sick and the vulnerable and all they are asking for is the proper protective equipment to do their job safely.’
‘There have been many announcements about orders and deliveries of equipment. Some PPE was ordered, but not ordered. Some PPE has been delivered, but the quality has been poor. This is not acceptable as healthcare workers and carers need more than platitudes and empty promises. The best way we can show our support and appreciation for those on the frontline is by providing them with the proper equipment to protect themselves whilst they care for others. Healthcare teams have been charged with helping their patients recover, not with endangering their own lives or the lives of their families.’
‘In recent days the Southern Trust has put in place a system to ensure care homes are getting PPE but there are concerns that whilst this is welcome, its slow and the deliveries are just in time in nature and with small quantities only. This must be reviewed as we cannot have staff going into their jobs with the concern that the equipment they need to protect themselves has not been delivered.’
‘The community response has been amazing and they have provided all sorts of gowns and protective equipment to hospitals and care homes and carers. I commend and thank those involved. We just need the statutory sector to step up as well to ensure every member of our health teams feels safe and protected.’