Personal Protective Equipment demanded for community care workers

Thu, 26/03/2020 - 16:25 -- Editor

SDLP Councillor Mary Durkan has called for adequate equipment and proper directive guidance in response to the Covid-19 pandemic for carers in the community to protect the safety of both workers and vulnerable care service users in our community.

The Cllr for Foyleside said:  “We are of course fully cognisant of the increasing strain on our health services at present. However, the gap of safety provision for our social workers, community nurses, home carers, palliative care teams and other community care workers needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

“In recent days, we are hearing of the escalating anxiety on the part of workers and care users and their families alike. Many of these carers cover a number of household visits during a work shift. They are not equipped with PPE and they have difficulty in maintaining social distance in carrying out some of their duties. Many workers feel they have been left with no direction or guidance, let alone without PPE.

“These workers are providing a vital service to our elderly and to some of the most vulnerable in our society. Many families are worried about the safety of their loved ones in the absence of adequate PPE. These families are reliant on the services of such carers. Thus some families are being forced into difficult choices. We call on the Department of Health and also relevant private agency employers to address these safety gaps as a matter of urgency to protect our elderly and vulnerable and their carers alike.”