Dwindling supplies of vital life-saving personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline care workers will run out within days, the Local Government Association (LGA) warned today.
Amid the delayed roll-out of the Government’s new Clipper supply website, which could take at least another three weeks before it gets up to speed, council staff have reported a ‘chronic lack of masks, gowns, visors, goggles and other life-saving kit’.
The LGA said shortages of PPE were hampering efforts to combat coronavirus and called for councils to be given an ‘urgent guarantee that emergency supplies will reach them and their partners’ while they wait for the Clipper service to be fully operational.
Councils have had to resort to appealing to businesses and manufacturers for help in sourcing PPE.
Boroughs in the capital are understood to have been working to secure an interim provision of PPE on a pan-London basis to provide contingency supplies of equipment for a six-week period while Clipper is mobilised.
Chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said: ‘We must make sure our vital social care workers have all the protection and equipment they need to look after our most elderly and vulnerable.
‘Emergency drops have been helpful, but they have been sporadic and inconsistent, with some supplies not always enough to meet local demand.
'We cannot afford any more delays.’