Businesses asked to help with PPE equipment for NHS and care workers

By Ben Fitzgerald - 6 April 2020

CommunityHealthBusiness

Businesses are being asked to help support the NHS and council care systems across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire in response to the ongoing coronavirus emergency.

Given the unprecedented demand, frontline health and social care workers are in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help ensure the safe treatment of patients. 

The joint call-to-action is being made by leaders from local government and the local NHS, including Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Swindon Borough Council, and the West of England Combined Authority. 

Among the items being requested from local PPE suppliers, as well as businesses that have surplus stock due to day-to-day operations being paused, are: 

  • • Disposable plastic aprons 
  • • All sizes of disposable examination gloves (latex or nitrile, if possible) 
  • • Face masks (such as surgical masks or FFP3 respiratory masks) 
  • • Eye protection (such as goggles) 
  • • Face visors 
  • • Alcohol-based hand sanitisers 
  • • Liquid soap 
  • • Medical style disinfectant wipes 
  • • Paper towels 

In addition, there is an urgent need for clear Perspex sheets that can be installed to create a protective barrier for non-clinical staff who regularly come in to contact with patients, such as those in working in GP practices and non-emergency transport teams. 

Tracey Cox, Chief Executive, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "There is a national supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) coming through, and we are working hard to get it flowing into every setting within our local health and care system. 

"However, we are facing unprecedented challenges so are joining forces with colleagues from across the region to call on any business that might be able to help us secure an additional supply of PPE for our teams working tirelessly to care for patients.” Clinical Chair: Dr Andrew Girdher | Chief Executive Officer: Tracey Cox 

Cllr Dine Romero, Bath & North East Somerset Council Leader, said: “We must ensure the safety of frontline staff over the coming weeks and months. 

“That is why we’re appealing to our region's business community to lend their support at this extremely challenging time." 

Councillor Brian Ford, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, Swindon Borough Council, said: “It is crucial that hard working and dedicated health and social care staff have the equipment and resources they need. 

“As a short-term measure, we are asking local businesses for support in providing such equipment so that our colleagues can to continue to support our most vulnerable residents, as well as ensuring we can deliver critical services at this challenging time.” 

The West of England Combined Authority is supporting the call for vital equipment in Bath and North East Somerset by proactively writing to key businesses on behalf of the health and care system. 

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor and WECA Chair, said: “Many businesses have already stepped up to support the national effort to tackle Covid-19. 

“This has always been a region where people and businesses work together to support each other, and this has never been more important than at this time of national need.” 

Any business that can help in any way, no matter how big or small their contribution could be, is asked to send an email to bswccg.ppe.covid@nhs.net

Business owners who are unsure whether their equipment is suitable for use are still strongly encouraged to make contact, as teams are on hand to provide advice. 

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