Healthcare providers in Jersey should have taken responsibility for their own protective equipment, according to the Health Minister.
In a statement, Deputy Richard Renouf acknowledged the difficulty in sourcing appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) - such as masks, aprons, gloves and scrubs - but added that the government is not the only supplier on-island.
It is the responsibility of individual organisations to have robust business continuity plans in case of a pandemic, and to have enough PPE in stock to keep their patients and staff safe. We have been aware of the Covid-19 threat since December 2019. Health and Community Services has strongly advised, and would have expected, all organisations to have already stood up their preparedness and resilience, particularly with regard to PPE.
His comments come after several care homes and other providers told ITV News that they do not have enough protection. They have been reassured, though, that a significant order of equipment is on its way, and is expected to arrive this weekend.
Yesterday, Deputy Renouf announced that testing for Covid-19 in Jersey could begin in the next couple of days, and that testing front line health care workers will be a priority.
Work is continuing to ensure the Island is prepared with stocks of PPE, including masks, aprons, gloves and scrubs. I am also delighted to confirm that last weekend and today, a significant order of surgical masks arrived. Another large order is expected this weekend. This is a challenging time for all of us who are trying to deliver care. Please can I ask for a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect at this time. >
The equipment would usually be ordered by individual care homes, but many say they now need more, and higher quality - and as this is an unprecedented global crisis, the government should help.
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