A CARE boss was reduced to tears after she was sent just 300 single-use coronavirus masks – despite her team carrying out 24,000 home visits each week.
Alison Horne, Operations Director at “Care by US”, said her staff is under “enormous pressure” as they battle the deadly bug on the frontline.
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She has urged the country to “get behind” the social care system which has been pushed to the brink during the pandemic.
Staff numbers have reduced dramatically with many self-isolating as Britain’s death toll hit 2,392, with a further 29,000 infected.
NHS hospitals are desperately trying to deal with the rising numbers of Covid-19 patients and people are typically sent home when care in hospital is no longer needed.
This puts a huge strain on the care system, with one team carrying out 24,000 home visits every seven days.
Workers must wear hazmat suits, full face respirators, wellington boots and double gloves.
Ms Horne had to wipe away tears when she opened a package from the government – only to find 300 masks which are only useful for 15 minutes.
She told ITV News: “We had 300 of these (masks), single-use only. We don’t feel like we can do enough.
“We love what we do we love our clients and our team but it’s such a fast-moving situation, we don’t feel in control.
We had 300 of these (masks), single-use only. We don’t feel like we can do enough.
“It’s enormous pressure, there is community spirit, but people really need to get behind us, not just the NHS.
“They need to get behind the care providers out there as well.”
The Prime Minister has faced heavy criticism over shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS staff as well as the slow rollout of testing.
More than 10,000 frontline NHS workers wrote to Boris Johnson to demand PPE amid growing anger that a lack of supplies is putting lives at risk.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries last night blamed "distribution issues" but insisted staff had enough PPE to deal with the pandemic.
But the recent delivery received by care workers proves some organisations are unable to carry out their vital work.
Head of NHS Providers Chris Hopson said the health service is facing "some of the highest staff absences" ever seen.
One in four doctors and one in five nurses are believed to be off, heaping pressure on colleagues facing an influx of patients.
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Yesterday, Michael Gove admitted the Government must go "further, faster" to increase testing capacity for the killer bug.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We are clear that no wholesaler has been asked to prioritise NHS provision over the care sector.
"In the past two weeks the NHS Supply Chain have delivered 170 million pieces of PPE equipment and in the last four days alone we have seen the delivery of 42.8 million gloves, 23 million surgical face masks, 1 million FFP3 masks, 13.7 million aprons and 182,000 gowns.”
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