Shropshire MPs promise to pressure Government over PPE
MPs in the region today said they will lobby the Government for action after health chiefs raised "significant issues" over the supply of protective gear.
Daniel Kawczynski, Philip Dunne and Owen Paterson - the MPs for Shrewsbury & Atcham, Ludlow, and North Shropshire respectively - made the pledge in a joint statement.
It came after they held a meeting with clinicians and health officials from the constituencies they serve.
In their statement the MPs said the main issues of concern were ensuring more available personal protective equipment for workers, and ensuring that frontline staff are tested – particularly so those who have been off sick are able to return to work.
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The statement said: “Our healthcare staff, Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Councils are doing an amazing amount of preparation to ensure that Shropshire is prepared for the influx of patients that may be infected with Covid-19.
"There are significant issues with the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), some equipment is getting through but we need more; and secondly it is recognised that more testing of frontline staff is required to ensure that critical workers that test negative can return to duty.
"We will be taking these issues up with our colleagues in parliament and plan to continue to have dialogue with service providers to ensure that Shropshire can continue to provide the best possible care to those in hospital and in care homes and also to those that rely on care at home."
The statement also said that preparations are vital to ensure the region is ready for the next few weeks, when the number of cases is expected to rise.
It said: "A lot of preparations have been going on behind the scenes to ensure that local NHS trusts, domiciliary care providers and local councils have sufficient staffing and facilities to cope with the increase in demand for the various levels of care that will be required.
"Shropshire is about two weeks behind the current situation in London, but that could all change very quickly and measures need to be put in place now.
"The number of NHS and care staff throughout the region are self-isolating and this is increasing daily but at the current time it is not affecting service delivery due to redeployment of staff; GPs, hospital clinicians and nurses coming out of retirement to return to work, and an increase in volunteers.
"Work is ongoing to provide additional beds within the county. There has been a drop off in A&E attendees which has freed up beds and additional beds had previously been put in both Telford and Shrewsbury to cover the winter period, provision of more beds in Ludlow is being explored and there will be an increase in the number of ventilator beds that will be available."