Erskine currently has no difficulty in accessing sufficient stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in any of its Veterans’ care homes. This week we have also recently received our first COVID-19 test kits for Erskine residents.
Over the past few weeks we found ourselves in a fast-moving situation, with evolving guidelines and increasing national infection rates driving higher demand and availability of PPE. To ensure Erskine had sufficient PPE to meet its legal, clinical, or care responsibilities to staff and residents our procurement department commenced a worldwide search, which included the use of several online retail sites.
We are very grateful to our donors and supporters, who make cash donations, or offer their own businesses’ PPE to bolster these stocks. We are also reassured to now have the Scottish Government’s PPE Triage Hub as a back-up supplier. Erskine has now been able to access a number of new commercial PPE supply routes. Home managers and the procurement department carefully monitor changing need and order new stocks as necessary. Of course, in the future, the situation could potentially worsen and supply lines could fail. This emphasises the need for collaboration across the Health & Social Care Sector.
Erskine prides itself on the high quality, compassionate and family centred care that it delivers to Scotland’s Veterans. In a recent documentary Our Director of Care, made a very strong case for the widest possible availability of testing in Care Homes in order to reduce stress on staff, residents and families. We stand by this argument. Reliable testing is particularly important in end of life care situations, where our residents may present with high temperatures and coughs, but COVID-19 may not be present. This makes a fundamental difference to how our residents and their families experience their final days and hours together.
We continue to work with fellow members of Scottish Care, NHS and Government colleagues to ensure that COVID-19 testing becomes available at scale throughout all Social Care settings.