Oldham District Nurse: "We need protecting"

Date published: 24 March 2020

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group has insisted it is currently meeting Government guidelines regarding equipment and supplies as the Coronavirus crisis continues to bite in Oldham.

The Chronicle has been contacted by a stressed District Nurse, who expressed concerns about the lack of safety equipment that she and her colleagues on the front line are being provided with. 

She works across Oldham, mainly Chadderton, Royton and Uppermill.

“People are being told to self-isolate," the District Nurse told us.

"They're being told to practice social distancing, but we’re on the front line.

“We are in and out of people’s houses, and we have nothing to protect us, just a pinny and some gloves.

The nurse was at pains to point out that her team want to continue providing a service to people in need, but there was a real worry about the lack of protective clothing.  She said she had raised the issue at a higher level:

“When we ask management, we’re just fobbed off and told that it’s on order.

“We’re in and out of houses, nursing homes and residential homes. 

"We're working with very vulnerable people, and we both need protecting."

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group and they insist there is enough supplies to 'meet requirements'.

A spokesperson told us: “Our priority is the safety of our staff and patients.

"All our staff are fully supported and kept up to date on an ongoing basis about the latest clinical guidance for COVID-19.

"We currently have sufficient supplies to meet the requirements outlined in government guidance.

"When the guidance from Public Health England changes, we review the guidance we issue to staff and make changes accordingly.”

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