A HOLYHEAD care home chief has warned that Wales faces two choices to save its care sector: a lockdown, or better personal protective equipment (PPE).
Glyn Williams, director of a Holyhead care home, told ITV Wales that better PPE could be a potential solution to transmission in homes.
Mr Williams said: “We could increase the PPE measures, we could increase the level of masks that we’re all wearing, from the flimsy FSMS to FFP3; perhaps that would cut down transmission.”
Care staff currently wear standard surgical masks in homes where aerosol-generating procedures are not present.
In September, Labour’s health minister in Wales, Baroness Eluned Morgan, was told by the Welsh Conservatives that her statement on PPE did not reflect healthcare worker experience.
It came after Dr David Bailey, chairman of the British Medical Association Cymru, told the Western Mail on 15 September that one of the reasons NHS Wales is currently under such immense pressure is “inadequate personal protection equipment”.
Dr Bailey continued: “Some doubly vaccinated healthcare workers are still having to isolate due to treating vulnerable patients and not having sufficient equipment such as higher-grade respiratory masks to stop the spread of the virus.”
Welsh Conservative and shadow social services minister, Gareth Davies MS, said: “If we have care bosses saying we must choose between lockdown and better PPE, then I have no doubt everyone would choose the Labour Government providing adequate equipment to hard-working care staff rather than closing down and damaging all of society and the economy once again.
“It is sadly not the first instance where the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay have been told that current PPE supplies were not enough.
“A survey of doctors in May 2020 found that 67 per cent of doctors in Wales did not feel fully protected from COVID-19 in the workplace.
“Since then, only last summer, we had the British Medical Association say that one of the reasons NHS Wales has recently experienced such immense pressure is inadequate PPE, yet we gave supplies away to other countries rather than save up to look after our own.
“We are regularly told by the Labour Government that they are handling the pandemic well, but surely, nearly two years since coronavirus struck the UK, adequate PPE should not be an issue for service providers, but an integrated part of the supply chain and a matter of course.”