Politicians call for urgent action as deaths in Sheffield care homes rise
More than 80 people lost their life to coronavirus in Sheffield care homes in a fortnight - prompting politicians to call for urgent action.
There were 81 care home deaths in Sheffield and 441 deaths in Yorkshire as a whole from Covid-19 between April 10 and April 24.
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh said many staff still had not been tested and although Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is now being supplied to care homes, there are fears supplies will run out.
Prices have also risen dramatically due to demand. Ms Haigh revealed one supplier was now charging a local care home £48 for a box of 50 face masks that would normally cost £3.
She said: “These awful figures highlight the terrible toll that coronavirus is having on elderly and disabled people in care homes.
"The government must immediately get PPE to all care homes, outline today how it intends to test more than 1.2 million frontline social care workers and make sure all residents who test positive can isolate safely.”
The Liberal Democrats accused the council of "taking its eye off the ball". Coun Steve Ayris said: “Many working in the social care sector feel isolated and unsupported by the council.
“Several have complained that PPE equipment is either inadequate or not getting through to frontline care workers and that testing is not being rolled out quickly enough."
Sheffield Council says it has supplied 330,000 items of PPE per week, over a three week period.
This included masks, aprons and gloves and 85 per cent of stock was supplied to the independent care sector.
Cabinet member for health Coun George Lindars-Hammond said all care home providers also received regular updates.
"The council has more than adequately supplied emergency PPE at this time.
"Our deliveries continue to meet demand for emergency stock and thanks to local businesses, we have enough to supply those in need of PPE in the city.
“PPE continues to be a concern but we are working hard with national and regional partners to ensure we can continue to meet future demands for provision."