The care home owner at the centre of the campaign to have personal protective equipment (PPE) provided for staff in all such homes today thanked the Scottish Government after first deliveries arrived at two of his establishments.
Robert Kilgour, chairman of Renaissance Care said: “A supply of face masks, gloves and aprons have arrived out of the blue at our Whitecraigs home in Glasgow and our Beech Manor home in Blairgowrie.
“My brave care staff at these two homes now have access to 53 boxes of face masks with 50 masks in a box, 24 boxes of gloves with 100 pairs in a box and 13 rolls of aprons with 200 in each roll.
“So far obtaining our PPE has been a case of scrambling around and approaching contacts from construction companies and dentists to nail salons and opticians cap in hand. When mainstream suppliers have any PPE, prices have often been through the roof.
“Our supplies were running desperately low, and these deliveries take the pressure off our people and allow them to focus 100% on caring for our residents. They are very welcome indeed.
“We are now looking forward to the rest of our homes throughout Scotland, and indeed all other care homes, receiving similar deliveries.
“At last we have some concrete action to follow the warm words that have praised frontline care home workers. So I say thank you and well done to the Scottish Government.
“This delivery and others like it will make a real difference to brave and hardworking staff doing such an amazing job with such great care and dedication looking after vulnerable elderly residents who are really their second families.”
As he welcomed the PPE advances, Kilgour, whose 15 homes employ 1100 staff looking after 700 residents, put out an urgent appeal for more, accessible and regular care home staff testing.
He also called for all symptomatic care home residents to have immediate access to testing, saying: “Both of these are simply not happening yet despite promises that have been made.
“The care home sector is the new front line against COVID-19, and until now we have been facing a tsunami of infection and sad deaths without enough access to virus testing.
“My message to both Scottish and UK Governments is ‘You must keep a focus on providing more PPE supplies and COVID-19 testing for care homes’. A real difference can be made to where we end up with all of this if we work together and remember this is about people not politics.”