PPE army secures distribution during lockdown

Jonathan Sim

With massive levels of PPE required across our services, many of our colleagues have been working tirelessly to make sure it gets to where it's needed.

In these unprecedented times, personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to be discussed regularly in parliament. Carers and other key workers are always in the spotlight. The care sector has kept going about its business in challenging circumstances. 
Not that it's business as usual. With our services in lockdown since 23 March 2020, our 4,700 staff have been amazing. They've been at the frontline in the national battle against coronavirus, caring round the clock for 2,700 disabled adults in the UK.

Steve Riley stands next to a minibus loaded with PPE

The logistics of delivering PPE to our services

This is the most significant test we've faced in a generation. Care has remained at the core of what we do, coupled with an urgent need to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. That has meant massive levels of PPE required across our services. The volumes required every week are mind-boggling, including 50,000 masks.

As a result, different patterns of procurement have been necessary with PPE acquired from a myriad of sources – whether it's large companies or even hardware shops. Meanwhile, many of you have answered the call and mucked in to get it where it matters; our services. 
Andrew Hughes, Director of Property, is just one member of a small army that has supported the distribution of PPE: "This has been a relentless process, with Joanne Antcliffe (Head of Procurement) leading the charge through negotiating both the necessary levels of equipment and the prices we have to pay. We have climbed a very steep curve on this from very little PPE to now having the required amounts in two months. We also have a good stock of most key items out to the end of July."

A collective national effort to deliver PPE

Alongside the likes of David Slater (England Director of Operations), Ben Chance (Regional Manager), Tom Fricker (Driver) and Stephen Riley (Facilities Manager) over £1m worth of PPE have been delivered to services and existing regional hubs across the country during the lockdown. 
A small fleet of minibuses embark on delivery runs from the London Office on alternate Thursdays. Around 500 boxes of PPE, from masks, gloves, aprons, face visors and gowns are then loaded and distributed across the five regional hubs – three in the south and two in the north.

We also send a minibus to Wales, driven by Agnieszka Dennis, who works for the Partnerships team. For Scotland and Northern Ireland (Inc IOM), we use external logistics due to the distance and ferries involved. 

Three men load a minibus with PPE

Ensuring frontline services can operate safely

These new roles have brought new experiences for many. It's been a positive one for Andrew: "It's good to physically see the PPE we are sending out to the services and to do my bit in helping keep our staff and residents safe. But there's a small army of people involved. We're just trying to help ensure frontline services continue to do the fantastic work that is done every day at our services."

As we enter the third month of this crisis, our community continues to pull together. Working together, we will continue to support those on the frontline.

Thank you to every single person working hard to get PPE to our services in these challenging times. A special thank you to: Malcolm Gunner, Chris Parkes, Errol James, James Mcardle, Septimus Cummings, Stanley Chase, Derek Chase, Gerard Craine, Bill Evans, Susan Turner, Frank Colley, Droopnath Khulpateea, Graham Muta, Alison Clarke, Gorakh Karki, Yogun Dullip, Angela Chudyka, Bob Lewis, Steve Doyle, Lee Haydar, Ben Chance, David Slater, Gary Mcardle, Tim Hall, Time Fricker, Agnieszka Dennis, Andrew Hughes, Joanne Antcliff and many more.

Protect our carers with PPE

We are doing all we can to stop the spread of coronavirus, save lives and keep people safe. More equipment to protect our carers is urgently needed.

Protect our carers with PPE