Coventry Councillor hits out after inadequate PPE recall

A Coventry Labour councillor has said that Coventry City Council has had to spend almost £2 million of its own money to ensure there is adequate PPE for care and support staff.

A Coventry Labour councillor has hit out at the Government, claiming that care workers in the city continue to struggle to get the right personal protective equipment (PPE).

Cllr Mal Mutton, the cabinet member for adult services at Coventry City Council, has criticised the Government for its handling of the pandemic.

On the weekend there was a national recall of ‘Tiger Eye protectors’, a particular type of protective eye-goggles after they were found to not meet the right clinical standards.

Cllr Mutton said: “As a Council, we have spent almost £2 million of our own money to ensure there is adequate PPE for care and support staff working with our most vulnerable people in care homes and their own homes.

“This wouldn’t have been necessary had the Government supply worked and some of our services would probably have had to stop without spending this additional money.”

The Department of Health and Social Care said that they are working night and day to source PPE internationally and domestically.

Cllr Mutton went on to say that the Council had received some stocks of PPE from the Government, but that this was a “small proportion of what is required.”

Last weekend, millions of pairs of protective ‘Tiger Eye’ goggles had to be withdrawn from hospitals and care providers after they had been found not to meet the clinical standards for splash protection.

It is believed that more than 25 million pairs of the inadequate goggles were bought for the national pandemic stockpile in 2009. Of those, 15.9 million have already been distributed into the healthcare system.

“Supplying PPE that is not fit for purpose to our critical frontline workers is yet another example of the Government mishandling of this crisis leaving us locally to pick up the pieces yet again,” said Cllr Mutton.

However, some have been quick to point out that under the leadership of Gordon Brown, the last Labour government were the ones who placed the order for the faulty PPE.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson explained that “based on current stock assessments, [NHS] Trusts should have sufficient Visors and Goggles to immediately stop using ‘Tiger Eye’ protection.

“If settings require replacement eye protection they should contact the National Supply Disruption Line, and we are arranging replacement stock for Trusts who need immediate supply.”

They did not comment on the use of ‘Tiger Eye’ protection in social care settings.