Care homes in Scotland received their first central PPE supplies almost three months after GPs, a report into PPE provision by NHS Scotland has revealed.
The Audit Scotland briefing shows that GPs received their first batches of PPE on 24 January, just one day after the first confirmed UK case of COVID-19. By 30 March, all GPs in Scotland had received eight weeks’ worth of PPE. However, it took until 18 April for NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) to distribute one week’s supply of PPE to all care homes in Scotland.
The Government spending watchdog details how the Scottish Government expanded NSS’ remit to provide PPE to primary care providers and social care settings (including care homes and care-at-home services) which were unable to access PPE through their usual routes. In 2020/21, through its sustainability fund, the Scottish Government also reimbursed social care providers an estimated £17.5 million for costs associated with PPE and infection control.
NSS estimates that, between April and August 2020, it provided 38 per cent of care homes’ PPE.
The report goes on to criticise the Scottish Government for not fully implementing recommendations from the pandemic preparedness exercises. It concludes that ministers “could have done more to ensure access to PPE and training in how to use it”.
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