Council support for local care workers and care recipients

Published Friday, 22nd May 2020

Gloves mask and hand sanitizer

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has sourced external supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support the local social care sector, ensure adherence to Public Health England guidance for care homes and home care settings and meet the growing demand for PPE.

Since the beginning of April, the Council has distributed nearly 200,000 items of PPE across the local health and social care sector. This includes aprons, gloves, masks, clinical waste bags and goggles. This is in addition to supplies local providers have sourced themselves. Many organisations have worked very hard to secure their own supplies.

Councillor Trevor Harp, Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care, comments: “Southend-on-Sea Borough Council continues to support the local care sector with provision of masks and other PPE in line with our set criteria for distributing equipment. Due to the national shortage of PPE, the Council is putting plans in place to ensure sustainable access to supplies for the Borough in the medium term.”

The Council has also been supporting people receiving care. Earlier this month (Monday 4 May), Southend Care opened a care unit in partnership with the Council to support older people awaiting a COVID-19 negative test result. Southend Care is a company wholly owned by the Council, set up to deliver high quality care and support in Southend-on-Sea. The unit remains operational and continues to work with Southend University Hospital.

Based at Southend Care’s existing premises at Priory House in Southend-on-Sea, the dedicated COVID-19 Care Unit has six fully operational assessment beds for older people who have recently been discharged from hospital following a COVID-19 test and are awaiting a negative test result. The daytime and night time service has been kept entirely separate from Southend Care’s main residential care unit at Priory House.

Since opening, the unit has provided support to seven individuals. There are currently two people in the unit receiving support. The care unit remains prepared for any increase in cases as lockdown measures are eased.

The COVID-19 Care Unit is operating in line with national and local guidance on the care of people with suspected or actual COVID-19 status. It is being managed by an on-site team of dedicated carers and people have been looked after in separate rooms. Admission volumes have not exceeded two per day, allowing the unit to effectively manage flow and capacity. The unit has adhered to government guidance on use of PPE by health and social care workers.  

Jon Manzoni, Managing Director of Southend Care, says: “The COVID-19 Care Unit has benefitted the health and social care system in Southend-on-Sea with the provision of a step-down arrangement directly from Southend Hospital and supported residents in their continued recovery from the virus before returning to their normal place of residence.

The unit is supported by district nurses, enhanced care home teams and the Council’s hospital social work team. The Pall Mall Surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, which is currently aligned with Priory House, is servicing the unit. The NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group has provided wraparound clinical support.

Councillor Trevor Harp, Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care, continues: “The COVID-19 Care Unit at Priory House has delivered an outstanding service, within hours of people needing to be discharged from hospital. All those who have used the unit have successfully returned to their normal place of residence having received COVID-19 negative results and recovered sufficiently to leave.

“This has been an outstanding collaboration between Southend Care, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group. All staff involved at Priory House should be commended and be extremely proud of the contribution they have made to help people through this challenging time.”