Statement on Coronavirus and Care Homes

19th May 2020

Andrew Mitchell seeks reassurance from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care about PPE supply in care homes.

It is good to see my right hon. Friend bearing up so well under the considerable burdens of his office. Can he reassure me that the PPE supply into the UK and within the UK is now flowing into all care homes in a timely and comprehensive manner? I am concerned that those who are running our care homes so well in Sutton Coldfield should have the security of knowing that they can rely on continuous supply.

Yes, I can reassure my right hon. Friend—I thank him for what he said about the work we are doing in the Department—first, that supplies of PPE into the country and buying around the world have improved significantly, and we have put huge amounts of effort into improving that. Secondly, the supply, once the equipment is in the country, out into the care homes and where it needs to be is improving all the time. The number of care homes reporting that they are within 48 hours of a stock out, which is the measure we use, has been falling and is less than half what it was a month ago, but we of course keep working to get that number down. When a care home is within two days of a stock out, we immediately work to get it the PPE that it needs.