Full personal protective equipment (PPE) must be made available to all staff, including community care workers on the front-line against the covid-19 pandemic, Sinn Féin MLA Emma Rogan said.
The South Down MLA was commenting after receiving concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus as Community Care workers do not have adequate PPE.
“Some of the most vulnerable members of our society are cared for in the community so every possible step must be taken to shield them from this deadly virus,” said Emma Rogan.
“Equally, the dedicated staff who are working in Care homes need protection. The health trusts contract these responsibilities out to residential care homes, but they cannot absolve themselves of their duty of care to staff and residents.
“A number of carers have already contacted my office concerned about the lack of PPE in particular.
“That isn’t good enough. All healthcare staff working on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus need to be afforded full protection. This includes staff in residential homes and those in the community as well as medical staff in hospitals. I will be putting that directly to the health trusts and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.”
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 as amended in 2002 and 2013 are the key items of legislation which set out the employers responsibilites to their employees regarding PPE.