Milton Keynes care provider makes 30 calls a day to secure high quality PPE for staff

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Workers on phone constantly to make sure staff have protective equipment

A care provider in Milton Keynes says it’s making up to 30 calls a day to ensure it has enough stocks of high-quality personal protective equipment, or PPE, for its staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

PJ Care, which provides specialist neurological care for people with conditions such as young or early onset dementia, Huntington’s disease and brain injuries, has had to work around the clock to secure sufficient quantities of surgical and high protection masks, gloves, scrubs, aprons and face shields.

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PJ Care employs 220 staff at its two care centres in the city; Bluebirds on Faraday Drive in Shenley Lodge and Mallard House on Dunthorne Way in Grange Farm, which cares for 78 residents.

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, in Milton KeynesPersonal protective equipment, or PPE, in Milton Keynes
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, in Milton Keynes | freelance

But many care providers in the city, and across the country, are struggling to source what they need.

PJ Care chairman, Neil Russell, said his team are going above and beyond in order to get sufficient high-quality equipment.

He said: “We acknowledge that it is difficult for the sector because demand is so high. We were fortunate in already having strong, well-established relationships with our supply chain and we had good stock levels before the crisis hit.

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“But we have to applaud the efforts of our procurement manager, Daria Drygas, who has been on the phone constantly. She’s been working extremely long hours, sometimes checking emails at midnight, to keep in contact with our suppliers and make the most of opportunities when they arise.

“It’s vital we have the necessary protective equipment for all of our staff in order to keep them, and our residents, safe and well, so we hope we can continue to source enough for our whole team.”

PJ Care, a leading provider of specialist neurological care in the UK, is currently recruiting additional team members to cover the 20 per cent of staff who are self-isolating as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

Masks are being worn by all staff, from the maintenance team to senior management, who are on the floor on a daily basis.

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“Our operations director would normally visit our centres two or three times a week but he’s on the floor every day at the moment, volunteering his services wherever they are needed,” said Neil. “That could be as another pair of hands or just a listening ear – both are key to supporting our staff who are doing the most amazing job.

“They come to work under unprecedented circumstances, yet they have smiles on their faces and show the same dedication to our residents, and each other, as they do every day.

“They are having to cover colleagues who are self-isolating until our new staff members come on board, and I can’t say enough how proud I am of them all.”

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