Resilience forum appeals for PPE and announces mortuary sites

An appeal has gone out to businesses in East Sussex which may be able to produce Personal Protective Equipment for medical staff.

The message is being co-ordinated by the Sussex Resilience Forum which is bringing together public response agencies during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Chair of the forum, Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller, has thanked people who have already been in touch offering to help.

Locate East Sussex, which supports growing businesses, is helping to share the appeal.

It said on its Facebook page yesterday:

“East Susssex NHS Healthcare Trust is within days of running out of gowns; they have been in this situation a few times, but there has always been a delivery due – this time there is no delivery due and they are genuinely desperate.

“If no gowns turn up medical staff caring for those with Coronavirus will be in an impossible position.

Miracle

“It is asking for a miracle – but if your business is able to help either source gowns or make gowns in the next few days for their local hospitals, please let us know or email us at enquiries@locateeastsussex.org.uk

“We will put you in touch with East Sussex NHS Trust and you’ll be given the exact specs. There is a need to ensure that the gowns get to the most desperate.

“There has been a great response from individuals and businesses across East Sussex who have switched production to make PPE visors, scrubs and gowns in extreme circumstances, but a lot more is needed locally. Please help if you can.”

Thanks

The assistant chief constable said:

“My personal thanks to every single person who’s been in touch with offers of PPE. It is incredible that we have this support from the public as the SRF pulls out all the stops to get protective kit to those who need it most.

“There are almost 3,500 care settings in Sussex and the SRF has co-ordinated the distribution of over 250,000 items of PPE so far this month, with more deliveries due imminently.

Need more

“But we know that we need more protective masks, gloves, aprons and sanitising gel to keep sufficient supplies.

“As this public health emergency unfolds, we are working hard to ensure that we can get the data on where supplies are most needed, and also to make sure that everyone is using the most up to date guidance.

“From all agencies, our thanks to all of the heroic front line workers in the health, social care and emergency services working day and night to keep the public safe.”

Items required are as follows:

  • Eye protection EN166:2001 Frame Marking: 3
  • Hand sanitiser gel (greater than 60% alcohol)
  • Disposable overshoes CE marked
  • Disposable overalls CE marked
  • Disposable plastic apron (single use)
  • Disposable gloves (single use) EN:374/5 (Viral protection)/nitrile purple/ nitrile blue
  • Fluid repellent surgical mask (single use) Type 11R medical use
  • Drager dust masks
  • Hand soap
  • Surface cleanser spray
  • Universal cleaner
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Disinfectant
  • Blue wiper roll
  • Industrial cleaning wipes (excess of 60% alcohol or a disinfectant contained within it)
  • Jumbo toilet rolls
  • Paper hand towels

The Sussex Resilience Forum can be contacted by email at SussexResilienceForum@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

Delivery and collection can be arranged. All items need to conform to safety standards highlighted above.

Temporary mortuaries

Three temporary mortuaries are being installed in Sussex to ensure those dying in the COVID-19 pandemic are treated with dignity and respect.

Four temporary units providing 300 spaces were being supplied for the grounds of the University of Sussex in Falmer by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

This is in addition to storage facilities already being managed there by Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Capacity now stands at 430.

More units

More units procured by the Sussex Resilience Forum are due to arrive at Falmer this week to be used if needed.

Other mortuaries are at Worthing Hospital, where units for an additional 230 spaces are due to arrive this week, and at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, where units for an additional 290 spaces are due to arrive.

Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller who chairs the Sussex Resilience Forum said he understood the announcement about the mortuaries would be upsetting but it was crucial that statutory duties continued to be fulfilled during this period.

Reassurance

It was also important that reassurance was given to bereaved families, providers of funeral services, and partners in the BHS of the capacity to do so.

He continued: “I know this is something we don’t want to think about, but like every Local Resilience Forum area in the country, we are dealing with the effects of coronavirus and part of that is to make provision for additional mortuary capacity, we continue to hope for the best, but plan for the worst which we know the public would expect us to do.

Worst case scenario

“Whilst the picture for the worst case scenario changes on a daily basis and will also be determined in part by the success of the lockdown measures in Sussex, we are expecting to deal with a rise in the number of deaths during the peak period that will take us beyond existing resource for this time of year.

“We are therefore putting measures and resources in place urgently to ensure all deaths during this period are dealt with respect and dignity and in accordance with appropriate public health requirements.”

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