Breaking News, Coronavirus: East Devon MP hears concerns over PPE for medical centre staff

The MP for East Devon, Simon Jupp, is to look into shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) at local doctors’ surgeries during the coronavirus crisis.

Philippa Davies

Concerns were raised at Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast meeting on Wednesday, April 8, which was held online with Mr Jupp as a guest.

A member of the chamber said she had spoken to a nurse at a local medical centre, who thought their PPE would run out next week.

Mr Jupp said: “I will raise it specifically with the county council and East Devon District Council, and raise it with the NHS locally as well, to see what can be done.

“This has been raised with me about other doctors’ surgeries, and unless people tell me I don’t know, so I will raise that specific case as I have with other doctors’ surgeries locally.”

He was also asked whether a temporary Nightingale hospital is being set up at Westpoint, near Exeter, to treat Covid-19 patients.

He said: “It’s something being looked at as cases progress.

“I know at the moment our hospitals across the county, including the RD&E, are coping relatively well with the Covid-19 patients.

“I can report that the levels of PPE available in our hospitals for the frontline NHS staff in our part of the county is pretty good, with another supply due today according to the sources I’ve had, and I do speak to the NHS on a regular basis on that.

“I know there are plans in progress for (a Nightingale hospital) if we get to that stage where it’s obvious that our hospitals, and that includes our community hospitals too, can’t cope with the level of cases.

“This is something we are keeping a watching brief on, and this is something that is being led by the CCG and Devon County Council and the local resilience forum.”

He said everything possible is being done to make sure frontline NHS staff have the equipment they need, to the extent of getting the army involved.

“I was told, as an MP, to warn constituents that if you see a tank going down the road don’t be too concerned, it could be delivering PPE.

“Genuinely, every single Government department is doing its utmost to get supplies to the right places at the right time.”


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