A SCOTTISH care industry boss is demanding more support for workers amid concerns over a shortage of protective equipment.

Robert Kilgour, chairman of care home operator Renaissance Care, warned care home staff were feeling like “second-class carers” amid a growing shortage of PPE.

He said: “There has been a huge increase in the cost of PPE and increasingly long delays in their delivery, especially face masks.

“There have also been instances of equipment ordered by care homes being diverted to the NHS.

“The impact of PPE shortages on the morale of care staff and the increasing number of residents with Covid-19 symptoms in care homes has been massive.”

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He added: “Our brave and hardworking care staff deserve and need our full support and appreciation.”

Meanwhile, Mark Adams, chief executive of social care charity Community Integrated Care, called on the UK Government to fund the sector’s “endless, necessary attempts” to protect those receiving and delivering care. Deliveries by the Government of protective masks do not “even scratch the surface of the required supply”, he said.

The charity has a workforce of around 6500 staff who support thousands of people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia.

Adams said: “They can only do that job with the right support. Care providers have worked tirelessly to independently source adequate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline services, at great difficulty.

“If a care service experiences a breakout, it is essential they have everything at their disposal necessary to not only protect the health of the people they support but also their workforce too.”

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Adams said a large care home dealing with an outbreak of Covid-19 could get through more than 1000 masks a day and similar numbers of gloves.

He added: “We also need to appreciate that masks alone do not offer the protection that is required in an outbreak.

“Frontline care services need immediate access to the full suite of PPE, such as eye protection, hand sanitiser and protective gowns, so they can safely manage the threat of outbreaks, and right now that is not being delivered.”

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