Leonard Cheshire funding crisis prompts emergency Covid appeal
An emergency appeal has been launched by leading disability charity Leonard Cheshire after it revealed a severe funding gap for life-saving protective equipment at its services for disabled people.
The more infectious strains of Covid-19 and a sharp rise in numbers of cases has meant that the charity needs more personal protection equipment (PPE), as well as increased infection control measures to protect staff and residents.
Leonard Cheshire supports 14,000 disabled people through social care and its community programmes. Around 2,700 disabled people live in 120 residential and supported living services.
The pandemic has disproportionately affected disabled people across the UK, who often have underlying health conditions and are particularly at risk during this time, so the need to provide enhanced protection has never been more critical, the charity highlights.
The additional costs involved of protecting frontline staff and residents has been immense, according to the charity, with spend on PPE this year to be in excess of £6 million, 20 times more than pre-pandemic levels.
Vast amounts of PPE are continuously needed by the charity to keep people safe. An average of 52,000 face masks and 2,500 protective gowns are among the items required every week across its services, in addition to increased infection control measures, cleaning, sanitation and protective screens.
Successful Leonard Cheshire programmes supporting disabled people in communities could now be under threat as a result, with the need to draw on other charity resources to meet unfunded Covid-19 costs from its services in England.
The UK Government is providing some PPE funding to help services in England combat the virus but a fifth of PPE costs and half of Leonard Cheshire’s Covid-19 related costs in England are having to be met by charity funds, which amount to around £240,000 per month above monies received, according to the charity.
Government-provided free PPE is restricted and does not meet the total volume needed by the charity, it says. Even after the vaccine becomes available at residential services, PPE use will still be a necessity for the foreseeable future, until the end of the pandemic crisis.
Leonard Cheshire has begun an emergency appeal running across national television and digital channels to raise awareness of the shortfall in funds.
Hugh Fenn, Managing Director of UK Community Services at Leonard Cheshire, said: “New restrictions and pressures created by the latest pandemic strains mean there’s little respite for us at the frontline. Despite that, our staff have achieved some remarkable things and continued to deliver an extremely high standard of care. The safety of staff and the people we support is our top priority as always.
“Although vaccinations are starting, this pandemic is far from over and we are facing our most difficult months yet as a charity. Our ability to support disabled people in the months ahead is being undermined by our urgent response to the pandemic and the continued costs of providing essential PPE. We urgently need the public’s help during this time.”https://thiis.co.uk/leonard-cheshire-funding-crisis-prompts-emergency-covid-appeal/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/3-Angela-Saunderson-Fran-Muglia-Alastair-Willcocks-Caroline-Yeomans-James-Wilson-copy.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/3-Angela-Saunderson-Fran-Muglia-Alastair-Willcocks-Caroline-Yeomans-James-Wilson-copy.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1COVID-19 Sector NewsNewsroomSector NewsThird Sectorappeal,COVID-19,disabled,funding,Leonard Cheshire,PPE,ServicesAn emergency appeal has been launched by leading disability charity Leonard Cheshire after it revealed a severe funding gap for life-saving protective equipment at its services for disabled people. The more infectious strains of Covid-19 and a sharp rise in numbers of cases has meant that the charity needs more...Liane McIvorLiane McIvorliane@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine