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St Joseph’s hospice sends out ‘huge’ thankyou for PPE donations and praises unsung heroes

PUBLISHED: 18:30 09 April 2020

St Joseph's Hospice's Chief Exectutive Tony Mclean encourages the public to celebrate the unsung and unseen staff that keep hospitals running. Picture: St Joseph's Hospice

St Joseph's Hospice's Chief Exectutive Tony Mclean encourages the public to celebrate the unsung and unseen staff that keep hospitals running. Picture: St Joseph's Hospice

St Joseph's Hospice

A Hackney hospice appealed to the public for protective equipment after a government coding error left it short of supplies.

St Joseph's Hospice put out an appeal on facebook requesting GP surgeries, schools, dentists, nail bars and other businesses if they had PPE to spare. Picture: St Joseph's HospiceSt Joseph's Hospice put out an appeal on facebook requesting GP surgeries, schools, dentists, nail bars and other businesses if they had PPE to spare. Picture: St Joseph's Hospice

St Joseph’s hospice on Mare Street was running low when it took the “unsual” step of posting an urgent appeal on Facebook for masks, gowns, plastic aprons and sanitiser gel.

Chief Executive and registered nurse Tony Mclean was delighted by the “sterling” community response.

He told the Gazette: “It’s been really touching to know that the community can mobilise in that way - the generosity people have shown has been stunning.”

Tony wants to reassure patients at the hospice and their loved ones that they hadn’t run out of stock when they launched the appeal but had run low. Dentists, schools, universities and labs and nail bars we’re asked to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) as they use similar disposable items.

St Joseph's Hospice sent out a huge thankyou to the public after  receiving plenty of donations of PPE.Picture: St Joseph's HospiceSt Joseph's Hospice sent out a huge thankyou to the public after receiving plenty of donations of PPE.Picture: St Joseph's Hospice

Staff at the hospice normally require PPE but the likelihood the hospice would need more has increased as Covid-19 spreads and shortages caused by the pandemic are being felt by hospital staff all over the world.

PPE is distributed using a coded system with hospitals like Homerton being given top priority but Tony says the NHS supply chain which normally supplies St Joseph’s has coded them lower than expected.

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Tony recently discovered this with the help of Hospice UK - a charity representing all 220 hospices in the country.

Staff at St. Joseph's Hospice were given parking permits by the council so that they could avoid public transport during the pandemic. Picture: St Joseph's HospiceStaff at St. Joseph's Hospice were given parking permits by the council so that they could avoid public transport during the pandemic. Picture: St Joseph's Hospice

Hospice UK gave a statement on April 1 saying it’s “deeply concerned about the continuing difficulties hospices are facing in accessing appropriate equipment.” They are working with the NHS to resolve supply issues.

Since the appeal St Joseph’s has received plenty of donations and managed to resolve the NHS supply for the time being.

Tony says the council has also been helpful by supplying staff at the hospice with parking permits instead of risking contamination by using public transport.

Tonight at 8pm there will be another round of national applause for NHS staff as the Clap For Carers campaign becomes a weekly event.

Tony wants to make sure people are also celebrating the unseen and unsung heroes that keep hospitals and hospices running – the cleaners, porters, reception staff, caterers, delivery drivers and others.

“We want to celebrate some of those staff that are the unseen, unsung heroes – we couldn’t do any of it without them,” Tony said.

NHS England has been contacted for comment.


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