Care homes in Tayside are turning to local councils for help after English-based suppliers allegedly refused to sell them essential safety equipment.
A source told The Courier a home in Angus had recently attempted to place a new order with a regular supplier south of the border.
However it was informed by the provider it is prioritising NHS services in England and therefore could not fulfil orders from elsewhere.
Managers at the home were left in shock and contacted Angus Council for assistance to ensure it is able to protect staff and residents.
The local authority then stepped in and managed to source appropriate PPE last weekend.
It is understood other private operators are working with the councils in both Angus and Dundee to ensure there is adequate PPE due to the unexpected blockage.
It comes after Donald Macaskill, CEO of Scottish Care, claimed the four largest companies in the UK are not sending PPE to Scotland and their priority is now NHS England and the English social care providers.
One such supplier, Gompels HealthCare, headquartered near Bath, argued English care homes should receive its kit because it had been stockpiled by Public Health England.
A spokesman for Angus Health and Social Care Partnership confirmed the body has been asked to help and is doing everything it can.
He said: “The Angus Health and Social Care Partnership takes a whole system approach to the provision of PPE.
“Where we have been approached by independent providers for assistance, we have tried to (and will continue to) provide them with assistance, as we share a common goal of trying to keep staff and residents safe.”
Harry Locherty, a director of Priority Care Group which runs care homes in Dundee and Perth, said the group has been working with local councils.
He said: “As a group, we have not had extreme difficulty but we can see the drying up of sources.
“Suppliers everywhere are stretched so it is more challenging.
“We are working with local councils to make sure we have enough and our managers are having frequent meetings with them. At present, we are OK because we had some stockpiled.
“We hope that coverage of the difficulty in sourcing PPE will mean more is done to help.”
A Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “The partnership, along with the NHS and Dundee City Council are working together to support care homes in response to COVID-19.
“We have been allocating push stock to care homes in-line with allocation determined by NHS National Services Scotland.
“In addition, emergency stock provision is distributed and independent care providers have been advised how to access this emergency stock.”
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