When care homes across Cheshire stepped up their fight to fend off the coronavirus, the local council knew that personal protective equipment (PPE) would be a challenging and vital issue.
It was important that homes could be regularly topped up with the supplies they needed – when they needed them – both to keep staff and residents safe, and to avoid the danger of stockpiling.
Alongside a process for ordering the equipment and a central storage point, Cheshire West and Chester Council needed an efficient way to deliver it – and this is where ECT in Cheshire stepped in.
Minibuses that would normally be ferrying elderly and vulnerable people to the shops or taking them out on day trips have now become delivery vehicles for vital equipment and supplies in the fight against the coronavirus.
More than 50 deliveries of PPE have so far been made to care homes across the borough by ECT PlusBus teams.
In addition to the PPE supplies, ECT drivers have been delivering food parcels and audio books to vulnerable people in partnership with Chester and District Federation of the Blind.
Meanwhile, ECT has run a number of shopping trips for people unable to use public transport – while ECT staff have made more than 250 calls to check up on the health and wellbeing of regular passengers who are isolated or ‘shielding’ at home.
Ian Dibbert, General Manager for ECT in Cheshire, said: “We’ve been doing several deliveries each day during the past weeks alongside our other services – we’re really pleased to be able to support the council and do our bit for vulnerable people in the local community.”
Councillor Val Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health for Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Our Community Transport providers are used to providing a valuable service for many of our vulnerable residents. Whilst most of their passengers are staying safe indoors, I’d like to pass on thanks for the great work being done as the ‘passengers’ are now vital PPE to care homes across the borough instead.”