Plaid Cymru MS Siân Gwenllian has raised concerns regarding “inconsistencies” with PPE guidelines.
The Member of the Senedd for Arfon highlighted that “community care workers aren’t expected to wear protective gowns, whilst health workers in hospitals are expected to do so.”
The MS relayed constituents’ concerns that they were being “treated as second class.”
In an address to the First Minister, on the floor of the Senedd, Ms Gwenllian said: “Many have been in touch with me expressing their concerns that they are being treated as second class in relation to their colleagues in clinical settings, because they don't have to wear gowns. This is one message that I received:
“’When we try to keep positive clients out of hospital and protect others in the community, we are refused a vital piece of PPE'.
“Can you confirm what the situation is exactly as to why workers are being treated differently, and will you reconsider this? In the words of my constituent once again, this is what she said:
“'Social care is already at crisis point. The recruitment and retention of care staff is at an all-time low, and this will only compound the situation further as staff will feel they're not being protected, and will seek alternative employment'.”
“Specialist expert committee”
The First Minister replied, emphasising that the Welsh Government was following the advice of a “specialist expert committee.”
The First Minister went on to claim: “It's not down to me to go against the advice that we receive from people who are much more familiar with the field than myself.
“When they say, 'That is what is appropriate in that context,' then that's what we do.”
Following the First Minister's reply, Ms Gwenllian has confirmed she will be seeking clarity on the matter from the the Chief Medical Officer for Wales.