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Company comes to the aid of hospices facing £60-a-bottle hand sanitiser costs

Cavalry Healthcare is also helping to urgently recruit supply nurses and carers in the wake of Covid-19

A nursing agency is helping to support local hospices and care homes in the north-west of England — the UK’s new coronavirus ‘hotspot’ — in the face of the virus.

Bosses at Liverpool-based Cavalry Healthcare have pledged to giveaway 1,000 bottles of hand sanitiser in response to the challenges local organisations are experiencing trying to get hold of the essential resource — including ludicrously inflated costs.

CEO Rory McDonnell told The Big Issue: “Some of the people we’ve donated to tell me they’ve been paying up to £60 for a bottle of sanitiser as they’re so desperate for it.”

So far, the company has donated bottles to hospices St Rocco’s in Warrington, Cheshire, and St Joseph’s in Thornton, Merseyside, as well as Rowan Park, a school for children with learning difficulties.

Further bottles have also been delivered to various residential, nursing and care homes across the region.

Staff have been working tirelessly to provide the sanitiser, with McDonnell saying: “We could do with volunteers to help bottle and deliver — poor Lonnie [a colleague] still has blisters on his hands from bottling!”

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The company’s efforts have been so well received that bosses are now looking to formalise the process.

McDonnell said: “We’re in the process of registering a charity called The Cavalry Foundation as a lot of people who have found out what we are doing really want to help.”

In addition, Cavalry — a nursing agency that recruits nurses and healthcare assistants in Liverpool and Lancashire — has been supporting care homes that have experienced outbreaks of Covid-19. They include Oak Springs in Liverpool, where 16 residents have tragically died and most of the staff are self-isolating.

“The service was on its knees and the manager put a call out for help so Cavalry put an urgent response team of nurses and carers in place to make sure they could still function,” said McDonnell.

The company has also collaborated with Liverpool City Council to establish a not-for-profit Covid-19 social care response team, and is supporting care staff who are struggling both emotionally and financially in these unprecedented times.

Latest figures show that the North West now has the highest number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients in the UK, making it the first region to overtake London since the start of the outbreak.

Official data released on Sunday showed there were 2,033 people with the virus in London hospitals versus 2,191 in the North West. Death rates were particularly high in Liverpool and Manchester.

Meanwhile, recent figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that Covid-19 is killing people in poorer areas at double the rate seen in more affluent places – confirming that the virus is hitting the most vulnerable the hardest.

Images: Cavalry Healthcare

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