PERSONAL protective equipment (PPE) for unpaid carers and the people they care for is a priority for the health service in Dumfries and Galloway
Not all caring situations need the use of PPE but carers, who do have a need and can’t access PPE through normal routes, are being given priority access
because those circumstances put either them or the person they care for at higher risk from the coronavirus.
Graham Abrines, the Health and Social Care Partnership’s general manager of community health and social care, said:
“Ensuring unpaid carers are helped to protect themselves and the people they care for is a priority for us.
“We’re working with Dumfries and Galloway Carers Centre to ensure carers who need PPE are able to get it easily, safely and for free.
“We’re very keen that any carer, who fits the criteria for PPE, contacts the Carers Centre to arrange provision.”
PPE is available to carers providing personal care such as washing and dressing if they can’t access it through their normal routes.
Carers providing personal care should read the Scottish government advice to find out whether they should wear PPE and which type of PPE they need for their situation.
Priority may be given if carers or the people they care for are shielded; in higher risk groups such as over 70s; have symptoms of coronavirus; or the carer is working outside of the home.
If they need PPE and can’t get it through their normal routes, they can get it through the Carers Centre on 01387 248 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If the centre is closed and they can’t wait until it reopens, they can call the NHS National
Services Scotland (NSS) social care PPE support centre on 0300 303 3020.
The centre will ask questions to establish eligibility and level of priority such as the type of care provided and how often.
Carers may be asked whether they can travel to pick up supplies of PPE from a local hub.
If they or the person they care for is in the shielded group or symptomatic for coronavirus, they may also have to wear a mask.
They should read the government advice and the Carers
Centre can help them to work out what they need to wear and when.
Health Protection Scotland has a video on how to use PPE at https://vimeo.com/393951705
General advice on infection control and good hand hygiene is at www.nhsinform.scot
Advice for unpaid carers giving personal care, including on when to wear PPE, is at www.gov.scot
A decision by the region’s SNP and Tory MSPs to vote down a proposal for free bus travel for NHS and social care workers during the crisis was a “kick in the teeth”, says Colin Smyth, South Scotland MSP.
The amendment he tabled was defeated at Stage 3 of the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No2) bill.
The proposal would have cut travel expenses for all the frontline NHS and social care workers keeping Scotland going during the pandemic.
The government had already intervened to offer financial support to rail and bus operators so the plan would have been funded from this and not cost taxpayers more.