The Scottish government has pledged that everyone who provides social care will have access to appropriate PPE to protect themselves and the people they care for from coronavirus.
From today, local hubs will distribute PPE supplies to social care providers struggling to get hold of enough equipment, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman (pictured) has announced.
The hubs will extend their provision to include all social care providers, and unpaid or family carers and personal assistants.
Freeman highlighted that during the coronavirus pandemic, global supply chains have been put under “immense pressure” and that is why the Scottish government has set up supplies of PPE to support the social care sector from the national stock.
“The Scottish Government values the importance of everyone who is providing social care and we want to ensure they have access to appropriate PPE,” she added.
“As we respond to the challenges from global scarcity of PPE, we have worked with partners to agree an improved model that will ensure all social care providers have access to supplies from national NHS stock.
“This has only been possible because of a shared aim to ensure the right PPE gets to the right people at the right time and to keep everyone safe.
“In the coming weeks, we will collectively monitor how this model is operating, identifying challenges quickly and taking action as we deal with the evolving nature of the pandemic.”
Under the new model, social care providers will still be responsible for sourcing their own PPE stock, but where this fails, the hubs will step in to provide PPE.
Local requests for PPE in Scotland were previously directed through the NSS PPE Social Care Triage helpline. This will now be used for emergency use when the hubs are unable to meet demand, for example, if there is a spike of positive cases within a provider or in specific area.
Councillor Stuart Currie, health and social care spokesperson for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), welcomed the announcement.
He said: “Local Government has worked with partners across the sector to develop this model to ensure those who are supporting vulnerable people within their communities and all parts of the workforce have access to the PPE they need.”