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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

PPE Access Extended to Unpaid or Family Carers and Personal Assistants

Everyone who provides social care will have access to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) under new arrangements announced by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP.

As of today, local Hubs will distribute PPE supplies to the entire social care sector, where normal supply routes have not been successful. These hubs will extend provision to include all social care providers, and unpaid or family carers and personal assistants.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, global supply chains have been put under immense pressure and that is why the SNP Government has set up supplies of PPE to support the social care sector from the national stock.

Ms Freeman said:

“The SNP Government values the importance of everyone who provides social care and we want to ensure they have access to appropriate PPE.

“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.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:

“It will come as a relief that an extension of PPE to all social carers is now possible.

“This new model will improve the flow of PPE to providers by building on local intelligence and I am especially pleased that personal assistants and unpaid and family carers are included.

“Every carer gives their all to help others on a daily basis so helping them protect themselves with easy and free access to PPE in every community is the right thing to do.”

The improved local Hub model is:

• business as usual for providers to source their own stock of PPE

• where this fails, the hubs will provide PPE to the whole social care sector, including personal assistants and unpaid carers

• supplies will be used in line with guidance and distributed equitably according to need, regardless of employer

• NHS NSS will supply stock to the Hubs to meet need based on actual consumption/reasonable planned usage data – recognising that actual consumption may rise as business as usual sources of supply dry up and as Hubs expand their provision

• hubs will receive stock on a pre-determined day of the week, and will know what deliveries will include. They will be expected to provide a regular stock return to NSS

• NSS will provide virtual training for Hubs and providers on Hub operations and expectations

• distribution and supply arrangements will be analysed using evidence gathered from the ongoing operations, and kept under review for changes and improvements where necessary. This process will include all parties

• the National Services Scotland Social Care triage service will revert to being for emergency use only.


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