All those who provide social care – including unpaid and family carers and personal assistants – will have access to personal protective equipment from NHS stock under new arrangements announced by Scotland’s health secretary.
From Monday, local hubs will distribute PPE supplies to the whole of the social care sector where normal supply routes have not been successful.
These hubs will extend their provision to include all social care providers, and unpaid and family carers and personal assistants.
The Scottish Government said it had set up supplies from the national stock to support the social care sector due to global supply chains being “put under immense pressure” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The Scottish Government values the importance of everyone who is providing 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.”
Councillor Stuart Currie, the health and social care spokesperson for 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.”