Unpaid Carers in Dumfries and Galloway are being supported amid the COVID-19 outbreak with provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Not all caring situations will require the use of PPE. However, Carers who do have a need and are unable to access PPE through normal routes are being given priority access because those circumstances either put them or the person they are caring for at higher risk from the coronavirus.
Graham Abrines is Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership’s General Manager of Community Health and Social Care, and he said: “Ensuring unpaid Carers are helped to protect themselves and the person they care for from COVID-19 is a priority for the Partnership.
“We’ve been working with Dumfries and Galloway Carers Centre to try and ensure that those Carers who have a need for PPE are able to receive it – easily, safely and at no charge.
“We’re now very keen that any Carer in Dumfries and Galloway who fits the criteria for requiring PPE contacts the Carers Centre to arrange provision.”
PPE is available to Carers providing personal care, such as washing and dressing, in cases where they are unable to access it through their normal routes.
Carers should read the Scottish Government advice for unpaid Carers providing personal care to find out if they should be wearing PPE and which type of PPE they require for their situation.
In addition, priority may be given if Carers, or the people they care for, are in the following categories, listed alphabetically:
- caring situations where either the Carer or the person with care needs is shielded
- higher risk groups such as over 70s
- those with symptoms of coronavirus
- where the Carer is working outside of the home
If you require PPE and can’t get it through your normal routes you will be able to access it through Dumfries and Galloway Carers Centre, who can be called on 01387 248 600 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
If the Carers Centre is unavailable and you cannot wait until it reopens, you can call the NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) Social Care PPE Support Centre on 0300 303 3020.
Upon making contact you should expect to be asked a number of questions to establish your eligibility and level of priority. Questions are likely to cover things such as the type of care you provide and how often. You may also be asked questions on whether or not you are able to travel to pick-up supplies of PPE from a local hub.
Whether you need to use PPE, and the type of PPE that you need to use, will depend on your unique caring situation. For example, if you usually wear an apron and gloves in order to carry out personal care, then you should continue to do so. If you, or the person you care for, is within the shielded group, or symptomatic for coronavirus, you may also be required to wear a mask. You should read the Scottish Government advice and Dumfries and Galloway Carers Centre will be able to help you with understanding what you need to wear and when.
If you are still able to access affordable PPE that you require through your normal supply routes, or if you already have a stock, then you should continue to use it. It may be that you have a stock of gloves and aprons but you now need masks. If so, you can access them through your local Carers Centre.
Using PPE for the first time, or using items you are not familiar with, can sometimes be confusing. This video by Health Protection Scotland provides guidance https://vimeo.com/393951705
General advice on infection control and good hand hygiene is available on the NHS Inform website here: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19
Full advice for unpaid Carers providing personal care, including information on when to wear PPE, visit the Scottish Government website https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-unpaid-carers-providing-personal-care/pages/overview/