Plea for better protection for local care workers

A care worker has made a plea for staff working on the front line to be given better protective equipment to do their vital jobs.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 3:18 pm
Stock photo of NHS staff supporting Scotland’s public information response to the coronavirus, Covid-19. Photo by Jane Barlow.

While others are being told to stay at home, carers are being asked to attend some of the most vulnerable people, and some say they are not being given enough protection.

An email has made a shocking claim that Falkirk Council care staff have not been told to follow disease control measures and that a member of the MECS team was in contact with a Covid-19 patient.

It said: “These workers have no hand sanitiser, no cleaning equipment to clean equipment or any other PPE equipment. Our vulnerable people who the service is there to help are being put at risk!”

A Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Unfortunately a member of our Mobile Emergency Care team is self isolating, as a precaution, following a visit to one of our clients. All MECS staff have disposable aprons, gloves, anti-bacterial wipes, soap and hand sanitiser.

“However, given the significant pressure facing our MECS and our Care at Home Services, we would ask that anyone receiving our support lets us know as soon as possible, if they or anyone they live with, has any symptoms of Covid-19. This will ensure our staff can come prepared with additional equipment when visiting, which in turn will reduce the need for any more of our staff to self isolate during these difficult times.

“We have experienced issues obtaining supplies of Personal Protective Equipment  (PPE), given the unprecedented demand across Scotland.

“However, we have some limited supplies that are being distributed to front line staff. We are expecting further deliveries of equipment.

“The health and safety of our workforce and those who use our services is paramount, and all council staff including our MECS staff are being advised to follow national advice and guidelines which are widely available on our own website and NHS Scotland.”

Want to know how you can help the frontline NHS staff in their battle against the spread of coronavirus?  Stay at home.

That’s the clear advice from NHS Forth Valley’s director of public health, Dr Graham Foster, who says that staying in the house and only going out when it’s absolutely necessary will save lives. “I cannot emphasise enough how important this advice is and that by following it we will save lives,” said Dr Foster.