Unite Scotland has welcomed the Scottish government’s new guidance today (2 April) that home care and social care workers should receive eye visors and a surgical mask alongside gloves and aprons, while performing their duties as essential workers.
Unite along with the other leading trade unions in local government wrote to the first minister yesterday (1 April) to highlight a number of major inconsistencies across local authorities which is putting workers and the general public’s lives at risk. These concerns included the quality and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the need to test frontline workers.
The key changes announced by the health secretary, Jeane Freeman, on PPE for health and social care workers include:
- The type of PPE that should be worn in various settings to meet safety levels
- Advice on risk assessments on PPE use
- Secondary, primary and community care workers should wear a surgical mask when dealing with vulnerable patients.
Wendy Dunsmore, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Unite has been campaigning hard to ensure that there is national guidance, which is clear and concise for all those delivering essential services during this covid-19 pandemic. We welcome the fact that there is now guidance being issued to all home care and residential care workers from the Scottish government. What is now required is that providers act immediately to ensure that the personal protective equipment gets into the hands of those delivering essential services in home care and social care settings to ensure no person is put at risk.”