Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has now received the revised National Clinical Guidance for Community Health and Social Care Staff in respect of Personal Protective Equipment.

This has been agreed and communicated jointly by the Scottish Government, COSLA and Trade Unions.

The joint communication states:“That guidance makes clear that social and home care workers can wear a fluid resistant face mask along with other appropriate PPE where the person they are visiting or otherwise attending to is neither confirmed nor suspected of having COVID19, if they consider doing so is necessary for their own and the individual's safety - they are professionals and we trust their professional judgement.”

 As a result of the revised guidance, the Comhairle is now taking the following actions:

  • Calculating the anticipated usage of PPE, particularly face-masks and eye wear across the Comhairle, and Third Sector workforce throughout the Western Isles. This includes the 10 residential care homes, the 13 Home Care Locality Teams, 1 Children’s Residential Unit, Social Work Teams and Children’s Services Support Staff;
  • Circulating the revised guidance to our workforce and 3rd sector partners;
  • PPE deliveries will be made, for onward distribution to staff;
  • Estimating what our PPE usage would be over a 7 day period and then making a request to the NHS Scotland National Distribution Centre for a 7 day stock to be maintained given our geographic location, isolation and rurality;
  •  Continuing to monitor all incoming and outgoing PPE, ensuring consistency and equity of use across the Western Isles.

Head of Community Care Jack Libby said: “We welcome the revised guidance, which offers our workforce the additional PPE they have been requesting, allowing them to continue going about their duties with the utmost professionalism and dedication. I commend them for their endeavours.”