In the Scottish Parliament yesterday, the First Minister set out new restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. Since that statement was made, SPAEN has received an increased number of enquiries about how and if this affects PA’s and unpaid carers. The following statement from our CEO, Colin Millar, seeks to provide reassurance and guidance in response to these requests:
“SPAEN is aware that the Scottish Government has issued new restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 through community transmission. These regulations include restrictions on home visiting and this has led to many people asking whether this applies to Personal Assistants (PA’s) and unpaid carers.
SPAEN is clear that PA’s should continue, where possible and safe, to provide social care support to their employers following all the guidelines and regulations that have been in place since March of this year. This includes personal and environmental hygiene, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and self-isolating where the employer or employee shows any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
The same applies to unpaid carers, including those who have had to take on caring duties as a result of their regular care arrangements being removed or varied either by their local council home care service or care agency.
The provision of social care remains absolutely vital and cannot be interrupted by the increase in COVID-19 cases but should continue to be provided following all the guidelines and using the appropriate PPE as already advised.”
SPAEN members are able to access information on a range of COVID-19 guides and supports via the Member’s area on our website and there is also extensive guidance set out on the Scottish Government’s website.
PA’s and unpaid carers should continue to use appropriate PPE at all times to protect both themselves and those they are caring for and this includes the use of PPE even where the person being cared for or the person delivering the care or support is not showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
The Scottish Government has already committed to and made PPE available for PA’s and unpaid carers and our understanding is that this provision continues so should you require PPE, you can source this through local hubs in your area.
Any PA employer requiring support on the “furlough” scheme or seeking advice around self-isolating either as a result of their developing symptoms or their PA showing symptoms can contact us for specific advice and guidance on (01698) 250280, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Facebook or Twitter accounts.
It is vitally important that all social care support delivered in a person’s home or community setting is done so safely and that the guidance issued in March continues to be followed as this has remained unchanged.