Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called on the Health Secretary to urgently address PPE shortages for personal assistants providing care at home after one sector leader warned that "platitudes and promises" don't protect against coronavirus.
Colin Millar, Chief Executive of the Scottish Personal Assistant Employers Network (SPAEN), has voiced anger at the government's failure to "end their continued exposure to risk of infection and transmission" despite repeated attempts to bring this to the Health Secretary's attention.
Mr Millar reports that the telephone support line refuses calls from these social care workers because they are not care inspectorate registered, despite the government categorising care personal assistants as key workers.
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
"People who are delivering care at home must be provided with sufficient protective equipment.
"Scarce supplies and a lack of support are causing undue anxiety to care staff who are risking their own health day in day out to look after vulnerable people.
"The government has said PPE will be on offer to carers, but personal assistants offering specialist care are getting stonewalled in their attempts to get help. The Health Secretary needs to urgently address these worrying reports."
Colin Millar, Chief Executive Officer added:
“On behalf of SPAEN, I warmly welcome the support and assistance of Alex Cole-Hamilton in continuing to raise this urgent matter.
"PA employers and their staffs are becoming increasingly angry at the lack of action from the Scottish Government in relation to the provision of PPE. Platitudes and promises are no protection against coronavirus and despite continuous reassurances that a solution is coming, they’re still not seeing any end to their continued exposure to risk of infection and transmission.
"All these people want is to follow, fully, the Scottish Government’s own guidelines and recommendations on providing social care in peoples’ homes. We got the guidance weeks ago, when will we get the means to follow it?
"One PA employer stated this is not a postcode lottery, it’s now more akin to ‘Russian Roulette’. They’re reporting to us that they’re losing faith in the Scottish Government.”