Update from Jack Libby, Head of Community Care:
"Following discussions with the Scottish Government earlier today, the Scottish Government have decided to view the 3 island authorities as having ‘unique environment status’, where we will now be provided with a quantity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The quantity will be dependent on the number of staff employed in the social care sector, whether local authority or our 3rd sector partners. The PPE supplied will be face masks, gloves and aprons.
"We have identified 3 distribution locations throughout the Western Isles, one of which is in Stornoway, covering Lewis and Harris, Trianaid Tigh Ceilidh covering North and South Uist and St Bendans to cover Barra.
"I am expecting to receive the PPE before the end of this week. In the interim, we have a small supply ourselves and our colleagues in Health will provide us with PPE should we require any additional PPE between now and receipt of the delivery from the National Distribution Centre.
"The usage of PPE has to be very carefully managed. It is only to be used where there is suspected or proven COVID – 19, otherwise the demand placed on supplies could potentially out-strip the supply. The situation is developing daily and at times throughout the day. I am thankful for the patience shown by staff. I understand their anxieties and their need for reassurance that should they have a need for PPE, it will be available to them."