PPE from Hubs For Unpaid/Family Carers and Personal Assistants

Following the recent announcement by the Scottish Government,  local Hubs across Scotland will extend their provision of PPE to include unpaid/family carers and personal assistants. Social Care Hubs are geographically designated points of contact, managed by Scotland’s 31 Health and Social Care Partnerships for PPE stock allocation for Scotland’s Social Care sector (made up of private, public, and third sector organisations).

The three local Hubs are based on Lewis/Harris, Uist and Barra and will now be the primary model for distribution of PPE supplies to the whole social care sector where carers are unable to source PPE through their normal routes. If the carer is still able to access supplies through their normal route, we would expect them to continue to do so, whilst assuring them that the Hub will provide supplies if these routes dry up. The Hub’s stocks are used for people who cannot get hold of PPE themselves.  It is anticipated that as demand for PPE increases, traditional supply routes may ‘dry up’. Where the cared for person has received a letter regarding shielding measures, then these people will be prioritised.

The Hubs will be open Mon - Fri, from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. Provider representatives and individual carers may be eligible to access stock through their designated Hub. Any order should be placed in advance by calling 01851 600 501 or 07970262732, asking for the PPE Hub. Carers are expected to collect their PPE themselves, or have made alternative arrangements agreed with by the Hub. Where a family member is unable to pick up the PPE from the Hub, then the Hub will normally make arrangements for the PPE to be delivered to the carer’s address. Hubs also can assist in providing urgent PPE within normal working hours. If the emergency arrives out-with normal working hours, then Health Services will be involved given it will be a clinically suspected or confirmed COVID – 19 case and if there is a need for PPE, Health Services will provide PPE until the Hub re-opens.

No formal verification should be required to prove someone is a carer. However, the Hub will want to assure themselves of the legitimacy of requests, and that PPE is being supplied to those carers on the basis of need.

A spokesperson said: “Our main approach will be one based on trusting the individual carer. They will know their caring situation best. However, Hubs may need to make some decisions about need and prioritisation. A small number of questions will be asked in order to understand whether unpaid carers contacting us are eligible for PPE. We want to avoid carers travelling to their local Hub only to discover they are ineligible. These questions will also ensure a degree of consistency in decision-making around this between different Hubs. The questions take into account the COVID-19 advice for unpaid carers providing personal care. This advice is now available on the Scottish Government Website.

Hubs will make decisions on eligibility for PPE in line with this advice.

It will be important for us, as your local Hub representatives to be working collaboratively with local carers’ groups, who will be receiving queries from carers on access to PPE and may be able to support this process.”