COVID 19 – **UPDATE** TESTING, HOMEWORKING & PPE

LSGvt_L2_IJBs_re_PPE_to_Social_Care_Settings_230420

Coronavirus+testing+priorisation+matrix+during+lockdown+phase+25+April+2020 (1)

Colleagues

UNISON had a meeting with the National Director for Testing, Wendy Wilkinson.  She outlined that the reason that tests are not being provided to asymptomatic people is because of the unreliability of the current test and the risk of it giving a false negative result in those instances.  Only an antibody test will improve that position and give reliable information on immunity and that is what scientists across the globe are working on right now.  She stated that work was being done on prioritisation of key workers for tests and the roll-out of home testing kits for those who do not live near or cannot get to a central testing center.  The government have issued this new guidance today.  It covers the process for employer registration for referrals, self referral and home testing kits.

You can find that here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-access-to-testing
and the prioritisation matrix is attached.

PPE – I attach a letter that the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman MSP, has written to all IJBs on revised arrangements for the distribution of PPE to care settings and extension of the provision to include unpaid/family carers and personal assistance delivering care under the Self Directed Support model.  These arrangements take effect from Monday 27th April.   We continue to press for the sector specific PPE guidance for educational establishments and hope to have that agreed by the beginning of next week.

Social Care Survey – This online survey has been developed as an important tool to support our social care members both in LG and the community sector.  The survey aims to capture evidence of problems in accessing PPE and underpayment of workers in the community sector who are shielding or isolating.  UNISON is about to launch a major drive to improve the position of all social care workers impacted by Covid19 and it would assist that work greatly if you could promote the survey via your own networks. The survey also has a tool to identify urgent safety problems and route them through the region – vital contact given all our members are facing.  The link to the surveys is; https://www.surveygizmo.eu/s3/90227532/Social-Care-Worker-COVID-19-Survey

Homeworking – kit, adjustments, allowances – we continue to press COSLA for further work on homeworking with respect to kit, reasonable adjustments and allowances.  I’ll update you when we have progress.

Please stay safe, fit and healthy – Remember if not pat of the emergency essential response – STAY HOME & STAY SAFE.

Thanks
Mark Ferguson
Branch Secretary