Dear Colleague

Please find attached e-bargaining brief relating to economic recovery produced for UNISON branches, further guidance on facemasks and a link to UNISON’s call for a new national care service.

Guidance on the extended use of Facemasks

The Chief Nursing Officer has issued supplementary guidance on the extended use of face masks and face coverings in Health and Social Care (attached).
Key points of the guidance are:

  • The guidance does not replace any part of the current UK PPE guidance which is published on the Health Protection Scotland website – this is additional guidance based on new and emerging evidence about the potential for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic transmission of people infected with COVID-19 in locations where there is geographical evidence of sustained community transmission.
  • The main purpose of the new measure is to seek to prevent transmission of the virus from the person wearing the face mask and reduce the risk of transmission where staff are unable to physically distance from their own work colleagues.
  • It is now recommended that staff working in a clinical area of an acute adult (incl mental health) or community hospital or in a case home for the elderly should wear a medical grade face mask at all times throughout their shift.
  • The face mask can be removed and replaced throughout the shift as necessary (washing your hands before the mask is removed) and as recommended during the shift, including e.g. if it becomes contaminated, damaged or moist.
  • It remains the responsibility of employers to ensure that their staff have the appropriate PPE.
  • Visitors to care homes are now expected to wear a face covering. Responsible parties are asked to bring this guidance into effect as soon as possible and by the 29th June 2020.

UNISON’s Vision for Care After Covid 

UNISON’s vision for reform of the care sector has been published here –  This document looks at the impact of the pandemic on the sector, the reasons why we need a new system for social care and the actions that need to be taken in pursuit of a national care service.

Please stay safe, fit and healthy.

Mark Ferguson
Branch Secretary