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Coronavirus and Care

Some temporary changes have been made to social care because of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the Coronavirus epidemic, many councils have made changes to their provision of care and support at home services, to try to prioritise those who are at the greatest risk without them.

Councils must still do as much as possible to meet people’s assessed care needs. This includes looking at the ‘ability and willingness to provide care’ of any unpaid carers you may have, and considering whether technology can be used to support you, for example personal alarms, telephone calls or communicating with you via well-known messaging apps.

Below are some of the questions that our helpline has been answering most frequently. 

Why has my homecare been stopped?

In some council areas, care is only being provided if your care needs have been assessed as ‘critical’. This means there is a major risk to your health, well-being or ability to live independently if your care needs are not met.

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How can I make a complaint if my care has stopped and I can’t manage?

You should follow the 3-stage social work complaint process:

Stage one – frontline resolution

You should make your complaint to the social work department, by telephone, email or letter, within six months of the time you become aware of the problem. They should respond within five working days. If you are not happy with their response you can ask them to move your complaint to stage two.

Stage two – investigation

Your complaint should be acknowledged within three working days. The council should investigate your complaint and give you a full response within twenty working days, unless they let you know that they need more time to look into it. If you are still not happy with the council’s response, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to look at the decision.

Stage three – the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) can review decisions independently and make recommendations for actions that organisations are expected to carry out. These could include:

  • asking the council to look at their decision again
  • asking the council to change their decision
  • recommending the council improve their services in a particular way
  • recommending that the council apologises to you.

You have 12 months to complain to the SPSO from the time you become aware of the problem. They are not currently operating their telephone service due to Coronavirus but you can get information and submit a complaint online at https://www.spso.org.uk/spso.

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Should my carers be wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)?

Whether a carer should wear PPE depends on the type of care being provided, the place it is being provided and the health of the person receiving the care.

For care provided in your home, disposable gloves and apron are recommended, with additional face protection in certain circumstances.

You can see the government recommendations for PPE use in community care settings by clicking here.

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I provide unpaid care for a relative or friend; should I be using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and aprons?
Where can I get PPE from?

Contact your local Carers’ Centre for information about obtaining supplies locally. You can find contact details for your local Carers’ Centre on the Care Information Scotland website at www.careinfoscotland.scot/topics/support-for-carers/carers-centres.

If your local Carers’ Centre is not available you can contact the Social Care PPE Support Centre on 0300 303 3020.

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I was in the group that was told to shield for 12 weeks; how can I get help with shopping or collecting prescriptions?

The shielding guidance was paused from 1 August. You can now visit shops and pharmacies wearing a face mask. 

If you signed up for priority access to supermarket delivery slots before 31 July, the priority access will continue while shielding is paused. Text 1SHOP to the SMS shielding service if you are signed up for it, or call the national helpline on 0800 111 4000

If you are not able to collect your prescriptions, many pharmacies will deliver them to you. Contact your pharmacy to ask about this service. 



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I am concerned about standards of care at my family member/friend’s care home; what should I do?

Most problems can be resolved by speaking directly to the care home staff or manager. If you are unhappy with their response or the problem is more serious, contact the Care Inspectorate on 0345 600 9527 or email them at concerns@careinspectorate.gov.scot.

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It can be hard to know where to turn for advice. If there's something we can help with or you're not sure where to turn, contact our helpline today. Call us Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm on 0800 12 44 222 or email us.

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