Letter from Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Jeanne Freeman about PPE

Dear Colleague,

The safety of our health and social care workforce is an absolute priority of the Scottish Government and it is vital that workers have absolute clarity on which PPE they should wear in which setting or scenario. That is why I wanted to write to you to provide you with an update of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) availability for staff across the health and social care system.

We will be issuing almost eight million items of PPE stock in the coming week to support Primary Care and Social Care. Work continues as an absolute priority to source further PPE to ensure there continues to be an appropriate supply for all our health and social care workforce.

We monitor our supply stock, orders and delivery timelines daily and against growing demand and I can confirm we currently have adequate stock of PPE, equating to six weeks’ worth of hospital stock for the most critical items. Additional orders are continuously placed with the most recent being a further supply of FFP3 and IIR masks.

From the 30 March we introduced a number of additional steps to ensure the swift delivery of PPE to those who need it. We now have 4 delivery and distribution routes covering hospital, primary and community care, social care and the SAS. PPE supplies for pharmacy are delivered through the medicine distribution network.

We have a new dedicated email address for staff, MSPs or members of the public to raise specific supply issues. This is covid-19-health-PPE@gov.scot It will be monitored continuously and allow us to act to resolve any specific supply issues more quickly.

All of the supply and distribution of PPE follows the clinical guidance on what is required in which clinical situation or caring scenario. HPS and our Chief Nursing Officer have produced further clear information and info graphics which will be published this week and communicated directly with staff through a number of different platforms.

We are continuing to work alongside carer organisations to make sure carers have access to the right advice to help protect them are and their loved ones during this challenging period. We also know that some carers may require protective equipment should the person they are caring for be symptomatic of coronavirus. We are currently working to identify the most effective routes to direct them to the support they need.

The diagram in Annex A shows the supply routes for the four categories of health or social care provider. [See Page 4 of this attachment]

Hospital – A Single Point of Contact (SPoC) within each health board is managing coordination of PPE available on site, and ordering more as required. This system appears to be working well with decision making being quicker due to having a SPoC in place. There is a daily call with the health board contact, National Procurement and Scottish Government where issues can be raised.

Primary Care – Currently GPs contact their local Health Board SPoC to order more PPE or arrange delivery of orders. To supplement this, a new supply route is being set up to do a proactive delivery of 8 weeks’ worth of stock to each GP practice. This will be delivered to 8 hub locations, and then direct deliveries to c. 1,000 GP practices. This will begin on Monday and all deliveries will be complete by 3 April.

Social Care supply – A social care triage hub has now been operational for one week, and this is being scaled up to improve delivery to social care providers. A range of measures have been put in place from 26 March including, additional pickers to prepare orders and additional drivers in both volume and extended delivery hours.

Alongside boosting capacity within the social care triage hub, a proactive approach is being developed in parallel. This will be deliveries of PPE to local cluster points for onward distribution or collection by social care providers. This will be in place from week commencing 30 March. The supplies will be accessible to all Care Inspectorate registered social care providers, unpaid carers, personal assistants, non-registered services providing a social care support service with roles that have a need for PPE, and hospices. There will be up to 70 cluster points across the country – these are being identified and may be schools, community centres, or other appropriate locations.

The SSSC and NES have developed a core PPE training package for social care for those who are being redeployed to care roles, and for volunteers. Scottish Ambulance Service supply – Deliveries are made direct from National Procurement to two agreed locations in the central belt which a SAS SPoC manages. This process has not changed from the previous approach and has continued to strengthen as it beds in.

I would be grateful if you could share this information with your members.

Once again, I am thankful for all the hard work each and every one of you and your members are doing to support the people of Scotland in these difficult times. Let me also stress that should you have any concerns on this or any other matter, I hope you will not hesitate to contact me directly.

Kind regards,

JEANE FREEMAN

New COVID-19 Assessment Hub opens in Musselburgh

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership has opened COVID-19 Assessment Hub in Musselburgh as part of NHS Lothian’s regional strategy for the management of patients needing assessment for possible coronavirus infection.

Dr Alastair Clubb, East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership’s Primary Care Clinical Lead says:

‘The team will assess people who have been advised to attend by NHS24’s Call 111 service after phone triage. I want to make it very clear this is not a drop-in facility. The team does not carry out laboratory testing for coronavirus.

‘Patients who have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 infection should follow the guidance and advice on self-care and isolation on the NHS Inform web site (https://www.nhsinform.scot). It will take you through your symptoms and tell you if you are one of the small number of people should contact NHS24’s Call 111 service for further assessment over the phone. A very small number of patients assessed over the phone will be advised to attend one of the assessment centres in the Lothian region.

‘Following these steps ensures that patients are safely assessed and allocated to the correct service for their needs. And it reduces the risk of transmitting the virus – the most important action we can all take during the pandemic.’

Patients attending the centre in Musselburgh will be greeted by the clinical team who will already have all the relevant clinical information for patients. Most patients will be assessed without having to leave their car because the team is able to do this by going through a number of simple observations (for example, temperature, oxygen saturation, appearance, etc). It will usually not be necessary to give patients a full clinical examination, for example, a chest examination. Routinely carrying out clinical examinations could increase the risk of virus transmission.

A small number of patients attending will be brought in to the centre for further assessment and then directed towards the appropriate care, either at home or in hospital. It is worth noting that the service in Musselburgh is not a drop-in service and does not carry out testing, because most patients will not need it. In line with the national guidance, people should manage their symptoms at home, whenever possible.

Dr Clubb says:

‘The pathway for accessing the service is designed to ensure the safety of patients and staff alike. In the event of a life-threatening emergency always call 999.’

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership’s Chief Officer Alison Macdonald adds:

‘I would like to thank the team for getting the service up and running safely and quickly. We are well-placed to do this because we have been able to draw upon the expertise of the CWIC team, which has been developed over the last two years in our primary care service in Musselburgh.

‘I would also like to re-iterate what Dr Clubb said about sticking to the rules. It is crucial that we all adhere to the guidance on contacting NHS 24’s 111 service – by doing this, you are doing your bit to help the NHS manage during these challenging times. Thank you.’

Unison letter to Nicola Sturgeon

If you have seen today’s letter from local authority unions in Scotland to Nicola Sturgeon, you will probably want an update about our approach in East Lothian.

As you know, I and the other IJB Chief Officers have been working closely with the Scottish Government to address issues with the supply of PPE. If you have any concerns, please speak to your line manager as soon as you can.

Testing of frontline staff is underway and will be rolled out to those who need it – I will keep you up-to-date with developments.

We are following national guidance on key workers and working closely with East Lothian Council to make sure that you get the recognition and support you need, for example, with childcare.  Councillor O’Donnell is also putting out a message to local businesses to try to ensure that social care staff receive appropriate recognition.

I know that these are very challenging times and I really appreciate the work you do and want to make sure that you are as safe as you can be.

Again, if you have any concerns, please speak to your line manager straight away or you can email my direct at myvoice@eastlothian.gov.uk

Alison

Update from the Standards Commission

Dear Colleagues

Please find attached the latest edition of our Standards Update for your information. We would be grateful if you could arrange for the Update and/or the link provided below to be circulated to your members and any colleagues who might find it of interest. Please also encourage them to follow us on Twitter: @StandardsScot and on Facebook: facebook.com/StandardsCommission/. If you require the Update in an alternative format, please let us know.

Standards Commission Update – March 2020

As you will be aware, the Standards Commission’s workshop for Standards Officers, due to be held on 23 March 2020, was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We had intended to seek suggestions from you on potential changes to the Model Code of Conduct, in light of the Scottish Government’s ongoing review and forthcoming formal consultation. As we were unable to proceed with the workshop at present, I am attaching a draft revised version of the Model Code, with explanations about the proposed changes included (in blue). If you have any comments or suggestions on this, please send them to us by 30 April 2020 and we will forward them to the Scottish Government to consider before it issues a version of the draft revised Code for formal consultation.

Also attached is a copy of Police Scotland’s Guidance on Serious Organised Crime and Business Exploitation, as mentioned in the Update.

If you have any questions, or if you wish to advise of a change of contact details, please do not hesitate to contact us.

This email has been sent to the Standards Officers and other nominated contacts within:

  • Further Education Colleges
  • National Health Service Boards
  • Individual Public Bodies
  • Regional Transport Partnerships
  • Health and Social Care Integration Joint Boards

Kind regards

Julie Scott

Administrative Assistant

Related documents

Changes afoot at STRiVE

We received this letter from Tom Shearer today outlining changes to the management structure and new primary point of contact at STRiVE.

Dear Partner

STRiVE would like to advise/inform you that it will begin the search for a new Chief Officer later this year as the current CEO Eliot Stark and his Depute Linda McNeill leave on the 31st March 2020 by mutual agreement.

This significant change was part of a planned re-structure of STRiVE approved by the Board, and despite the COVID -19 crisis it was felt important that the planned changes progress. Again this was mutually agreed by the CEO, Depute and the Board.

STRiVE will commence an extensive and inclusive recruitment process in due course but in the meantime the Board are delighted to announce that Maureen Allan has accepted an invitation as Chief Officer on an interim basis to allow enough time for a robust recruitment process to be progressed. Therefore until such time as a permanent appointment is made Maureen will be STRiVE’s primary point of contact.

Maureen has been a member of the STRiVE team since 2016 and has managed the Community Links and Community Support Services since 2018.

A retired nurse, Maureen has extensive business experience previously owning and managing an independent Care at Home company.

She has previously held a number of roles including Chair of Dementia Friendly Tranent, a member of the Community Council, Area Partnership, Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Group and a position on the Integration Joint Board. She continues to be a “community activist” within East Lothian.

The Board of STRiVE looks forward to working with Maureen as we progress over the weeks and months ahead with other phases of restructure plans. The Board are anxious to ensure that STRiVE is well positioned to perform a pivotal and constructive role in support of East Lothian’s amazing third sector and are confident that the planned changes ahead will secure that objective.

Can I take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for your organisation and your  families over the weeks and months ahead as the Country battles against the COVID-19 crisis.

Kind regards,

Tom Shearer MBE

Board Chairman