New features for accessing NHS Inform

Please see latest update attached for how to access NHS Inform with the new features to help people access the COVID information, including:

  • the new chat bot: this lets people ask COVID questions directly on the website – it’s available here
  • the COVID webchat: currently, this is an option offered to people who call the COVID helpline
  • the new NHS 24 COVID app, this is available to download from the App store and Google Play Store.

NHS Inform – information for service-users in other languages (including BSL)

NHS inform is currently hosting a significant amount of information on COVID-19 (the coronavirus) including a self-help guide to check your symptoms and get advice.  Go to

The Scottish Government, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian and NHS 24 have been working together to provide translations of COVID-19 information. This is being translated into Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Polish, Romanian, Czech/Slovak, Spanish, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, and British Sign Language (BSL).

Easy read and audio versions are also available on a variety of health topics, including COVID-19, and can be found via this link –

Translated information will be available under nine headings:

  • General advice – overview
    The English text is available here
  • General advice – Common Questions
    The English text is available here
  • Stay at home advice
    The English text is available here
  • Social distancing
    The English text is available here
  • Shielding
    The English text is available here
  • Pregnancy and newborn babies
    The English text is available here
  • Immunisation and screening
    The English text is available here
  • Making a plan for your care during the COVID-19 pandemic
    The English text is available here
  • Ask NHS inform a question
    The English text is available here


Translations (including COVID 19) are published on NHS inform – go to


BSL videos are on NHS inform YouTube channel ( and embedded on NHS inform – go here

BSL users can go to the dedicated short URL ( to find all the BSL translations (including COVID-19)

Easy read

Easy read resources are published here on NHS inform


Audio files can be found here

Information for professionals

There is also a section for professionals with COVID-19 translated posters for download, as well as a communications toolkit. Go here

Please keep checking NHS inform for the most up-to-date quality assured information in English, translated and in alternative formats.
Go to


NHS inform want everyone who visits the website to feel welcome and able to find information whatever their circumstance. To do this they have:

  • designed the website to be accessible and usable for everyone
  • provided alternative text and subtitles for media content (where appropriate)
  • written in plain English – making information easy to read and understand
  • used Browsealoud, a free tool for reading and listening to information from your browser on any device.

Please see the Accessibility page for more information

Extending PPE access to all social care providers -COSLA Press Release 27.4.20

Supplies to be given to unpaid and family carers and personal assistants.

Everyone who provides social care will have access to appropriate PPE under new arrangements announced by the Health Secretary.

From Monday 27 April, local Hubs will distribute PPE supplies to the whole of the social care sector where normal supply routes have not been successful. These hubs will extend their provision to include all social care providers, and unpaid or family carers and personal assistants.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, global supply chains have been put under immense pressure and that is why the Scottish Government has set up supplies of PPE to support the social care sector from the national stock.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“The Scottish Government values the importance of everyone who is providing social care and we want to ensure they have access to appropriate PPE.

“As we respond to the challenges from global scarcity of PPE, we have worked with partners to agree an improved model that will ensure all social care providers have access to supplies from national NHS stock.

“This has only been possible because of a shared aim to ensure the right PPE gets to the right people at the right time and to keep everyone safe.

“In the coming weeks, we will collectively monitor how this model is operating, identifying challenges quickly and taking action as we deal with the evolving nature of the pandemic.”

Health and Social Care spokesperson for COSLA, Councillor Stuart Currie said:

“COSLA welcomes this announcement which will ensure PPE provision for unpaid and family carers and personal assistants. 

‘Local Government has worked with partners across the sector to develop this model to ensure those who are supporting vulnerable people within their communities and all parts of the workforce have access to the PPE they need.’

Find out more

NHS is Open campaign

The Scottish Government has launched the NHS is Open campaign today, which will initially run for 3 weeks on TV, radio and digital channels. The campaign is live from today, and you can view the ad here.

They say:

We understand that people are reluctant of putting further pressure on the NHS during this challenging time, but as a result we are seeing people delay seeking medical help for themselves and their families for non-coronavirus related health issues, which will have an impact on patient treatment and outcomes. We are urging Individuals that are experiencing symptoms to call their GP, NHS 24’s 111 service if out of hours, or 999 if it’s an emergency.

This campaign urges those who require NHS services still access these where needed, and to know that their GP surgery and other NHS services are still available for their needs. For more info, visit these sites:

Dealing with stressful domestic situations

Our Justice Social Social Work Team, working with their counterparts in Midlothian, has developed and launched a new snapfax for their service-users about how to deal with stressful domestic situations. It will be given directly to service-users and tells them about Justice’s new enhanced call back support service and other organisations who can provide support and advice.

For more information, contact Alison Lynch –

Can you help us get the message across?

Some of our teams have been really creative in helping to get the ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ Message’ across on social media and in the press. Big shout out to Eskgreen and Crookston Care Homes here! 🙂

I am looking for more help like this so it would be really fantastic if you and your teams would like to get creative and help get the message across in time for next weekend. These posts are much better received, shared and retweeted than the generic Scottish Government ones.

All photos and artwork gratefully received.

Let those creative juices flow!

Thank you

Jane Ogden-Smith
Communications and Engagement Manager
East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership
01620 827 755