These frequently asked questions apply to all staff who are delivering care.

    How do I know if I need PPE to deliver care?

    All staff should be using PPE equipment (gloves, apron and mask). This is required whether someone you are delivering care to, or a member of their household, has COVID-19 or not. Please see the attached flowchart and poster.


    What is the recommended minimum personal protective equipment to be worn when caring for a person who is shielding, showing signs of or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 virus?

    All staff should be using PPE equipment (gloves, apron and mask). This is required whether someone you are delivering care to, or a member of their household, has COVID-19 or not. Please see the attached flowchart and poster.


    I am a social care worker visiting the homes of vulnerable service users. I have noticed that District Nurses are wearing PPE but I have not been provided with any. What should I do?

    You should speak to your manager. The guidance about the use of PPE is continually changing. We are now working to new national guidance. Your manager will let you know that you need to use PPE in all cases and that this will be provided to you.


    Where should your personal PPE be stored?

    In a clean and dry area. Your manager /Senior will provide you with personal PPE. When you need more PPE, please speak to your manager who will arrange for you to be given an additional supply. Distribution hubs for PPE have been established and will have supplies available for the service.


    When should a full face visor/shield or goggles be used?

    Only in circumstances where there is a risk of body fluid splash to the face. Please refer to the attached flowchart and poster.


    Should a fluid resistant surgical face mask be worn to prevent supported people being infected, when I have no symptoms? If I don't wear a mask can I infect someone?

    Masks should be worn when caring for someone who is shielding, showing signs of or confirmed to be infected – displaying new, dry persistent cough or significant fever.

    For normal duties, physical distancing and careful hand washing helps keeps you and everyone safe. Whenever possible try to stay 2 metres ( 6 feet) apart from colleagues and from people you provide care for. When providing personal care this is not possible however where you are able to lessen time in close contact. This reduces the risk of virus transmission.

    You should not be attending work if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19. These are high temperature and a new, dry persistent cough.


    Why don't I have a full respirator face mask?

    A full respirator face mask is only required in specific medical situations when using aerosol generating procedures. Please see attached flowchart and poster.


    Should I change my mask with every task/person or use it all day?

    A mask should only be worn for a particular session. Within a care home setting this would be for the duration of the shift.

    Other PPE (gloves and aprons) are still single use with disposal after each service user or resident contact.

    You will change all of your PPE when you take a break, take your lunch, go to the toilet. Please remember to remove it properly and dispose of it properly following the guidance issued.

    When delivering care in someone's home a session would be visiting a service user. PPE would be applied on entering the service users' home and removed when leaving. A new set of PPE would be applied on entering the next house.


    What about the use of hand sanitiser?

    Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the preferred method to combat the virus. Hand washing should be extended to exposed forearms, after removing any element of PPE.

    Hand sanitiser can be accessed from your manager. Homecare have been provided with small bottles which can be replenished via their manager.


    Where should PPE be put on?

    In a hallway of the service users home or in a reception area, before entering the room and engaging with someone suspected or confirmed to be infected. Essential hand hygiene should be followed before/after all contact with the person being cared for following removal of PPE.


    How do I remove my PPE?

    PPE should be removed following providing care for each service user/positive or suspected COVID-19 resident or at the end of a session. It must be removed safely following the Health Protection Scotland guidance.


    How do I dispose of my PPE?

    PPE should be disposed of safely in a disposable bag, double bagged and tied. This should be left in the service users waste in their home or in the care home. It should be put out for collection after 72hrs or follow your service disposal of waste procedure. You can use normal disposable bags.


    On the death of an individual should you have to take any further precautions?

    Infection prevention and control measures should continue to apply whilst the person who has died remains in the residential care environment or if the person dies at home. When handling a deceased person the Health Protection Scotland guidance should continue to be followed. Continue to use the PPE provided of gloves, apron and face mask. You should ask your manager if you need guidance on what to do in these circumstances.


    What if someone has died and they were COVID confirmed?

    Any follow up of contacts of infected individuals should be co-ordinated by the local Health Protection Team. Carers who have been exposed to a suspected or positive case of COVID-19 should only self isolate if they begin to develop symptoms.


    If someone dies in the care home can family still view the deceased?

    Viewing is permitted and PPE should continue to be worn due to the ongoing risk of infectious transmission.


    Movement of staff throughout the services, is this safe practice?

    The use of staff/casuals/agency should be kept to a minimum, where possible assigning dedicated team members to individuals, services or units in services, however this becomes more difficult as absences increase. All staff who have identified as having underlying illness/conditions should not deliver direct care to a service user who is shielding, is symptomatic or confirmed with COVID-19.


    Is it ok to provide care to someone who is symptomatic for COVID?

    Any person delivering care to someone who is symptomatic should be informed prior to delivering care where possible. The situation should be risk assessed and the service can be altered, to minimise contact when able. There should always be PPE and hand washing facilities available.


    Is it ok to provide care to someone who is positive for COVID?

    Any person delivering care to someone who has tested positive for COVID should be informed prior to delivering care. The situation should be risk assessed and the employee should have the appropriate PPE in order to carry out the care safely.


    Is it ok for the Hospital to be sending someone back to a care facility or their home?

    This is safe to do so as there will be a clear assessment of the persons presentation and clinical status to ensure every person is clinically well for transfer and that COVID testing has been done if required. A risk assessment will be undertaken if required and all residents will be cared for in self isolation or in their own home.


    Should the residents in a care home be tested for COVID?

    The service is following national guidance and local medical advice on testing. Residents should be managed based on symptoms.


    I see people wearing gloves outside, should I be wearing them for protection?

    Gloves should only be worn when providing direct care to service users that are shielding, symptomatic with suspected/confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 or when required for personal care duties. When not doing this, hand washing is still the best means of preventing infection.


    I am a volunteer working within the service, where can I access PPE?

    This will depend on the task you are volunteering to do. You should speak to your manager to be provided with the PPE required for the task.


    The Scottish Government previously announced a £500 one off payment for all health and care staff as a thank you for helping Scotland cope with COVID-19. I no longer work for the Council, will I still be paid this?

    There has been no agreement, at a national level, as to how this payment may be applied to local authority social care staff. Once clarity is received, additional information will be circulated.