GMB Scotland Defending Your Interests
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First Minister’s response on social care safety will not reassure frontline workers

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

First Ministers response on social care safety will not reassure frontline workers  

Responding this afternoon (Tuesday 7 April) to the First Minister and Chief Nursing Officers replies to media questions over availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) for social care staff, and against the backdrop of rising fatalities in the social care sector, GMB Scotland Organiser Hazel Nolan said:  

“The Scottish Government's response today will not reassure our members on the frontline of social care.   

“Repeated attempts to engage ministers in the crisis of trust around PPE for care workers have been ignored. Rather than trying to tell care workers that they know what’s best for them, the First Minister and the Chief Nurse should listen to carers who know their own jobs.   

“This isn’t a game of “political gotcha” as the First Minister said, this is very real. Service users and carers are dying, and the resources care workers need to try and mitigate exposure to this virus are not reaching the ground quick enough. 

“The Chief Nurse should immediately withdraw her letter to COSLA which has caused so much confusion and anger and the First Minister should work with us over a national social care strategy to deal with the significant challenges of the coming week and months.  

“Scotland’s carers need the proper PPE to do their jobs, they need a programme of testing to mitigate infection spread, and they need to properly valued by their government and employers who for too long have kept them mired in low pay and insecure work.  


Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077 

Notes to Editors:  

GMB Scotlands letter to the First Minister, Social Care Planning and Social Care Labour Force, Tuesday 19th March 2020, can be accessed at

Chief Nursing Officers letter to the CoSLA Chief Executive, Sunday 5th April 2020, can be accessed at