For immediate release: Sunday 5 April 2020
Responding today to the tragic events in Scotland’s social care sector over the last week, GMB Scotland Organiser Hazel Nolan said:
“This has been a sobering and tragic week for our social care sector, and a sad new low for Scotland in the fight against coronavirus, Our condolences and love are with the staff, residents and families affected.
“We will make no comment on individual cases but the events of the last few days in particular should re-focus the minds of our political leaders and health experts about the nature of what is actually happening on the ground.
“The lack of consistency around guidance and the lack of resources to mitigate infection at work is causing frontline workers to lose whatever confidence they had in the response. The advice being given is resource led, not science led.
“We were told weeks ago that “health and social care go hand-in-hand” but it’s hard to have faith in those sentiments because if the situation is perilous in our NHS then it is desperate in social care.
“Many carers for weeks leading to this point couldn't understand why they were being told they didn't need masks, when health care staff they worked alongside were.
“Advice to home carers regarding masks for PPE was only changed at the end of last week under pressure from GMB Scotland.
“We also know of care providers that are clearing out units in their homes to make way for the transfer of Covid-19 patients from our hospitals.
“And we seem no closer today than we were at the start of this crisis to essential testing being available for frontline staff in our social care sector, when many of those delivering care are also in the high-risk category themselves.
“An untold story of this crisis so far has been the inconvenient truth that the lower paid you are on the frontline of the key worker response, the less protection and resource you get.
This needs to end now."
Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077