Unpaid carers who do not live with the people they support can access free PPE, the government has confirmed.
Free PPE is now being made available to ‘extra-resident’ unpaid carers who have to move between households.
Health bosses say they are working with local authorities to set up distribution systems nationwide following a successful pilot scheme.
This comes after the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) recommended unpaid extra-resident carers should follow the same PPE procedures recommended for domiciliary care workers.
Local Authorities and local resilience forums (LRFs) were informed of the extended PPE offer by letter sent January 25 and already almost two-thirds have signed up to support this.
The Minister for Care, Helen Whately is now calling for more to take part.
‘Unpaid carers are the unsung heroes of this pandemic. All too often their kindness and devotion go unseen and unacknowledged by society.
‘I know the enormous strain this pandemic has placed on those caring for family and those they love. I’m determined to do everything possible to support them.
‘Working with local authorities and voluntary organisations, we have already improved access for carers to testing and supported day services to stay open safely during this second wave. I’m pleased we can now roll out free PPE for those unpaid carers who are advised to use it.’
As key workers, unpaid carers are also able to access priority testing when they have symptoms through the government’s testing portal.
Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE, chief nurse for Adult Social Care, said: ‘It is important everything is done to protect those who are vulnerable and the people who care for them.
‘Unpaid carers provide a fundamental pillar supporting our social care system and have the gratitude of a nation for their work before, during and after this pandemic.
‘The scientific advice is to wear PPE while caring and we are ensuring extra-resident unpaid carers can now access this for free.’
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