Caring and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As a carer you may be concerned about how Coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact your health, the health of the person you care for and/or your caring role. We have provided some useful information and guidance below to help you understand the current situation and the support that is available to help you in your caring role.

Last updated: 08 January 2021

Guidance for Carers

Public information and guidance around Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing on a regular basis. We will try to keep all of the information we publish here as accurate and up to date as possible.

Following the First Minster’s update to Parliament, from Tuesday 05 January 2021, in level 4 areas you can only leave your home for an essential purpose. To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible.

You should now only leave the house for essential reasons such as:
- Getting food or medicines
- Any medical need
- To provide care, assistance, support to or respite for a vulnerable person
To read the full updated guidance from the Scottish Government, please click here.

If you have any questions on this guidance or any other areas of restrictions during the festive season, please contact us on 01698 428090 / 01236 755550 and we will assist you further.

COVID-19 Vaccine

How carers will be identified when it is their turn to get the vaccine?

The Scottish Government will write out to as many unpaid carers as possible to inform them that they are eligible and provide them with details of how to book their appointment. They are aware that not all unpaid carers will receive this letter. To ensure carers who don’t receive the letter are informed, the Scottish Government will work with organisations such as national and local carer organisations, including local carer centres and condition specific charities to ensure that information is made available.

You may wish to register with Lanarkshire Carers if you have not done already to ensure you receive this information. Click here to register online or call us on 01698 428090/01236 755550.

You can read more on the latest information from the National Carer Organisations for carers on the COVID-19 vaccine by clicking here.

Up-to-date information on the COVID-19 vaccine can also be found on the NHS Inform website. You can also phone NHS Inform on 0800 030 8013 (available 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) for general information about the coronavirus vaccine and its delivery: 

Follow Core Public Health Advice

A lot of misinformation is circulating about coronavirus. Make sure you follow advice from reputable sources. We suggest checking the following websites regularly as advice and guidance is changing on a regular basis:

NHS Inform

NHS Lanarkshire

South Lanarkshire Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Scottish Government

UK Government

Young Scot

Information on COVID-19 is also available in different languages and formats via NHS Inform:

NHS Inform - Other languages and formats

Shield those at high risk

Shielding is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s also for their family, friends and carers. Shielding measures should be used when an extremely vulnerable person is living in their own home, with or without additional support. This includes extremely vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities.

If you are on the Shielding list, the Chief Medical Officer will write to everyone during the week beginning 4 January 2021 to set out advice following the new stay at home regulations introduced into Mainland Scotland on 05 January 2021. 

The letter you will receive from the Chief Medical Officer will also act as a fit note for as long as lockdown restrictions are in place. This letter is called a shielding notification and can be shown to your employer without the need for a GP fit note.

Click here for more information on Shielding

Take steps to reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus at home

This is particularly important if you regularly have people coming into your home to support the person you care for such as care workers or health practitioners. Take a single-person approach where possible when caring for vulnerable friends and relatives. Follow hygiene and infection control guidelines:

Click here for information on how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

If you think you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus, take extra precaution around social distancing and check if you have symptoms using the coronavirus symptom checker:

Click here to check your symptoms

Plan for emergencies and have contingency plans in place

If you have not done so already, consider having an emergency plan and/or anticipatory care plan in place for the person you care for:

Click here for more information on Emergency Planning

Click here for more information on Anticipatory Care Planning

Ensure you have key information to hand about the person you care for. It might be worth writing down some vital details such as their medical conditions, medications they take, what they like and dislike etc in case someone needs to assist with the caring role.

If you are unable to provide essential care for someone, you should contact your local social work department for support. If a formal provision of care is already in place it might be worth checking with the care provider or the local authority what their contingency plans are.

Make the most of your support networks

Ensure family, friends, the organisations and community resources you engage with are aware of your circumstances and are available to assist if needs be.

Many local and national organisations are helping with the current challenges that people, communities and our health and care services are facing:

Support for Community and Voluntary Organisations in North Lanarkshire

COVID-19 Community Wellbeing Line (South Lanarkshire)

SCVO Community Assistance Directory

Use technology to keep in touch

Consider using technology to keep in touch with others rather than meeting in person, particularly if people are elderly or have underlying health conditions.

If you are working, make sure your employer knows you are a carer

Check to see if your employer has any plans in place for staff affected by coronavirus. Check what your employment rights are:

Click here for more information on your employment rights

If you are struggling financially

Speak to the people and organisations you owe money to, many are acknowledging the current situation and may be able to help. Visit the Citizens Advice Scotland website for more advice if you can't pay your bills because of coronavirus:

Click here if you can’t pay your bills because of coronavirus

Be sensible and consider others

Panic buying, stock piling, attending your GP practice or the hospital unnecessarily or ignoring coronavirus advice can put the most vulnerable and subsceptible people in our society at risk.

North and South Lanarkshire - From Tuesday 05 January 2021, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes.

These are the protective measures that apply in Lanarkshire from Tuesday 05 January 2021 from midnight. These will be updated, check for updates.

NHS Scotland Test and Protect App

The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free, mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other and reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. And if you test positive, it can help in determining contacts that you may have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous.

Using the Protect Scotland app, along with sticking to current public health measures, will help us to stay safe when we meet up, socialise, work or travel.

Downloading and using Protect Scotland will never be a requirement. However, as we see the rate of infection start to rise, it is important that we all download and use the Protect Scotland app to help stop the spread of coronavirus. We know the more of us that do, the more effective it will be.

Access to testing for Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Unpaid Carers

Unpaid carers have been included in the priority groups of key workers who are able to access testing for Coronavirus (COVID-19), if they are symptomatic or have household members who are symptomatic. 

If you are an unpaid carer, you can find further information on eligibility and access to testing on the Scottish Government website.

The National Carers Organisations have also released a guide answering questions related to unpaid carers accessing testing:

Coronavirus(Covid-19) National Carer Organisation's Briefing (May20).pdf

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Unpaid Carers

Lanarkshire Carers Centre can assist eligible unpaid carers to access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through local distribution hubs in North and South Lanarkshire. If you require PPE and need assistance to access this via your local distribution hub, please contact us on 01698 428090/01236 755550. More information on when PPE is required can be found on the Scottish Government website:

Support for Carers

In the interests of carers, the people they care for and our staff, Lanarkshire Carers Centre has taken necessary measures to help delay the spread of coronavirus which has impacted some of our services. We are still available to support you with your caring role. Our staff are engaging with carers who regularly use our services, phoning them to check in, updating and offering emotional support, talking to, listening to and helping carers. We are also contacting carers who haven’t engaged with us for a while. Here is a list of the services we currently offer:

Telephone Support 

All our staff are available for carers via telephone during office hours if you need information, advice or support with your caring role. Please contact us on 01698 428090/01236 755550.

Online Carer Training

We have scheduled a number of online training opportunities for carers, which are available on our website. Further training opportunities will be published in due course and if you have any suggestions for training that may benefit you, please feel free to complete our training needs analysis form under the 'Future Training' section:

Click here to view our Carer Training Opportunities

Legal Telephone Appointments

You can arrange a 20 minute telephone appointment with a solicitor to discuss guardianship, power of attorney and will-writing. Please complete the following form and we can arrange an appointment for you:

Request a Telephone Legal Appointment

If you experience any difficulties using this form, please contact us on 01236 755550/01698 428090.

Short Breaks Bureau

We can provide carers with information on opportunities to take a short break from their caring role, including grant funding and other useful resources that may help:

Click here to view our Short Breaks Bureau page

Short Breaks may need to be rearranged by carers who have already accessed opportunities or funding from us to take a break from caring. If you need to talk to us about rearranging your break or accessing short break opportunities, please contact us on 01698 428090/01236 755550.

Care Talk

Our Care Talk service provides a weekly telephone call to carers. This regular, friendly call can help carers feel less isolated and provides contact for further support when required. This service is available in a range of languages including English, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish. 

Carer Registration Card

Carer Registration Card applications can be submitted online however we are currently unable to post any physical cards. If you have recently applied and are awaiting receipt of your card, we will issue this to you as soon as our centres reopen. If you have an email address and a smartphone, we can issue you with an e-card to display your card electronically. Please contact us on 01698 428090/01236 755550 and we can arrange for an e-Card to be issued.

Click here for more information on our Carer Registration Card

Online Support

You can request and access support from us online via our website and on social media. Follow us on facebook and twitter to stay up to date or sign up to our electronic mailing list

Other Useful Resources

The Scottish Government has also issued issued specific advice for carers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - advice for unpaid carers: April 2020

UK Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family:

UK guidance for unpaid carers

NHS Lanarkshire Psychological Services has produced very useful guidance around managing anxiety:

Managing anxiety in the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic (pdf)

Some other helpful information for carers in Lanarkshire can be found below:

Stay At Home - A guide for people with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Free School Meal Provision - Club 365 (North Lanarkshire)

Free School Meal Provision (South Lanarkshire)

Resources for autistic people and families (The National Autistic Society)

We are here to support you with your caring role and will keep you up to date with any relevant information or changes as things progress. Please make sure your contact details are up to date with us in case we need to contact you. If your details have changed recently, please contact us on 01698 428090 / 01236 755550 and we will update our records. 

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