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: 13 April 2021

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.

 

People across Scotland can make non-essential journeys in their local authority area from Friday 2 April 2021 when a requirement to Stay Local will replace the Stay at Home rule.

Hairdressers, garden centres, car showrooms and forecourts, homeware stores and non-essential click and collect services will be able to open from Monday 5 April, subject to enhanced safety measures including physical distancing, face coverings and pre-booking where appropriate. More college students will be able to return to on-campus learning and 12-17 year-olds will be able to resume outdoor contact sports from this date.

Restrictions on non-essential travel across local authority boundaries will remain in place. People must stay within their council area for non-essential shopping and should only travel to another area for essential shopping if there are no practical alternatives. People should also continue to work from home where they can to prevent unnecessary contact that could risk transmission of the virus.

Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do will change on 16 April 2021.

From 16 April 2021 you can:

  • travel anywhere in Scotland to meet outdoors with family and friends
  • meet in groups of up to 6 adults from 6 households outdoors
To read the full updated stay local guidance from the Scottish Government, please click here.
 

COVID-19 Vaccine

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

NHS Scotland has begun inviting those in priority group 6 (which includes unpaid carers aged 16-64) for their coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations.

If you have not yet been invited to receive your vaccination, you can self-register using the national self-registration website, or via the dedicated telephone helpline from Monday 15 March 2021. Further details can be found within the letter from the Scottish Government to unpaid carers:

Please click here to view The Scottish Government letter to unpaid carers.

Please note, as you are required to self-register for the vaccine using the national system we will not be able to assist you with your appointment. If you require assistance, please refer to the guidance provided in the letter.

Unpaid carers aged 65 and over will have been offered the vaccine earlier in priority groups 2 to 5. If you are in this age group and have not received an invitation for your coronavirus vaccination, please get in touch with NHS Scotland using their online contact form:

https://invitations.vacs.nhs.scot/

If you have been advised to shield to protect you from coronavirus and cannot access transport to get to your vaccination appointment, please phone the coronavirus vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013 for assistance.

More information on how you will get the coronavirus vaccine can be found here:

https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/how-you-will-get-the-coronavirus-vaccine

The National Carer Organisations have produced a useful 'Frequently Asked Questions' list for carers about the vaccine:

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions

Second doses

The second dose of the coronavirus vaccine can be given between 3 to 12 weeks after the first.

You do not need to do anything to arrange your second dose. NHS Scotland will contact you with your appointment details. Wait to be contacted. People who are aged 80 or over will receive their second dose from their GP, the same as their first dose. People who are housebound will receive their second dose by home visit. For people aged under 80 they will receive their initial appointment at one of the supercentres. They can then reschedule their appointment to a local centre, if they prefer. 

If you cannot attend, please rearrange or cancel your appointment so it can be offered to someone else. The second dose completes the course and is likely to be important for longer-term protection. It's important to get both doses to protect yourself against coronavirus.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Please do not contact your GP practice or occupational health department to ask for a COVID-19 vaccination passport or status certificate – they will not be able to provide any standard document. International certification standards have not yet been agreed. The Scottish Government is working to support the re-opening of international travel, once it is safe to do so. They are working with the other UK nations and the World Health Organisation to agree on potential future COVID-19 certification requirements for international travel. As part of this, Scottish Government is developing a technical solution that could allow people to access their COVID-19 vaccination status directly.

COVID-19 Vaccine information for the BAME Community

Lanarkshire Carers are delighted to have worked in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire, community leaders and members of the local BAME community to support a better understanding of the COVID-19 vaccination and to address concerns about the misinformation targeted at BAME communities via social media.

An information and awareness-raising campaign via social media; specifically WhatsApp, was planned and five videos were produced in English and Urdu / Punjabi to answer questions about the vaccine, to look at the barriers in accessing vaccination and support the uptake of the vaccination within the BAME community. Community representatives such as a teacher, community pharmacist, A&E consultant, consultant psychiatrist and our BAME Carers Services & Equality Coordinator participated in this project. The videos were launched via WhatsApp and are available on the NHS Lanarkshire YouTube channel.

To watch the full series of videos that have been produced, please click here.

Lanarkshire Carers wishes to thank everyone who filmed, edited and shared the marvellous videos.

A video message from Isbah Khan, BAME Carers Services and Equalities Co-ordinator, providing information to members of the BAME community on the COVID-19 vaccine in English.

 

A video message from Isbah Khan, BAME Carers Services and Equalities Co-ordinator, providing information to members of the BAME community on the COVID-19 vaccine in Urdu.

COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting

The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it's not yet clear why it affects some people.

The coronavirus vaccine can help stop you from getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus. For people aged 30 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.

For people under 30 without other health conditions, it's currently advised that it's preferable to have another coronavirus vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

If you have already had a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZenica vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should complete the course. This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and household contacts of those who are severely immunosuppressed.

For further guidance please read the coronavirus vaccination and blood clotting information leaflet

Further information can be found on NHS Inform by clicking here.


Locations of COVID-19 vaccination centres

An updated list of all NHS Lanarkshire's Covid-19 vaccination centres in now available on their website by clicking here. Please wait to be contacted about your vaccination appointment, there's no need to contact them or your GP practice.

Clinic venues

The two super centres will be located at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, Motherwell and the Alastair McCoist Complex, East Kilbride. Supercentres will open seven days-a-week from 8am to 8pm.

Local centres locations:

  • Fernhill Community Centre12 Auchenlarie Drive, Rutherglen, Glasgow, G73 4EQ

19 April, 20 April, 21 April, 26 April, 27 April, 28 April, 29 April, 30 April, 1 May

  • Muirfield Community Centre, 1a South Muirhead Rd, Cumbernauld, Glasgow, G67 1AX

19 April, 20 April, 21 April, 22 April, 23 April, 24 April, 25 April, 26 April

  • Sir Matt Busby Sports ComplexMain Street, Bellshill, ML4 3DP

19 April, 20 April, 21 April, 22 April, 27 April, 28 April, 29 April, 30 April, 1 May, 2 May, 3 May, 4 May, 5 May, 6 May, 7 May, 8 May, 9 May

  • St Nicholas Church HallCastlegate, Lanark, ML11 9DZ

23 April, 24 April, 25 April, 30 April, 1 May

  • Stonehouse Lifestyles, 2 Udston Mill Rd, Stonehouse, Larkhall, ML9 3JL

19 April, 20 April, 21 April, 22 April, 23 April, 24 April, 25 April, 26 April, 27 April, 28 April, 29 April, 30 April, 1 May, 2 May, 3 May

  • Time Capsule100 Buchanan St, Coatbridge, ML5 1DL

22 April, 23 April, 24 April, 25 April, 26 April, 27 April, 28 April, 29 April, 30 April, 1 May, 2 May, 3 May, 4 May, 5 May, 6 May, 7 May, 8 May, 9 May

  • Whitehill Neighbourhood Centre9 Hunter Rd, Hamilton, ML3 0LH

19 April, 20 April, 21 April, 22 April, 23 April, 24 April, 25 April, 26 April, 27 April, 28 April, 29 April

Support for travel to vaccination clinics

Under the current restrictions, attending a vaccination appointment is essential travel. There is no limit to the distance you can travel to a healthcare appointment. It is no different to attending a hospital appointment.

To help vaccinate people in Lanarkshire quicker and more efficiently all appointments will initially be at one of the vaccination supercentres:

  • Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, O’Donnell Way, Motherwell, ML1 2TZ
  • Alistair McCoist Complex, Quarry Road, East Kilbride, G75 9LW

NHS Lanarkshire understands that these locations are not suitable for everyone, so have been working with SPT to put in place additional public transport to help people attend their appointment.

SPT has set up a dedicated enquiry line for public transport to vaccination clinics. This is the first point of contact for all public transport enquiries. Call 0141 465 1878 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or visit www.travelinescotland.com/lts/#/travelInfo to plan your journey.

Shuttle buses
Two dedicated shuttle buses are now running, one from Cumbernauld Town Centre, South and one from Motherwell, to Ravenscraig. These buses are only for people attending their vaccination appointment and are free of charge.

Vac1 bus – runs every 30 minutes (on the hour and half past) from Motherwell train station to Ravenscraig. Journey takes 10 minutes. Full timetable available at Traveline Scotland.
Vac2 bus – runs every 45 minutes from Cumbernauld Town Centre, South to Ravenscraig. Journey takes 40 minutes. Full timetable available at Traveline Scotland.

Existing bus routes
Other existing bus routes (240X/241X and 366, 367 services) have been amended so they now visit Ravenscraig directly. Information and a Journey Planner is available from SPT and through Traveline Scotland:

A number of existing bus routes travel to the Alastair McCoist Complex in East Kilbride. Information is available from SPT. There are a number of travel options available and trained staff will find the most appropriate way for everyone to attend a vaccination appointment. More information for travel
to vaccination clinics is available at travelinescotland.com/vaccination

You can also download the above Travel Guide here.


Tips to make sure your face covering is as effective as possible

Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene are the most important and effective things we can all do to prevent the spread of coronavirus and sticking to the FACTS are more important than ever. Face coverings are not an alternative to any of these other precautions.

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, face coverings may provide additional protection from transmission of COVID-19, to both the wearer and those around the wearer, especially in crowded and less well ventilated spaces, and worn in addition to 2m physical distancing.

Wearing your face covering correctly will help protect yourself and others from coronavirus. It's more important than ever.

For further information and guidance on wearing a face covering please visit: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-use-of-face-coverings/


General Guidance for Carers

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.

New stay at home regulations introduced into Mainland Scotland on 05 January 2021:

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.


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.


COVID-19 Community Testing in Lanarkshire

COVID-19 can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms or the symptoms are so mild people may not recognise that they have the infection.

Lanarkshire residents can get tested in any of the sites listed below.

If you have symptoms or not, you can get tested at one of the Community Mobile Testing Units.

The units are open every day from 9:30am to 5:30pm

North Lanarkshire

  • Edward Lawson Centre, 297 Coltness Rd, Wishaw ML2 7EX
  • Newmains, School Road (car park), ML2 9BE
  • Sir Matt Busby Sports Centre, Bellshill

South Lanarkshire

  • Blantyre Leisure Centre, Glasgow Rd, Blantyre, G72 0JS
  • East Kilbride Holiday Inn, Stewartfield Way, G74 5LA 
  • Fernhill Community Centre, 12 Auchenlarie Drive, Rutherglen, G73 4EQ
  • Low Parks Museum, 129 Muir St, Hamilton ML3 6BJ

For up-to-date information on who is eligible to be tested and where to go to access this, please visit the NHS Inform website. If you are unable to access the website, please call 0800 028 2816 to book a test

If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can go along to an Asymptomatic Testing Site.

The sites are open every day from 9:30am to 5:30pm

North Lanarkshire

  • Airdrie Leisure Centre, Motherwell St, Airdrie, ML6 7HU

South Lanarkshire

  • Larkhall Leisure Centre, Broomhill Dr, Larkhall, ML9 1QP

There is no need to book.


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


Self-isolation information and support

Do you have coronavirus symptoms? You and your household need to self-isolate.

If you have a cough, high temperature or loss/change in taste or smell, you and your whole household need to stay at home and you need to get a test straight away. You can do this at NHSinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816 if you cannot get online. You and your whole household should then stay at home until the test results come back. If you test positive, you and your household need to continue to self-isolate. If you test negative, you can stop self-isolating as long as you feel well and have not had a high temperature for 48 hours (without taking any medicines to treat a high temperature). Your household can stop isolating too.

Also, if you have been with someone who has tested positive or if you have been to a country on the quarantine list, you should self-isolate. That’s even if you don’t have symptoms of coronavirus.

How long should I self-isolate?
If you get coronavirus symptoms, stay in your home for 10 days. Others in your household need to stay at home for 10 days too in case they develop symptoms. That includes everyone who lives in your home.

How do I self-isolate?
Self-isolation means staying at home all the time, with no other households coming inside.
• Don’t pop to the shops, even if you’re wearing a face covering
• Don’t go to school or nursery
• Don’t take the dog for a walk
• Don’t let people come into your home to bring shopping, look after children or for any other gathering

Click here for further information on Self Isolation

The above information is also availabe in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu. Additional Languages can be viewed by clicking here.


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:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-unpaid-carers-providing-personal-care/pages/overview/


Lanarkshire Carers - 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.

Lanarkshire Carers Call

Our Lanarkshire Carers Call service provides a weekly, fortnightly, monthly 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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