Category Archives: Health

Latest advice leaflet from Argyll + Bute Council on Shielding and Money Worries

We received the following information to pass on:

Good morning,

Following recent updates, please see the FAQs below which offer some useful information for those in the shielded group.

The shielding information is national guidance, for further information please visit the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): stay at home guidance webpage.

Argyll and Bute Council’s website has a range of help and advice for those affected by Coronavirus, this includes information about financial support.  The leaflet attached gives details about help for those who may be worrying about money.

Are people in the shielded group able to get their own shopping or prescriptions?

  • Yes. The guidance for the level 4 restrictions are that those who are in the shielded group can go out to get shopping and / or prescriptions. These are classed as essential purposes to leave the home for.

What are the essential purposes and reasons that those in the shielded group can go out of the house for?

  • Exercise
  • Essential shopping
  • Medicines
  • Education
  • Caring responsibilities
  • Visiting someone you are in an extended household with. (you can only be in an extended household where one of the households is a single person household)

What other restrictions apply to those in the shielding group?

  • You should not use public transport (including taxis) while these additional measures are in place.
  • There are also additional restrictions around work, see below.

If I am part of the shielding group do I have to go to work?

  • You should work from home. Everyone who is able to work from home should do so.
  • If you cannot work from home then you must stay at home. Your letter is a FIT note. This applies to all in level 4 restrictions.

I am in a level 3 restriction area (Coll, Colonsay, Erraid, Gometra, Iona, Islay, Jura, Mull, Oronsay, Tiree and Ulva) do I go to work?

  • The advice on not going to work does not apply to areas that are in level 3.
  • If you live or work in a level 3 area, you can continue to go to work if your workplace can be made safe.

Who is eligible for support through the Test and Protect Helpline?

  • If you have to self-isolate due to testing positive and you have no other sources of support for food, medication, or other needs, you can contact the Council’s Test and Protect helpline to request help.
  • If you have been asked to self-isolate by a Test and Protect contact tracer, and you have no other sources of support for food, medication, or other needs, you can contact the council’s Test and Protect helpline to request help

What kind of help can I expect?

  • The Council can put you in touch with local community groups offering support in your local area.
  • The Council may request directly for a volunteer to assist with your needs.
  • The Council can direct you to sources of support to help with money worries
  • The Council can direct you to sources of support to help with other needs that you are worried about due to having to self-isolate.

What are the new rules about meeting outdoors?

  • A maximum of two people are able to meet from up from two households, outside. There is more advice at www.gov.scot/coronavirus.

Will food boxes be introduced again?

We are not currently planning to re-introduce food boxes. This is because we are not asking you to stop going to shops, though we are advising you to limit the number of times you visit shops, consider shopping at quieter times, and where possible shop on-line.

Since the first lockdown last year, supermarkets have put in place a number of measures to make them safer.  They have also increased their capacity to provide a wide range of ways to shop, including on-line delivery, click and collect, home deliveries, phone ordering, grocery boxes, and gift cards so someone else can shop for you.

We have also offered everyone on the shielding list priority access to on-line supermarket delivery slots and this offer will remain open.  As before, it is important to ask family, friends, and neighbours for support.

Can I still attend my usual medical appointments?

Yes

I have been vaccinated against covid-19 – do I still need to follow the advice?

Yes. You should follow all advice for those on the shielding list, even if you have had a coronavirus vaccination. This includes the advice about work. While a full course of the vaccine (two doses) will help prevent you from becoming seriously ill from coronavirus, we do not yet know if it will keep you from catching and spreading the virus.

Many thanks,

Community Development

Download the full leaflet here: Worrying about Money A4 Argyll and Bute 28.07.20

Regarding recent staff visits to Tigh a Rhuda

At the request of several concerned members of the local community we sent the following letter to the Chair of the Health and Social Care Partnership for Argyll and Bute:

Good afternoon,

I write on behalf of the Tiree Community Council in connection with concerns expressed to us by a number of residents regarding the fact that two staff (senior social workers, we are told) have on two occasions now travelled from the mainland to the island, spending significant time in the care home over a couple of days, apparently for the purpose of carrying out meetings with other staff, dealing with paperwork and such. There is great concern being expressed at the risk that this poses in terms of possible transmission of COVID-19 to the island, and particularly to the home place of some of our most at-risk residents, and why these staff meetings and paperwork could not be accomplished via electronic means, telephone, web conference and such in order to avoid that risk.

A previous attempt to query this matter following complaints being made to us about it resulted in a response that seemed to rest solely on an assertion that this was a matter for managers to decide, but we were left without any satisfactory explanation as to why the work could not have been delivered in an alternative, remote, way, A new wave of complaints has now come to us following a further visit. We realise there may well be very good reasons why this work absolutely had to be carried out in person, but the people contacting us seem to be firmly of the impression that it wasn’t about providing key worker support to care residents that couldn’t have been provided locally or remotely, but rather about administrative staffing matters.

Many of us here on the island have had to adapt to working fully remotely, unable to travel back and forth, and have done so knowing that this helps keep our community (which faces particular challenges and risks compared to the mainland) safe – so you will understand the concern about this when there is a question of it being truly essential, and given the current climate of well-justified fear for the well-being of our older family members this has led to understandably strong feelings on the subject being expressed to us.

We would be grateful if you could look into this and help either find an explanation that would reassure our community, or prompt a review of the necessity of what seems a risky activity which may be avoidable.

Yours sincerely,

Phyl Meyer, Secretary

Tiree Community Council

 

We have received the following response from Kieron Green, Policy Lead for Health and Social Care:

“Careful consideration is given before mainland based Health and Social Care Partnership staff travel to islands, including Tiree, to conduct essential work. All appropriate precautions are then taken in terms of physical distancing, accommodation and minimising interactions on the island when not working. Additionally for further assurance, and as the individuals involved are entering a care environment, they are being tested on a weekly basis for COVID-19.”

“Travel in this instance has been necessary due to the requirement to maintain the safe operation of Health and Social Care Partnership facilities, ensure high levels of care quality for residents and users of services, and give staff appropriate levels of management supervision and support. It has not been possible to facilitate this on a remote basis due to the nature of the work involved, including the need to directly observe the environment which care is provided in.”

Kind Regards,

Kieron Green

Councillor, Oban North and Lorn

Scottish Government looking for ideas of how to overcome the challenges of COVID-19

The First Minister announced a website set up by Scottish Government seeking input on a “framework for decision making” in response to COVID-19. Individual members of the public and community groups and organisations can submit ideas.

This includes proposed changes and options about:

  • staying at home
  • visiting other households
  • resuming care and support for those most affected by the current restrictions
  • businesses that have been subject to restrictions or closure
  • allowing pupils to return to school

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised the need for transparency when she launched the framework and invited the people of Scotland to engage in this conversation to help us take the next steps to navigate to a new normal.

Our first public meeting of the Community Council since this situation began was held on May 6th, and the deadline is on May 11th so there is little time left for TCC to develop a full response to this on behalf of the community – but we are looking at doing what we can. However we’d encourage anyone with thoughts to submit these as an individual:

The site can be found here: https://www.ideas.gov.scot/covid-19-a-framework-for-decision-making

Review of Argyll and Bute Integration Scheme (Social Care)

We have received the following communication from Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland inviting members of the community to input to a consultation on social care provisions in the area:

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You are invited, as one of a range of key stakeholders across Argyll and Bute, to have your say on updating the document that outlines how health and social care functions and services are provided locally.

In 2016, Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland brought all health and social care services together to form the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP). The main purpose of integrating these services was to improve the wellbeing of people who use them, particularly those whose needs are complex and involve support from health and social care at the same time.

A Scheme of Integration was subsequently agreed in 2016 which provides information about which health and social care functions and services will be delivered by the HSCP. By law this must be reviewed every five years and submitted to the Scottish Government for approval.

The current scheme has recently been updated by the Council and NHS Highland and it is important that we also jointly consult with the public and our stakeholders to seek their views on any proposed changes and to consider all views expressed.

The consultation will run for a period of six weeks from 9 December 2019 to 17 January 2020. A copy of the revised scheme, together with a summary of the proposed changes can be viewed at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/consultations/integration-scheme-review. Hard copies are also available in your local Customer Contact Centre, or by calling 01546 604325.

If you have any questions or comments please contact us at: integrationschemereview@argyll-bute.gov.uk by Friday 17 January 2020.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Cleland Sneddon Iain Stewart
Chief Executive Chief Executive
Argyll and Bute Council NHS Highland