Home care workers employed by East Dunbartonshire Council have expressed their concerns about a lack of protective equipment available to help them carry out their duties during the coronavirus crisis.

One affected worker said: ” In light of the coronavirus crisis, I’m very aware of my own real fears and those of my colleagues in regards to being, in our opinion, not fully equipped to carry out our jobs safely.”

Staff are worried that by going in and out of homes to perform their vital work without protective equipment, they risk spreading coronavirus among themselves, their families and their vulnerable, usually elderly, service users.

Another worker said staff had been informed there was no requirement for protective equipment other than that recommended by the Scottish Government, but believed this was superseded by stronger measures put in place by the Westminster Government.

The spouse of one such worker said: “My wife is a truly dedicated individual and I am really concerned about her safety, the local council are not taking their duty of care towards their employees in this pandemic on a safety level.

“The minimal requirement for close proximity and personal care is aligned to the nurses on critical care this together within the potential to spread this virus without the required PPE to various vulnerable individuals within the community is totally irresponsible from EDC!”

Other health workers are being provided with extra equipment to protect themselves and others.

Council depute chief executive Ann Davie said:  “We continue to follow NHS guidance and advice – and all instructions to organisations coming from the UK and Scottish Governments – and continue to share this with all our employees on a regular basis.

“Personal Protective Equipment will continue to be provided to all frontline employees, as their role requires and in line with public health guidance.”