A TRADE union representing home and social care workers is vigorously challenging personal protection equipment (PPE) guidance issued by Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer.

UNISON has written to both Fiona McQueen and COSLA Chief Executive, Sally Loudon, expressing serious concerns about Ms McQueen’s guidance claiming it puts workers at unnecessary risk.

It comes as the Glasgow Times reveal claims that care home and home care service staff across Greater Glasgow have been left without adequate PPE.

The ‘supplementary guidance’ has only been issued in Scotland and contradicts UK-wide PPE guidance issued on Friday, April 2. This would, UNISON believes, put Scottish home and social care workers at greater risk than their UK counterparts.

Original UK-wide guidance, which was issued by the Scottish Government, was welcomed by UNISON.

It made clear that home care staff and other care workers should have access to the appropriate PPE to make real-time assessment of the risk associated with the tasks they were being asked to complete and wear the appropriate protection.

However, the Chief Nursing officer supplemented UK guidance, to say that: “Where the person is neither suspected to be, nor confirmed as COVID positive, care at home staff carrying out personal care should wear what they have always worn – that is, an apron and gloves; and no mask.”

Unison were expected to meet MSP Fiona Hyslop to express their concerns earlier in the week. The Scottish Government has been asked for comment.