General Covid Updates from Judith Proctor (EHSCP)

General Covid Updates from Judith Proctor (EHSCP)

Below follows internal communications dated 2nd / 3rd April which organisations may find useful.

Daily update – 3 April 2020

Welcome to today’s briefing which includes the updated guidance on COVID-19. In this you will find information on caring in community, hospital and residential settings. There is a link in this to ‘table 2’ which very usefully and clearly sets out what PPE is required in which situation and when, including those areas where risk assessment may be needed.

COVID-19: Information and Guidance for Social or Community Care & Residential Settings Version 1.6. This guidance is to support those working in social or community care and residential settings (SCCR) to give advice to their staff and users of their services about COVID-19. View the guidance online.

Many supermarkets have prioritised and increased access hours for NHS, care and other key workers to ensure they are able to buy the supplies they need. Please find some updates below:

  • Asda – prioritising access for NHS and care workers in larger stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am
  • Sainsburys – prioritising NHS and social care workers will be able to shop in our supermarkets for half an hour before they open, from Monday to Saturday. Anyone with NHS ID will be able to shop from 07.30 to 08.00 on these days
  • Tesco – prioritising NHS workers every Tuesday and Thursday, along with browsing hour before checkouts open on Sundays, all of which gives them dedicated time to shop for their essentials. All we ask is, if you’re an NHS worker, that you bring a form of ID to store, such as an NHS staff card.

Mental Health Information Station – What’s new?

Due to Covid-19, we have closed our walk-in service at Walpole Hall. However, individuals can still contact our Nursing and Occupational Therapy staff to receive mental health support and advice. We will be available every Thursday for extended hours between 9.30 and 4.30. As ever, no referral is necessary. You just need to call Cambridge Street House on 0131 537 8650 and ask to be transferred to MHIS staff. Leave your name and contact number and staff will arrange a call back

Alternatively, people can email at any time with specific queries and/or a request for a call back.

Further links to mental health information and advice can be found on our new digital platforms:

Facebook – Mental Health Information Station

Instagram –

If service demands are very high and we have staff capacity we may be able to extend to other days.

Please contact South West Edinburgh Lead OT at or on 07712855203 with any queries.

Support from partner organisations

EVOC have started to put together a directory of local groups/projects who are offering support during the current COVID-19 pandemic. This directory can be can be used to help connect people with the support and services they need and bring groups and organisations together.

You can find the latest general information on the NHS Inform website.

If you have questions about coronavirus (COVID-19), please try the Health Protection Scotland website in the first instance.

If you can’t find what you are looking for call our advice line for health and social care staff and volunteers in Lothian is available on: 0131 537 8530 (ext. 88530). Lines open: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

Daily Update 2nd April 2020

Update on shielding

These high risk categories range from people who have specific conditions, including recent transplant, specific cancers, severe respiratory conditions, rare diseases, immunosuppression therapies, or are pregnant.

The shielding project board has set up a COVID-19 shielding web page, reiterating the key information in the Scottish Government letter, and identifying Local Assistance contact details. Scottish Government will put the Local Assistance Centre details on the NHS Inform website.


The Council has established a project board for homelessness to consider accommodation pathways, feeding and health and care support including alcohol and substance dependency and sexual exploitation. The main focus of the group is to get vulnerable people off the streets and into safe accommodation, and the Cairn Hotel is being used.

Edinburgh Access Practice has set up health outreach clinics offering triage and to deal with any urgent physical/mental health and substance use issues at the Cairn Hotel and Salvation Army. A nurse prescriber is initiating same day opium replacement therapy as appropriate and a managed alcohol programme is currently being considered.

The Carer Support Hospital Discharge Carer Support Service, the Edinburgh Carer Support Team, and VolunteerNet

A series of actions have been introduced to minimise the impact of the Coronavirus on very vulnerable groups, and those caring for vulnerable people:

· An audit was undertaken last week of higher risk caring situations/and vulnerable carers so the team is aware of carers who are known to us who may need additional support during this time.

· The telephone enquiry line will operate as usual on 0131-536 3371. A log will be kept with COVID-19 enquiries and any required actions will be reported to the appropriate teams. Email contact for the team is:

· The VolunteerNet Service has suspended volunteering activities but volunteers who provide regular befriending will call the people they usually visit. Some volunteers are willing to assist with essential non-contact support such as shopping/prescription collection.

· All third sector carer centres have moved to phone support and are generally closed to the public with most other services suspended.

Support from partner organisations

Self-management support from The Thistle Foundation

The Thistle Foundation’s health and wellbeing practitioners and management team have moved to home-based, remote working and they are keeping in touch with people currently using the service, maintaining a 1:1 telephone support provision. Group-based lifestyle management, mindfulness and exercise-based support options are postponed while they set up online platforms that will enable group-based work to resume as soon as possible.

To take some of the pressure off health and social care resources that may need to be deployed to deal with Coronavirus, the Thistle Centre staff have developed a self-management offer. Referrals are invited for people who may benefit from short-term self-management support to prevent crisis, via a telephone listening and lifestyle coaching service:

· an initial 30 minute phone wellbeing conversation within one week of referral

· follow up conversations if required

· short-term, solution-focused, brief interventions: listening, coaching, information, signposting

· support to develop a ‘Stay at Home Well Plan’.

· a waiting list facility for when they set up their online group-based supports and/or continue business-as-usual after the current emergency is over.

To make a referral, please leave a message by phone or email with Emma Hollands (07552 277416 or leaving your name and contact details and the person’s name and telephone number. Please confirm when referring that the individual consents to Thistle Foundation staff contacting them by telephone. Staff will then contact the person directly. This new service began on Wednesday 1 April.

Update on Lothian Buses

Please keep checking Lothian Buses website ( for information on different services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.