Health and Safety Home Care News

Letter to Home Care members from Aberdeenshire UNISON about the use of Face Masks during Covid-19

Home carersThe branch has sent the following letter out to Home Care and other care members on new developments on the availability of face masks.

“We are happy to report that, following representations from the branch, fluid resistant face masks have now been made available to enable every Aberdeenshire home carer to have a mask for every visit, along with their apron and gloves.

We are writing to make you aware of this and we urge you to let us know if this is not happening in your area or if there are any problems with the supplies in future.

You can contact us by email on or by text to 07767027722.

It has never been more important to be in UNISON. Please share this with any colleagues who are not members and encourage them to join. We are also looking for members who would be interested in becoming a steward or a branch contact. Please get in touch if you are interested or would like more information.

Members have been telling us for a while that they have not had access to enough face masks. This became particularly concerning after the guidance changed on 2nd April to allow for carers to assess the need for a face mask to protect vulnerable service users and themselves, when the service user was not showing symptoms of Covid-19.

That meant that there should be a face mask available for every home care visit along with gloves and an apron, to allow for the mask to be disposed of alongside this other protective clothing. However members were telling us that they were being issued one mask per shift because of a lack of face masks being made available to Home Carers.

This was a huge worry for our members and we know that Home Care management were also deeply concerned.

The branch raised this issue with the Integrated Joint Board (IJB) on 9th April. We express our serious concerns for both our members and their service users. This was responded to very quickly by the IJB and we thank them for their prompt action.

On Wed 15th April we were advised that Home Care now have enough supplies of face masks to provide home carers with one for every visit, to be disposed of with their apron and gloves.

The branch is delighted with this outcome and we want to thank all our home care members that raised this issue with us.

However we know that there may still be other issues relating to the safety of yourselves as workers or your service users, whether about enhanced PPE for when service users are showing symptoms, about van sharing, about guidance and training or other health and safety issues. Please get in touch with the branch if you have any concerns.

Thank you all for the amazing work you are doing to support our older people and the most vulnerable at such a difficult time.”

Further guidance on PPE in different situations can be found at

For further general information, go to the Aberdeenshire UNISON website at

Aberdeenshire UNISON
17th April 2020