Additional supplies of personal protective equipment must be delivered to more than 1,000 nursing homes in Scotland due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This decision, aimed at protecting staff and residents, comes against a background of growing concern about the availability of masks, aprons and gloves.
A quarter of Covid-19 deaths in the country have occurred in nursing homes.
The industry is responsible for supplying its own PPE, but the pandemic has put supply chains under immense pressure.
As a result, NHS National Services Scotland will prioritize delivery of inventory directly to nursing homes where the virus is known to be present.
The stock will also continue to be supplied to local centers that supply PPE to other social workers.
Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The dedication of those who work in the healthcare sector is highly appreciated and ensuring that these staff are protected is a priority for me.
“They do a remarkable job in very difficult circumstances, and we will support them in this task. “
Freeman said dedicated teams are working to buy and distribute PPE to health and social service workers.
The Health Secretary added, “I think providing additional supplies directly to care homes will ensure that all care homes in Scotland have enough PPE to allow them to continue to provide care and support. safely to their residents. It should also allow time for nursing homes to work on sourcing their own inventory. “
Each location will receive a week of equipment, including fluid-resistant surgical masks.
The situation will be reviewed next week based on information provided by the nursing homes about their own stock of PPE stocks.
Emergency service will continue to be provided by the Scottish Social Services Triage in the event of unexpected short-term demand.
Scottish Care CEO Donald Macaskill welcomed the announcement.
He said: “This will make a significant contribution to the protection of staff, residents and clients and the staff who care for and support them.
“I am grateful for the immediate response of the Scottish government and the recognition of the need to take these measures urgently.
“We all work with determination under difficult circumstances to deal with the threat of the coronavirus. “