E-Bulletin from 28 April 2020

Information published on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it is affecting our services.

Bulky Uplifts

West Lothian Council's Bulky Uplift service has been reinstated.

Bookings can be made on Book your Bulky Uplift

Alternatively, customers can call 01506 280000.

Bulky Uplifts provide customers with a home collection service for up to five items from a specific list of materials.  Details are available on the council's website.

The activity itself involves no social interaction with the residents who have placed the order (online or via telephone) and the items are placed at the edge of the property and accessible from the roadside for the council to collect.

Help for vulnerable children and adults

West Lothian Council has launched a new social media campaign to raise awareness of the support available to those who need it. The changes due to the coronavirus restrictions is expected to have an impact on a number of vulnerable children and adults, as well as domestic violence.

Special phone numbers and email addresses have been set up to ensure anyone who needs help or would like to report issues, can contact the relevant professionals as quickly as possible.

This information has been put together on a graphic that can easily be shared on social media, to try and ensure it reaches as many people as possible. Police Scotland and other multi-agency partners are supporting the campaign on their social media channels.

More details at Updates to Council Social Care services

Waste Services FAQs

A guide for customers has been created in the form on an FAQ. The guide aims to answer some of the most common types of questions and has useful information for councillors and members of the public.   

Find Waste Services FAQs on Recycling and Waste Updates

Whitdale Primary School now open as Keyworker HUB

Whitdale Primary School in Whitburn is now open as a HUB school for children of keyworkers.
Whitdale offers a childcare service for both Primary and Nursery school children, helping to meet increasing demand for childcare for children of keyworkers in West Lothian while helping to ensure that social distancing measures are maintained across existing HUB locations.
West Lothian Council's HUB schools offer a service for key workers who have no alternative child care in order to undertake their critical work.

The HUB schools provide childcare Monday - Friday between the hours of 8am and 6pm, with a hot lunch provided.

If a parent/carer does not have alternative childcare and are a key worker in a critical service they can register for this service by following the process outlined on the West Lothian Council website where they can also find details of other HUB locations across West Lothian.

Visit: Keyworker Childcare.  The council will continue to monitor and adapt its provision as appropriate.

Online rent payment

With the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we are aware that many of our tenants may be concerned about paying their rent. We want to do all we can to support tenants at this worrying time. If tenants have any concerns they should visit the following page: Contacting the Council

With the national guidance still in place to observe social distancing, the Council has ways for tenants to pay their rent that do not require them to risk travelling from their home. This can do this over the phone on 01506 282407 or online.

For more information regarding rent payments please visit: Paying my Rent

May Bank Holiday - Changes to bin collections

Residents are being urged to look out for changes to some household bin collections over the May Bank Holiday. Households whose bins are due to be collected on Monday 4 May are affected.

Residents whose brown bins are due to be collected on Monday 4 May should present their brown bins on Sunday 3 May for collection. (Residents are also asked to keep their bin out for 48 hours if their bin is not collected).

Residents whose blue and grey bins are due to be collected on Monday 4 May should still present their bins on Monday 4 May, as normal. All bins should be presented by the kerbside by 7am on the day of collection.

Shielding in West Lothian 

Help is being offered to every person who is Shielding in West Lothian.

West Lothian Council has established a new Shielding Support team to contact everyone who has been identified by the NHS as requiring to shield. Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically at high risk from the coronavirus, by supporting them to self-isolate to minimise all interaction with others. The Chief Medical Officer for Scotland has written to all those deemed as being clinically high risk to notify them. Council staff are contacting all those on the list supplied by the NHS to see what support they require such as deliveries of food, medicine or other help. There are currently over 4,700 West Lothian residents on the Shielding list, and the council is in the process of contacting everyone on the list either by phone call or text message. For security reasons, staff must confirm date of birth and postcode of everyone they call before discussing their situation. Those called will also be invited to provide a mobile number to register for the Scottish Government's SMS Shielding Service if they haven't already.

Depute Chief Executive Graeme Struthers said: "We will be contacting all Shielding residents in West Lothian to establish what form of support they may need.To date the council has spoken with over 500 shielding local residents to see what help they require. This can be general support or advice, as well as for essential deliveries such as food or medicine."

For more information on shielding in West Lothian, please visit Guidance and Support on Shielding and Protecting the Most Vulnerable.

If you have received a shielding letter, you can also apply for support online at apply for support during isolation or by calling 01506 281000

Help and support

The council's Anti-Poverty Service continues to help a large number of local people in need of help. The number of enquiries for help and support increased by just over 20% from the previous week. Last week, the team dealt with nearly 300 Crisis Grant applications which is a 64% increase compared with the same week last year. The team continue to process the applications within normal timescales.

The council's Anti-poverty Manager, Elaine Nisbett said:

"Work has now commenced on extending how customers gain access to cash if awarded a crisis grant.  Currently, only two outlets (Arrocher and Bathgate Partnership Centre) pay out cash.  There are 110 Paypoint Outlets in West Lothian and work is underway to extend  this service to all."

The team provides a huge range of advice and support.
Since the lock down began, the team have received between 35-40 Community Care Grants each week. In the last four weeks there has been over 1,550  applications for the council's Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS). The Advice Shop team continue to contact customers to offer assistance in the completion of the CTRS form along with any other benefits to which they may have been entitled.  

Contact the Advice Shop on:  01506 28300 or email: advice.shop@westlothian.gov.uk

Thank you

To all those looking after others during this time

Technology Enabled Care (TEC) team

During a time where it can be difficult for family and friends to look out for loved ones, telecare can be a life line to those living alone at home who need a bit more support.

The council's Technology Enabled Care (TEC) team are doing their part to try and put people at ease as they are continuing to go into the homes of local residents to install essential home safety devices.

Technology such as door sensors can alert care teams to when people leave the house, move from room to room and can even detect falls. 

The team follow social distancing measures when attending calls for the safety of themselves and local residents, and take steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus, such as cleaning up working areas after installations. Katrina from the TEC team who has been out visiting homes to ensure that devices are programmed and operational.

To apply or for more information on the service visit Technology Enabled Care (TEC)

Occupational Therapist

Many of our staff are taking up different jobs and using their skills to help keep our front-line services running. Joanna is an Occupational Therapist (OT) who would normally be out and about in the community helping people who are having difficulty coping with everyday tasks at home to remain independent amongst other various duties.

However, she is now working in one of our care homes putting all her OT skills into supporting residents.

Here she can be seen pictured getting ready to take part in a gardening activity with residents helping to keep both their mind and bodies active.

Adult Social Care Enquiry Team

Lynne Roden is part of our Adult Social Care Enquiry Team.  Lynne is usually office based but many of our teams have had to adapt to new ways of working including working from home to respond to enquiries for services, such as those for Older People, Adults, Occupational Therapy and Support at Home.

Measures have been put in place to ensure this vital service continues to support vulnerable local residents, despite the current situation.

To contact the team, please email adultsocialcare@westlothian.gov.uk or call 01506 284848.