Essential Workers During COVID-19

If you are an essential worker coming to work during the epidemic, thank you for everything you are doing for our communities.

It will feel unusual, and may add to the anxiety you feel, or that loved ones feel for you. Just remember when your coming to the workplace to;

  • observe social distancing guidelines as much as possible when travelling
  • when in work follow hygiene and social distancing measures as advised by the Council:
    • avoiding direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth maintaining good hand hygiene, by washing your hands with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser before eating and drinking, and after coughing, sneezing and going to the toilet.
    • covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with disposable tissues and disposing of them in the nearest waste bin after use
    • ensuring you wash your hands before you eat as although you can't catch coronavirus from food, it is possible to catch it if you touch an infected surface or object and then touch your mouth or nose.  The Food Standards Scotland has answered some common questions about coronavirus and food.

Health Protection Scotland have issued a number of guidance documents which can be found on the Health Protection Scotland website. There are a number of FAQ's on the councils COVID-19 intranet site which provide information on a wide range of subjects.  You can also access the latest NHS guidance  for those working in social care roles.

National Wellbeing Hub for health and social care workers.

The Hub has been developed on the principles of Psychological First Aid and includes a range of content, such as information which addresses the specific challenges health and social care staff are facing during COVID-19, information about the factors which affect emotional and psychological wellbeing, help for people to recognise their own "warning signs" and self-care resources for staff and their colleagues, along with advice on how self-care can be implemented in the current circumstances (including video / audio clips).

The Hub can be accessed at: www.promis.scot and it has easily accessible sections for health and social care staff individually as well as for managers.   

A Staff Wellbeing Communications Toolkit has also been established. The toolkit is now hosted on the National Wellbeing Hub.

All of these resources are designed as an addition to the local resources provided by Health Boards, Local Authorities and Third Sector Employers.

Advice for visiting staff when in a property:

  • Wash your hands/ apply sanitiser on exiting the vehicle, wash your hands/ apply sanitiser at the customer's door, wash your hands/ apply sanitiser on entering the property, wash your hands/ apply sanitiser prior to leaving the customer's property, wash your hands/ apply sanitiser when back inside your vehicle.
  • At all times, avoid hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth, maintain the above hand hygiene at all times
  • Avoid touching surfaces or personal items when inside customer's property (unless absolutely necessary for the purposes of the visit) and maintain the above hand hygiene at all times
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with tissues and dispose of them as soon as possible.
  • Follow guidance on Social Distancing (maintaining a 2 metre distance from other people)

For more information see the COVID-19 site on the intranet

Advice on car hygiene/use of pool cars

  • Keep a safe distance from any passengers where possible and consider limiting passengers and using rear seats
  • Clean hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser when entering or exiting vehicles
  • Clean steering wheel, internal and external door handles and handbrake lever with antibacterial spray or wipes throughout vehicle use
  • Use gloves when refuelling and paying for it
  • Keep your driving environment clean with antibacterial spray or wipes
  • Clean all areas and devices you touch between journeys
  • Windows should be opened (where possible and safe to do so) to encourage ventilation
  • Use of climate control systems, particularly on recirculation settings (where fitted), is to be discouraged unless required for road safety reasons

Council vehicles should only be used by employees delivering critical services. This will ensure all is being done to maximise hygiene and protect staff. Vehicles will be managed locally, please contact your line manager for information on how you can access vehicles and which vehicles you can use.

During this time staff may want or need to use their own vehicle for business purposes to help deliver services. You must ensure that your driver licence is valid and that you have appropriate business use insurance cover, and ensure your vehicle has a current MOT certificate. Currently, you will not be required to submit an Own Vehicle use Authorisation Form, however you must obtain authorisation from your line manager to use your own vehicle if not already authorised.  Staff are reminded not to transport clients or service users as part of their duties whilst using their own vehicle(s) to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements.

The Government has announced that your car, van or motorcycle's MOT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it's due on or after 30 March 2020. Your insurance will not be affected because of this. Safety is paramount and it is illegal to drive a car in a dangerous condition, so make sure to check your brakes, tyres and lights before driving. Please remember to get your MOT done before its revised expiry date..

Where staff use their own vehicle, claims for mileage should be made in accordance with the Schedule of Mileages [328kb] and rounded to the nearest mile. For staff with access to HR21, claims should be made on HR21 and for all other staff claims should be made on the Icon for word Business Mileage and Subsistence Claim Form [31.92KB] . Managers will still be required to authorise claims.

Initial Question Set for Home Visit

In respect of the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus, are you, or anyone else in your household, self-isolating?

If No- *No script, continue as normal

If Yes:

For Non-Essential Visits- Based on advice from Public Health Scotland and NHS Inform, we will not be able to attend until such a time that the isolation period has ended. Please get back in touch with us when you (or your family) are no longer isolating and we will arrange an appointment then.

Essential-We will attend, however, it is important that the person (or persons) self-isolating are in another room and remain there for the duration of the visit.

Check-Ins before attending and when at property- In respect of the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus, has your situation changed since this callout was arranged?

Advice for visiting staff when in a property from Public health Scotland & NHS Inform- 

  • Wash your hands/ apply sanitiser on exiting the vehicle, wash your hands/ apply sanitiser at the customer's door, wash your hands/ apply sanitiser on entering the property, wash your hands/ apply sanitiser prior to leaving the customer's property, wash your hands/ apply sanitiser when back inside your vehicle.
  • At all times, avoid hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth, maintain the above hand hygiene at all times
  • Avoid touching surfaces or personal items when inside customer's property (unless absolutely necessary for the purposes of the visit) and maintain the above hand hygiene at all times
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with tissues and dispose of them as soon as possible.
  • Follow guidance on Social Distancing (maintaining a 2 meter distance from other people)

All services should make arrangements to call customers in advance of home visits. The question set should be used as a guide. 

Coronavirus Guidance - Customer Visit Process

Initial Question Set for Office-Based Visit

Signage will be displayed on entrances and at receptions desks, however, it was acknowledged that not all customer's will adhere to this or be able to read. Therefore, the staff are required to ask:

In respect of the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus, are you, or is anyone else in your household, self-isolating or showing the symptoms of the virus (new, persistent cough, a fever or high temperature)?

If No- *No script, continue as normal however should follow guidance on Social Distancing (maintaining a 2 meter distance from other people)

If Yes:

For Non-Essential Office-Based Visits- Based on advice from the NHS and Public Health Scotland, we will not be able to carry out this appointment and will have to ask you to leave the premises. Please get back in touch with us when you (or your family) are no longer isolating and we will arrange an appointment then. Alternatively, in the first instance, can you please email customer.service@westlothian.gov.uk or go online at westlothian.gov.uk and we may be able to assist with your query there. You can also call 01506 280000.

Customer Visit Process Chart: