Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): PPE access for social care providers and unpaid carers

Last updated: 16 Nov 2021 - see all updates
Published: 29 Apr 2020

Information for social care providers, personal assistants, and unpaid/family carers on how to access and use personal protective equipment (PPE).

29 Apr 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): PPE access for social care providers and unpaid carers

If you are a social care provider, personal assistant or unpaid/family carer there are routes available to you to access personal protective equipment (PPE) if your normal routes aren't working.

Local PPE Hubs have been set up all over Scotland by Health and Social Care Partnerships to provide PPE to those providing social care support who need it.

We have published advice for unpaid carers who visit or live with a friend or family member to provide help with personal care such as washing or dressing. This details the situations in which unpaid carers may require PPE. We have also published similar advice for personal assistants supporting clients with personal care.

Unpaid/family carers

If you are an unpaid/family carer and think you require PPE due to your caring role, and the routes you normally use to access it are unavailable, you should contact your local carers centre and they will advise you on how to access supplies locally.

You can find a list of local carers centres and young carer services on the Care Information Scotland website. If your local carers’ centre is unavailable, you can call the Social Care PPE Support Centre on 0300 303 3020 and they can provide you with information.

Social care providers and personal assistants (PAs)

Social care providers, including care homes, and personal assistants should contact the NHS National Services Scotland Social Care PPE Support Centre on 0300 303 3020, and the team there will point you towards your local Hub.

Local Hubs will also be in touch with providers, personal assistants and unpaid carers to let you know how to contact them. It may take them some time to do this as they are currently increasing their operations to be able to support the whole social care sector. In the meantime, therefore, the NHS National Services Scotland Social Care PPE Support Centre is helping out by taking calls on behalf of the Hubs.

If you are a Personal Assistant, when you go to collect the PPE from the Hub, or have it delivered to you, you will need to have a document which says you are a personal assistant. This could take the form of the template document used as proof of key worker status (for movement and for shopping, etc). 

If you don’t have a document like this, there are a number of different ways you can get one.  You can ask:

Further guidance on infection prevention and control including personal protective equipment for community health and care settings: National Infection Prevention and Control Manual: Winter (21/22), Respiratory Infections in Health and Care Settings Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Addendum (

Further information

See also:

First published: 29 Apr 2020 Last updated: 16 Nov 2021 -