Commenting on the tragic news that a care worker has died in West Dunbartonshire of suspected COVID-19, Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson Monica Lennon said:

“Social care staff are the unsung heroes of the Coronavirus pandemic. The death of a member of the social care family will be met with great sadness.

“Scotland-wide, it is worrying that absence levels among the social care workforce are soaring, as are fears about lack of personal protective equipment.

“The GMB Scotland membership survey of home carers should have been a wake-up call to the First Minister when I raised it with her in Parliament.

“Home carers in my region have been asked to use PPE sparingly due to scare supplies. This is far from an isolated example and I have written to the First Minister today asking her to guarantee safe systems of work for all social care staff because lives are at stake.”

The Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, and MSP for Dumbarton, Jackie Baillie, added:

“In this time of crisis, we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to those heroic health and care workers who risk their lives daily to care for and treat those in need.

“This very sad news will come as a great blow to the family and to my local community. My thoughts are with them and I share in their grief.

“It is clear that access to protective clothing and equipment for health and social care staff is a problem across Scotland. Supplies are rationed because there is simply not enough and the strategy appears to be determined by that shortage of supply, rather than what health guidance dictates.

“This is simply not good enough and is putting lives at risk. The Scottish Government must act urgently to protect our brave frontline workers. It is our duty to do so.”

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