Coronavirus in Scotland: Acts of kindness helping the NHS

By Calum Watson
BBC Scotland News website

  • Published

Countless small acts of kindness are being reported across the country as Scotland deals with the coronavirus pandemic. Here are just a few examples of the help being offered to NHS workers and others across Scotland.

Free socks for nurses

Image source, Trtl

A Glasgow-based travel equipment firm has donated 5,000 pairs of compression socks to nurses at Scotland's hospitals.

The socks, commonly worn during long haul flights to maintain blood flow, are popular with nurses as a way of combating fatigue during long shifts.

Online company Trtl said its sales had dropped by 95% in recent weeks and it was happy to donate surplus stock, worth £250,000, to frontline staff.

Socks have been distributed at hospitals in Glasgow, Paisley, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee - with another 5,000 pairs due to be shipped to London next week.

3D printed masks

GP Robbie Coull has been working with schools which have 3D printers to produce his own protective masks.

He says he has been using them in his own surgery for lower risk cases, so that the N95-certified masks can be saved for higher risk situations.

There have also been reports of acetate being donated to make visors in some areas - but health officials are stressing that equipment must be properly tested and for quality control reasons, unofficial protective equipment is not encouraged.

Trucks to move equipment

Image source, NHS Western Isles

NHS Western Isles has thanked two local businesses who provided vehicles to move equipment at Stornoway Hospital.

The health board wanted to clear areas at the hospital, so they would have more space available for treating patients.

Fifteen thousand paper tape measures

Staff at Ikea, at Braehead, handed over fruit, sandwiches and 15,000 paper tape measures to staff at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

The tape measures will be used to check the height of patients admitted to intensive care, which is necessary to adjust ventilator settings.

The tape measures can then be binned, reducing the risk of cross-infection.

New scrubs for health workers

In Shetland, a charitable group has been set up to up make scrubs - the clothing worn by health workers.

Volunteers are busy at their sewing machines, using materials that have been donated by members of the public.

Hotel rooms for NHS staff

Image source, CockandBull restaurant

Peterhead FC chairman Rodger Morrison has offered NHS staff directly fighting the outbreak free use of bed and breakfast rooms at his Cock and Bull restaurant near Balmedie.

Similar offers have been made by hotels across Scotland. Manorview Hotels is offering rooms in its eight west of Scotland sites to NHS staff who may want to shorten their commute or just need a rest after a long shift.

The Lodge at Perth Racecourse has also reportedly been made available as a closed facility for NHS and other emergency staff.

Thank you and applause

This letter was left for Debbie Doolan, a radiographer working at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

On Thursday evening thousands of Scots joined the UK-wide Clap for our Carers event - a huge round of applause to thank doctors, nurses, carers, pharmacists and other NHS staff working hard to help those affected by coronavirus.

Media caption,
Coronavirus: Scotland claps in support of NHS workers

Handwashing 'enforcers'

Image source, Getty Images

Volunteers have been helping to ensure proper hand hygiene is being maintained at Glasgow's superhospital.

Earlier in the week, a consultant anaesthetist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital complained that the hand gel station was "tucked away" and many visitors were failing to wash their hands properly.

There have also been reports of hygiene products being stolen from hospitals.

While most hospital visiting has been suspended, those still allowed to visit are now being met by volunteers armed with hand sanitiser.

Free gloves

In Edinburgh, catering business owner Wendy Paterson has been giving away disposable gloves and hand sanitiser to passersby from her garden.

The 47-year-old has set up a table and erected signs along her fence alerting people to the free products.

She said: "Our postman said it has really helped him recently as his gloves and ripped in a letter box, and now he's able to come here every day for a new pair.

"My neighbours also have been coming for the gloves before they go to the supermarket."

Surprise cheque

Image source, Jade Fortune

A beauty therapist who has no income while her business is closed during the lockdown said she was close to tears when a client sent her a cheque in the post to help her out.

Carole Fortune, from Oxgangs in Edinburgh, said the act of kindness had left her "touched" and "surprised".

Ms Fortune, 55, who has two children, said: "We don't get our self employed government grant until June, so when I saw the £100 cheque in the envelope I couldn't believe it.

"For a client to think about me in this way and to send me a gift like this is incredibly kind. I'm so touched. It is very tough times at the moment."

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