Scotland

Coronavirus: social care workers given wage increase

Woman helping elderly person Image copyright Getty Images

Adult social care workers in Scotland are to be given a pay increase.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman said she had reached a deal with councils to pay the workers the real living wage of £9.30 per hour.

It comes as a further 24 people with coronavirus have died in Scotland, bringing the total to 566.

There has been a slight fall in the number of people in hospital from Covid-19 but Ms Freeman said it was "too early to read anything into that".

In other developments from the Scottish government briefing:

  • More than 8,000 health or social care workers have been tested across Scotland but Ms Freeman said "there is still work to do" in this area.
  • The health secretary overturned a decision by the Care Inspectorate and will now routinely publish the number of suspected Covid-19 cases and deaths in care homes.
  • A fleet of taxis and private hire cars will be used to transport people suspected of having coronavirus to community assessment centres.

Covid-19 patients in hospital

No data available on the distinction between confirmed and suspected infections before 27 March
Source: Scottish government

The latest figures show that a further 24 people with coronavirus have died in Scotland, bringing the total to 566.

The Scottish government said 5,912 people had now tested positive for the virus, an increase of 322 from Saturday.

In total, 31,114 patients have been tested across the country.

Image copyright Getty Images

A total of 1,755 people were in hospital on Saturday with either confirmed or suspected coronavirus, 221 of whom were in intensive care.

This is down from 1,855 people in hospital on Friday, the first time there has been a fall in this tally since the start of the outbreak.

New agreement

The new social care pay agreement covers all hours worked, including sleep-overs and personal assistance, with an agreement also in place on funding for sick pay in cases where workers are ill or self-isolating.

Ms Freeman said she has reminded NHS boards to ensure that social care workers are given access to key worker testing and that "broad progress" has been made, although "there is still work to do".

The health secretary said while ambulances have so far been used to transport people suspected of having Covid-19 to community assessment centres, the Scottish government is keen to free up those vehicles and crews.

It has received more than 100 offers of help from taxi companies and car hire firms to help take people to the centres, subject to social distancing guidelines.

"I am grateful to all the companies who have volunteered their vehicles and drivers to help our NHS," she added.

At the briefing Fiona McQueen, Scotland's chief nursing officer, added she has been "bowled over" by more than 16,000 doctors, nurses, midwives, and other medical professionals offering to rejoin the NHS to help tackle the coronavirus crisis.

In addition, it was revealed more than 60,000 people have registered to volunteer for the government's 'Scotland Cares' campaign.

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