A NEW support package has been launched to give carers in the Helensburgh and Lomond area better access to personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) has set up support for unpaid carers and personal assistants, who provide paid care to individuals through self directed support funding, to ensure that they have adequate PPE supplies.

Carers normally access PPE through their own supply channels, however the HSCP is keen to ensure that they can quickly access items from an alternative source if there is any disruption to these channels.

Unpaid carers are asked to contact their local carers centre and personal assistants are being referred to the HSCP locality hubs.

READ MORE: Rosneath peninsula volunteers donate 1,000th item of vital PPE

Advisers will discuss the carer’s needs and eligibility and hubs are open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.

Joanna Macdonald, the HSCP’s chief officer, said: “We work very closely on a daily basis with carers across the Argyll and Bute area and they are doing an amazing job during what is a really challenging time for everyone.

“We hope these arrangements will provide reassurance to carers and we would also like to thank our friends in the carers centres for their help in putting this together.”

An unpaid carer is classified as any child or adult who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support.

READ MORE: Helensburgh's community spirit boosts volunteer PPE push

Self-directed support legislation in Scotland ensures that individuals eligible for social care have the right to choose how this is delivered.

One of the options is for them to employ a personal assistant who will work directly with them to help with various aspects of their daily life such as care and support.

The Helensburgh and Lomond Carers Centre in Lomond Street is currently closed to all visitors but staff can be reached by calling 01436 673444 for adults, or 01436 670555 for young carers.

The HSCP locality hub in Helensburgh, at the Victoria Integrated Care Centre in East King Street, can be reached on 01436 655032 or 01436 655013.

READ MORE: Catch up with all the latest news headlines from around Helensburgh and Lomond here