Covid19
We understand these are worrying times with the ongoing Covid 19 Pandemic. However, we are still here to support carers across the Highlands. We will be updating this page regularly with updates on the service, and information to support you during this pandemic.

We have been changing and adapting our working practices to be able to still provide full support to carers across the Highlands, all staff are working from home and fully contactable.

Changes we have made to our service to support and protect carers
  • All Adult Carer Support Plans and Mini Adult Carer Support Plans are now taking place over Zoom or through a telephone call with your local Carer Link Worker. There is also the option to use NHS Near Me. We will use whichever method you would prefer.
  • All Training & Events are now taking place through Zoom online. All events can be found at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/connecting-carers-13577057753 this page is regularly updated with new events. If you are interested in joining please book a ticket via eventbrite. Paper copies of all training sessions will be accessible to all carers should you wish to not join a zoom session, or are unable to. To request this please email mgrant@connectingcarers.org.uk
  • All support groups are currently not running due to Lockdown, however we hope to have these up and running again in the future when we are able to.
  • The Carer Centre in Dingwall is currently closed, however all staff are working from home and fully contactable.
  • The Carer Support Line is still available for carers.
  • Counselling delivered by Connecting Carers volunteers is available through telephone or Zoom.
We understand these are difficult times, and we aim to always keep you up to date with our plans and current changes to the service. We are still here to support you, so please get in touch through the Carer Support Line on 01463 723560 Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.

PPE for Carers

In Highland, you will be able to access PPE directly via Connecting Carers as the local hub for unpaid carers.

To place an order for PPE supply of gloves, aprons or masks please contact us by phone 01463 723560 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday, or by email at carers@connectingcarers.org.uk
 

Please note
• Unpaid carers source their own stock of PPE wherever possible, however where this fails Connecting Carers will provide PPE to unpaid carers.
• Supplies will be used in line with guidance and distributed equitably according to need.

 

Actions to take if you need PPE
• Contact Connecting Carers who will triage your call and support you to place an order for PPE where you are unable to source through existing arrangements.
• Where possible, the Connecting Carers team will post our supplies directly to your home address, but in extenuating circumstances, the supplies will be delivered to your door.


Useful Information  
  • Highland Third Sector Interface: There is currently a Community Action Register which holds lots of information on services and volunteer groups you can access within your local area to help you during these times particularly if you are having to shield, there is information such as individuals who could deliver food and medications to you, access to mental health groups, condition specific support and support for times of loneliness. https://www.covidhelp4highland.org/community-action-register.html
 
  • Funding: For up to date information and guidance on funding you may be eligible for, and for assistance with applying for funding please contact the carer support line 01463 723560 Monday-Friday 10am-4pm.
     
  • Covid19 Testing for Carers - The National Carer organisations have produced the attached briefing document for unpaid Carers in relation to testing for COVID-19 testingbriefing_final.pdf
 
  • Time Capsule Project - we are inviting Adult and Young Carers to send in articles and artwork focusing on what the Coronavirus means for them to be included in a digital time capsule book Time-capsule-image.pdf
 
  • Test and Protect App: The App for Scotland is now live and available to download from the Apple or Google Play Store. Individuals privacy will be protected as the app uses Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and advises them to self-isolate. Users of the app who test positive will still get a call from a contact tracer to confirm their details and who they have been in close contact with.The app does not store details on an individual or their location but uses encrypted, anonymised codes exchanged between smartphones to determine all close contacts. Close contacts are defined as people who have been within two metres of someone who has tested positive for 15 minutes.Sign up is entirely voluntary but strongly recommended for those with compatible smartphones
  • Please see this useful document for more information on the Test and Protect App Coronavirus-Stakeholder-Toolkit-Protect-Scotland-App.pdf
Connecting Carers realises the uncertainty regarding Covid-19 and the changing guidance can increase stress and anxiety. We as a service are still fully operational and are here to support unpaid Carers throughout Highland. Below we have summarised what the Scottish Government's guidance is. If you would like to discuss how this guidance impacts your caring role please contact our support line on 01463 723560.
 
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Sep 22) announced a further tightening of restrictions around the Covid-19 pandemic due to a rise in the number of cases in Scotland and in the UK.
 
These are:
Everyone who can work from home, should work from home.
A ban on visiting other households, but informal caring arrangements involving grandparents are not affected.
Pubs and restaurants required to close by 10pm.
Car sharing with people outside your own household is prohibited.
 
In more detail, this means: 
 
Inside people’s homes (from today)
  • Do not meet people from any other households in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household
  • These rules also apply to children
  • Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes, as can non-cohabiting couples
  • Very limited exemptions apply for childcare, and for tradespeople
Private gardens or public outdoors spaces (from today)
  • A maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces
  • You should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day
  • Under-12s do not count towards the maximum number of households or number of people who can meet outdoors. Under-12s do not have to physically distance
  • A maximum of six 12 to 17 year olds can meet in outdoor spaces, with no household limit. Physical distancing is still required
Indoors in public spaces (from today)
  • A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants
  • Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limits
Hospitality (Friday 25 September 2020)
  • Pubs, restaurants and all hospitality settings will be required to close at 10pm
  • Table service will continue to be required in all hospitality premises
Car sharing
  • You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow guidance when there is no alternative
Working
  • You must continue to work from home where practicable
These restrictions will be reviewed within three weeks and further guidance will made available where necessary. Action - and adherence to restrictions - is needed now to safeguard lives, protect from infection and bring the R number down below one.

The First Minister said: “It is worth stressing that because of the collective sacrifices we all made to drive infection levels down over the summer, the growth in cases is from a low base and – at this stage – far less rapid than in March. I want to thank the people of Scotland for their co-operation, forbearance and the sacrifices they have made – but these measures are essential in ensuring we do not let this virus get out of control again.