A new national service has been launched to provide advice during the pandemic.
A new national helpline has been launched to help vulnerable people at high risk of contracting Covid-19 who don’t have a support network.
Over-70s, disabled people, people who use mental health services, pregnant women and those who receive the flu jab are all encouraged to use the service if they do not have family or community support and are unable to get online.
The helpline, available on 0800 111 4000, will initially be open from 9am to 5pm daily, with plans in place to extend these hours in the coming weeks.
Callers, many of whom will already have been asked to shield themselves, will be automatically connected to their local authority who will help them access essential services including access to food and medication, links to social work services, contact with local volunteer groups and emotional support during the ongoing crisis.
Launching the service, communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “The coronavirus outbreak is impacting all our lives but for some it is more than a disruption – it is a severe restriction on their ability to access food, medicine or other essential services.
“This national helpline will allow our most vulnerable, who do not have a network support group, to access the essential help they need.”
Cosla president, councillor Alison Evison, added: “Coronavirus is having an impact on all our daily lives – but for many without any support network it is even worse.
“This national helpline and support arrangements will provide reassurance to our most vulnerable citizens. It is there to support those who are at home with nobody around to help them and with no other way of seeking local assistance. It will allow them to immediately access the essential help they need.
“The approach to getting this helpline up and running has been multi-agency and I would like to thank not only council chief executives and their staff for the work they have done, but our other partners, volunteers and the third sector too. I hope it gives many residents, struggling alone in very challenging situations, the reassurance they deserve at this incredibly difficult time.”
Those not in the categories supported by the helpline but still looking for advice are urged to visit readyscotland.org.
Do you need help due to Covid-19? Click here to see what assistance is available.