Information & Advice


Sainsbury’s – have emailed customers that they know are vulnerable – either because of their date of birth or if they have used the vulnerable customer helpline before. They are working as quickly as possible on an option for people to register themselves as disabled and vulnerable on their online shopping accounts. Elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers should get in touch on 0800 328 1700 to be placed on the priority list.


The new limits on movement introduced by the government will be front of mind for anybody looking after somebody vulnerable. A lot of people are thinking about the practical implications – how to visit somebody, how to collect prescriptions etc.

Through all this it’s important to remember that these challenges are shared by many others, and together we will support each other to find a solution.

If at any point you’d like a private conversation with somebody, please be in touch. We’re here to help you.

Latest advice from different organisations
The specific details on the restrictions around movement do include an exception if you’re providing care to a vulnerable person.
The government has also included specific advice for informal carers in its advice for staying at home.
CarersUK has a guidance page on how to support the person your’re looking after during the Corvid19 outbreak.
Access to shopping
A round-up of how major shops are responding. One of the biggest concerns for carers around the country is how to access vital groceries and medication without unnecessary exposure to large groups of people.

To help, we’ve done a quick update on what different major brands are doing to help people looking after someone vulnerable.
“Small groups of carers are joining together every day for an online ‘Cuppa’ at 4pm. This can be a warm and accessible opportunity to link up with other carers who share the challenges of isolation. The Cuppa runs for 30 minutes, and focuses on practical ways we can help each other. To learn more, and to sign up,


Preparing for Emergencies

Severe weather. If severe weather strikes are you prepared at home, on the road and in your community? It takes just a few simple steps to get ready.





We have produced a Question and Answer factsheet to explain what the Coronavirus Act covers and highlight the measures that are most relevant to carers.

Because Guidance is still being produced for the different measures in the Act we don’t have all the detail on how individual measures will work, so we will be updating the factsheet as we get more information.

You can download it here<>
It is also available on our Website here<>


Emergency legislation known as the Coronavirus Act 2020 has been introduced by the government to help the country cope with the demands caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The National Carer Organisations in Scotland have looked at how the legislation may affect Unpaid Carers in Scotland and have produced a briefing paper which can be found here:

The situation regarding COVID-19 is developing rapidly. We will continue to update this briefing regularly to ensure that you have the most up to date information.


As the NHS and HSE can’t deliver our Stress Control classes in the community just now, Dr Jim White will, instead, live-stream the classes, free-of-charge, starting on Monday 13th April. You can watch the sessions either in the afternoon or evening. To find out more about Stress Control click link below…



The SDS Forum thought it might be useful to pull together a few of the most commonly asked questions, and collate a list of services which may be of use at this time. We have also included new updated guidance/legislation to keep you informed of changes being made at this uncertain time. Please feel free to contact us for further information if required.

1. Can my option 1 (direct payment) budget be used differently during isolation?
Guidance from HSCP colleagues suggests there will be a degree of flexibility within reason, as long as any spend can still be linked to the agreed outcomes in your plan. An example may be, if part of your budget is normally spent on activities which can’t happen at the moment, then it would be reasonable to buy materials to keep your busy at home e.g. board games, craft supplies etc. For any larger spends please contact social work to discuss further. Also remember to continue to keep receipts for auditing purposes.

2. Can I employ a family member to provide support when agencies can’t?
This is being discussed at national level and we await guidance. If you are struggling with support, please contact your Social Worker/ Social Work Duty (0141 577 4041) to discuss the feasibility of this option. Each case will be looked at on an individual basis.

3. Should I pay my PA if I am not using them or if they are isolating?
Refer to your original contract and/or contact your payroll company for advice

4. Are Personal Assistants classed as keyworkers?
Yes. A recent update from The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman acknowledges that PAs are key workers. The SDS Forum can supply you with a letter template which should be issued to PAs and carried as proof of their status (file is attached to this email)

5. New and innovative support ideas
Some agencies and Personal Assistants are offering online/virtual support for those socially isolated. For further details please contact one of our team.

6. Non SDS financial queries
Please contact East Renfrewshire Money Advice and Rights Team on 0141 577 8420 or Citizens Advice Bureau on 07539378806.

7. I need practical help with shopping etc.
Voluntary Action and East Renfrewshire Council / HSCP are working in partnership to co-ordinate a team of volunteers who are able and willing to assist those in need. An online directory of local resources is available at<>. If you are isolated without family, friends or neighbours to help please call 0141 876 9555 (Mon – Fri 10am-3pm)

8. Support for carers
We realise that this is a particularly stressful time for carers. East Renfrewshire Carers Centre will be available to provide information, advice and emotional support to carers and young carers from 9am-10pm Monday – Friday and 10-4:45pm at weekends. Contact them on 0141 638 4888 or visit their website<>

Finally if you have any further queries with anything SDS related please don’t hesitate to contact us, we are all working from home and here to take your calls and help you where we can.

Take care and stay safe.

From everyone at The SDS Forum East Renfrewshire.


Alzheimer Scotland have created a suite of information resources for people with dementia, their carers and families throughout the coronavirus pandemic. This will include information on activities, support for families and what to do if you have to go into hospital during this time. Coming into hospital. Please click the link below to see their written guidance for people with dementia, families and carers when going into hospital –


SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) resources, activities and support to help you and your family during lockdown.


Local Morrisons in Giffnock has recently launched a doorstep next day delivery service to vulnerable and elderly members of the community, unable to go shopping in-store. Just call 0345 611 6111 to place your order from the list of essentials. Also, don’t forget to download from our website the most up to date Business Deliveries Directory for the list of many local and independent businesses delivering food, essentials and hot meals across East Renfrewshire.


If your blue badge is due for renewal you can use the current badge up until September 30th of this year. All enforcement for this has been cancelled meantime – if possible you can update your out of date BB online at –

Paying for Care – All You Need to Know – Friday 12th of June at 11am 

 Austen Burns of Gillespie Macandrew Solicitors will explain how care is paid for in Scotland and outline measures that can be taken to plan for care along with the importance of having a Power of Attorney. The online webinar will be hosted on Zoom cloud meetings and will last approximately 40 minutes. There will be an opportunity to ask questions or send questions in during the event or in advance. Joining instructions will be emailed to you prior to session. Feel free to include any questions you may have in your email

If you would like to join please email


Frequently Asked Questions document, relating to SDS options 1 and 2 during the COVID-19 pandemic, across both adult and children’s services, which can be found on the Social Work Scotland website.  

These Frequently Asked Questions accompany National Guidance that has been developed jointly by the Scottish Government, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and Social Work Scotland in response to issues raised early on in the pandemic.  They address issues voiced by people who use social care support, employers of personal assistants, personal assistants, independent advice and support organisations, providers of services and Local Authorities.