Renfrewshire Council

Message from Chief Executive, Sandra Black - 17 April 2020

You will all be aware of yesterday's announcement that the national lockdown will continue for at least another 3 weeks.

This means the changes to our working and home lives will continue for a while longer. I would once again like to thank everyone for playing their part - be it delivering essential services, changing roles to support frontline colleagues, volunteering to help our communities and by staying at home.

Reducing our contact with other people and following social distancing is the best contribution we can all make to keep each other safe, reduce the spread of the infection and step closer to some of the measures being lifted.

Even though there is still a long way to go, there is evidence to suggest that everyone's efforts are beginning to have an impact.

I understand just how difficult this has been for individuals and teams across the council and our partners, who are used to working together and having daily contact with customers and service users. Your commitment to maintaining these important connections and relationships through technology and different means, shows the respect and thoughtfulness that exists across our workforce. These connections are a lifeline to many people and play a huge role in promoting positive mental health and ensuring people do not feel isolated or forgotten. I want to sincerely thank you for everything you are doing to make this time easier and safer for the people who depend on us.

I was very proud to hear about the efforts of everyone involved in the delivery of food and supplies to households across Renfrewshire, with over 27,000 meals delivered so far, and counting. Some local families are facing real hardship as a result of this crisis and the speed at which we are providing them with support is testament to your hard work and dedication.

The past week has also brought very sad news for many involved in health and care, with the publication of new information that shows the impact of Coronavirus in Scotland's care homes. It is heart-breaking for families and carers, and for the teams who are working tirelessly to keep people safe and well. I want to assure you that the council and Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership are doing everything possible to keep our care home residents protected and safe.

I know for many teams, access to PPE (personal protective equipment) is critical to service delivery and this is something that continues to be a priority nationally and locally. I want to reassure you that we are monitoring supply daily and are doing everything we can to make sure you continue to have access to the kit you require and advice on how to use it. If you have any questions please contact your local health and safety rep or email the Health and Safety team.

We still have a journey ahead and it is very important that we all take the time to look after our own mental health and wellbeing. Please make sure you have time to rest and recover and are able to maintain the connections that are important to you. Our Staff Wellbeing guide has a list of hints, tips and services to help you with this. If you are experiencing any difficulties or concerns, please speak with your line manager or contact the HR team.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered to take on a new role over the past few weeks as part of our response to the outbreak. The willingness shown across all services and from our partners, to rally and offer support will not go unrecognised or be forgotten. I am really proud of the contribution everyone is making to help Renfrewshire Council play its part in the national effort. Our elected members have also asked me to pass on their thanks and appreciation for your hard work and dedication.

Please remember, if you develop symptoms, stay at home and follow NHS advice. Make sure you contact your manager right away and let them know you are unwell. We will make sure the right people are notified and you are supported.

Thank you all once again, keep in touch with each other and please stay safe and well.

Sandra