Advice for all unpaid carers during the pandemic

All unpaid carers (including young carersadult carers and people being cared for) should be familiar with how to protect themselves from infection.

As the situation is changing quickly, the guidance may also change. Please therefore check regularly to make sure you are following the latest guidance on NHS Inform.

Testing for coronavirus

Unpaid carers are eligible for testing.

When to be tested

The test only identifies if you have coronavirus in the first 5 days of symptoms. Most people have a continuous cough and/or high temperature. 

How to get a test

  1. Go to the UK government’s self-referral portal
  2. You can select 'essential worker' when asked why you want the test 

You may:

  • order a home testing kit
  • or attend one of the drive-through testing sites at Edinburgh airport
  • or attend one of the 12 mobile testing units.

Your result will be sent to you via text message within 72 hours.

Emergency planning

If you don't already have an emergency plan, you may want to talk with family and friends about who could take over your caring role if you become ill or need to self-isolate. Especially while social work services are under pressure during the pandemic.

You will need to have key information about the person you care for easily available - so whoever takes over has all the information they need.

Emergency planning forms

Where carers, family and friends cannot provide essential care for someone, contact your local social work department.

Contact details

Adults/adult carers (office hours)

Midlothian Health and Social Care
0131 271 3900
Out of Hours: 0800 731 6969

Children/young carers

Midlothian Children’s Services
0131 271 3413
Out of Hours: 0800 731 6969

Young carers can also get help from Young Scot.

External organisations

There may be some changes to what some support services can offer during this period (reduced face-to-face contact), but if you need carer support contact:

VOCAL Midlothian
0131 663 6869    

Alzheimer Scotland
Limited office staffing Monday to Friday, 9am to 2pm.
0131 654 1114
(National) 24 hour helpline 0808 808 3000

National Wellbeing Hub
This new resource is for Scotland's health and social care workforce, including unpaid carers, volunteers and their families. The Hub pulls together the wide range of support and wellbeing resources.

NHS 24 has advice on coronavirus symptoms; precautions to take; and what to do if you think you may be ill with coronavirus.

Latest advice for unpaid carers on Coronavirus from Scottish Government.