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Councillor slams Highland Council's ban on making PPE in schools

By Louise Glen

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Safety concerns have prompted Highland Council to stop its staff using its equipment to make PPE.

The local authority insisted it was acting on Scottish Government advice.

Some Highland schools have been making face visors to help the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We understand that many people in the community, including in schools, want to help in the Covid-19 response and we welcome this support,” said a council spokeswoman.

“However, to protect its staff, Highland Council will only accept and use PPE supplies to recommended industry standards which are CE marked in accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations or produced in line with the Scottish Government guidance announced today. It is therefore not appropriate for schools to use council resources to manufacture PPE, particularly when we have been assured by NHS Highland that there are sufficient levels of PPE to meet the demand.”

Highland councillor Kirsteen Currie is frustrated and angry about the decision.

Ms Currie said: "I'm absolutely shocked that the council have taken this decision, particularly when this weekend has brought the very worrying news that there has been an outbreak of the virus in a care home on Skye.

"It is vital that we get the best possible protection to all front-line workers, the efforts from many Highland Council employees in creating shields were so warmly welcomed, its madness and totally unjustified to tell them to stop.

"There are many examples of Scottish Government agencies who are re-purposing their PPE, or even creating 3D printed items."

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