Jamie welcomes new helpline

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has welcomed the launch of a dedicated helpline for people at high risk from coronavirus.

The freephone number is aimed at people who are in a number of higher risk categories, and will link them to services providing food, medicine and emotional support in their local communities.

The phone number is 0800 111 4000 and, while it will initially operate between 09:00 and 17:00, these hours could be extended.

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “The new helpline is designed to support people who may be vulnerable to the virus and do not have a support network at home that they can turn to for help and advice.

“Across the Highlands and Islands, there will be people who find themselves in this position, and who live at some distance from the nearest health centre and other local services. While many will already be relying on the fantastic work of local volunteer networks, that may not be an option for everyone.

“This new dedicated number, which will allow them to speak to someone rather than just access information online, is welcome and I hope will provide extra reassurance for some of our vulnerable people.”