NICOLA Sturgeon has pledged to work “tirelessly” to address concerns over personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health and care staff, as it was admitted there have been "glitches" in distribution.

The First Minister made the promise after more than 100 medics signed a letter to the Scottish Government raising fears staff are being put at risk. 

They said frontline workers dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak do not have suitable aprons, masks and eyewear.

Meanwhile, an open letter to Ms Sturgeon from care workers – criticising a lack of PPE and testing – has gained more than 1,200 signatures.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman insisted distribution centres that supply PPE must remain open over the Easter weekend. 

She said the Scottish Government is working to ensure centres do not close and that their opening hours and locations remain stable, following reports some had planned to shut.

Ms Sturgeon said Dr Gregor Smith, Scotland’s interim chief medical officer, would be “reaching out” to understand the concerns raised by medics, while Ms Freeman will discuss the issue directly with the British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing. 

The First Minister said: “This is an issue where we will always, always strive to listen to, to understand and to address concerns that are being expressed. 

“We understand, I understand how crucial it is that health and care workers have the equipment they need for the environment they’re working in.”

Elsewhere, she said Ms Freeman and John Swinney, the deputy first minister, will engage with Cosla, the council umbrella body, and trade unions to seek to resolve concerns over PPE in the care sector.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I know sometimes this can feel like an issue of government on the one side, and workers on the other side. 

“But just as we have been reflecting on, for obvious reasons, in the past 24 hours that politicians are not immune from getting this virus – I may be First Minister, but I’ve got friends and family who work in these kind of jobs, on the frontline of health and care. I know from my personal experience how vital this is. 

"I’m not standing here just talking as First Minister, I’m standing here talking as the sister of somebody who works on the frontline of the NHS, as a human being, as a citizen. 

“I care deeply and passionately about making sure that those who do so much for us on the frontline get the support and protection they need. 

“That is why we will tirelessly, issue by issue, concern by concern, work to understand these concerns and listen to them, but most importantly of all address these concerns.”

Ms Freeman said health and social care workers who are not receiving the PPE they need should raise the issue with their managers. 

She added: “There is no reason why the supplies of PPE that we have, and we are responding to the orders placed with us and now delivering, why those should not be reaching those frontline health and social care workers. 

“We occasionally experience glitches in the distribution of those. Where we do, we understand where those are and we resolve them.”

She added: “There may be pinch points in terms of social care – we are looking at that very closely today. If there are, we will resolve those.”