New resource to help make better decisions

The SSSC have launched a new learning resource to help workers make better decisions when faced with difficult situations in the workplace.

Making better decisions is an online interactive learning tool that allows learners to explore their knowledge and understanding of how to manage some of the dilemmas and challenging situations that can happen in social service settings.

In the new resource learners face a range of scenarios and have to decide what they would do in the circumstances. This means they are able to make decisions in a safe environment where making a wrong choice will not affect the outcomes for people using services or themselves.

All the scenarios in the resource contain issues and aspects that often feature in SSSC fitness to practise investigations. This will help social service workers learn more about the types of decisions that could lead to investigations about fitness to practise. More scenarios to reflect other common issues will be added in future.

A key aspect of the resource is that it gives the learner the opportunity to write a short explanation of the decisions they make and compare this to feedback about the potential outcomes of their choices. This could help the learner identify gaps in their knowledge or misunderstandings about what is the appropriate action to take.

The main aim of Making better decisions is to help reduce the number of SSSC fitness to practise investigations. However, you can use it in many ways, including:

  • as part of induction
  • to help workers develop their knowledge
  • understand of how to manage challenging situations.

The resource can be accessed here:

Read the latest on IRISS’ Pilotlight SDS project

Pilotlight is working with co-design teams of people who use and deliver services across Scotland to design pathways to self-directed support.

Using a design approach, Pilotlight aims to demonstrate how to design support for seldom heard groups, provide more personalised and appropriate services and increase the marketplace of support providers.

Pilotlight Ageing Well co-designed a self-directed support pathway and resources for older people living in East Renfrewshire. The co-design team was made up of older people with dementia, their carers, health and social care practitioners and independent information and support providers. The team met to design together each month from September 2015 to April 2016.

Key learning points are that:

  • older people are assets to their communities
  • mapping and sharing community assets is crucial
  • health and social care workers should become skilled community connectors and
  • tackling transport barriers can reduce social isolation.
    information given about self-directed support needs to be consistent.
  • Option 2 could offer greater choice and control to older people for whom managing a direct payment is not possible.
  • replacing ‘time and task’ commissioning with annual budgets will release creativity and lead to better outcomes for older people.

Resources produced by the team include Inkwell portraits of the older people, an East Renfrewshire Community Asset MapCommunity Connecting ABCD guide, a transport brief, an SDS Checklist for information providers, an ‘Easy Steps’ guide to Option 2 and learning materials to support ‘Getting from Hours to Outcomes’.

IRISS would love to hear how you are using the resources. Any feedback or requests for adaptations can be made by email to Judith or Josie.


Supporting workforce development for self-directed support

SSSC’s work is supporting the social service workforce to build local skills and capacity for change.

A new evaluation report of the Scottish Social Services Council’s work has been published as part of the Self-Directed Support (SDS) Workforce Development Project.

The report highlights how the workforce is having to negotiate significant tensions between new and existing ways of working. However, change cannot come from the practice of individuals alone. We need significant shifts throughout the system to effectively implement SDS.

Workforce development programmes need to make sure the workforce is ready for and can sustain complex change. Workers meet considerable challenges in day-to-day work so workforce development needs to be human and help them get through their working day.

The Scottish Government SDS policy team said:

‘This report recognises the barriers and complexity in implementing self-directed support and highlights learning and support on how to work through these complexities.  It has relevance across the health and social care workforce.

‘It is important that the learning from this report is distilled and shared to support choice and control for people who rely on care and support.’

The critical friend evaluation report can be accessed here:

New palliative care awareness bulletin

A new monthly current awareness bulletin is being produced by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

A new monthly current awareness bulletin is being produced by Healthcare Improvement Scotland to help keep up to date with publications across the range of topics in the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines. These include pain, symptom control, end of life care and medicines information.

The bulletin can be found here and is generally published mid-month.

Gusset Grippers’ – Edinburgh Fringe show about the mysteries of continence and the pelvic floor

Elaine Miller, physiotherapist, comedian and recovered incontinent is bringing her show, “Gusset Grippers” from the international speakers circuit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

A shocking 1 in 3 women and 1 in 9 men wet themselves.  Leaking is common, but never normal, and most cases of stress incontinence can be cured.

“There is a perception that it’s an inevitable consequence of ageing or parenthood, but that’s not true.” Elaine challenges this assumption.

The aim of “Gusset Grippers” is to break down the taboos which surround incontinence and sexual dysfunctions to encourage people to ask for help.

The show is free and is evidence based and entertaining – “the audience leaves the show knowing what a pelvic floor is, what it does, why having a good one is smashing, and where to take theirs if it

The show counts as Continuing Professional Development for Healthcare Professionals, GPs, midwives, nurses, physiotherapists, urologists, gynaecologists, speech therapists, health visitors and fitness professionals.

Packs with references, reflective questions and a CPD certificate are provided.

This event is free. Please see the show flyer for more information.

Iriss Activity Review 2015-16

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services have published an annual activity review for 2015-16, which provides a snapshot of their recent work.

Introduced by Peter MacLeod, Iriss Chair, it includes a summary of IRISS’ project work, lessons learned from it and what they aspire to going forward.   A lot of this work has been undertaken in partnership with Scottish Care and the independent sector.

The Annual Activity Review can be accessed here:

Falls and fractures in care homes

The Care Inspectorate has launched a drive to improve the way care homes across Scotland protect residents from the danger of falls.

As part of Care Home Open Day on Friday 17 June, the Care Inspectorate launched a new good practice resource full of information on how best to prevent and manage falls. It will be distributed to every care home in Scotland and help them minimise the risk of falls, and better support people who do experience a fall.

Older people in care homes are three times more likely to fall than older people who live in their own home. The rate of emergency admissions to hospital as a result of a fall is also almost four times higher among care home residents than older people living in their own homes.

Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport, Shona Robison, offered her support for the resource.

She said: “The prevention and management of falls and the prevention of fractures is an important issue in maintaining quality of life and independence for older people. This includes older people in care homes.

“This is a tremendous resource which will help care homes take a proactive approach to preventing and managing falls and preventing fractures.”

Karen Reid, the Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate added: “We know that the majority of care homes in Scotland provide safe, compassionate care and it’s our job to help all care services improve the standard of care they provide.

“Falls are a contributory factor for many people moving into a care home, but staff there can play a really important role in helping older people to stay active safely.

“Many falls are minor, but any fall can be really traumatic for older people and their loved ones – especially if that causes a fracture or the person needs to go to hospital.

“We expect care homes to better minimise risk and support people who experience a fall.

“This new resource will help all care homes think about the ways they can minimise the risk of falls and provide better care and support to residents and help reduce health and social inequalities for older people.”

The resource is available here:

The revised resource was created with support from the Care Inspectorate and NHS Scotland.

Dementia Inspection Focus Area (IFA)

An important update from the Care Inspectorate

The Care Inspectorate are always looking to support improvement by promoting and showcasing best practice and innovation in services who care for and support people living with dementia. This inspection year 2016/17 they will be carrying out 150 dementia focused inspections in care homes for older people across Scotland.

The services having this type of inspection have been randomly selected and will give a national picture of how the Dementia Standards have been applied into practice and changed the lived experience of people living with dementia.

The Care Inspectorate are hoping to be able to show how care homes are supporting people to live with meaning and purpose, staying connected to their families and communities and having their health needs met. There may be areas for development and improvement and they are committed to work in partnership to see positive changes.

For more information and links to resources please go to:

Heather Edwards, the Care Inspectorate’s Dementia Consultant, would be happy to provide support to your service over the coming weeks & months in relation to dementia practice.  She can be contacted at [email protected]

Be part of Luminate 2016

Are you planning creative activities or events in Scotland this October that are aimed at older people or have a theme related to ageing?

Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival, would like to invite you to be part of the fifth edition of the festival.  If you’re planning creative activities or events in Scotland this October that are aimed at older people, or that have a theme related to ageing, why not put them forward to be part of Luminate 2016? You would be featured in a nationwide programme and marketing campaign, and have the chance to meet other event organisers who are running similar activities across Scotland.

The online proposal form is now live. Deadline for submissions is 5pm on Wednesday 29 June for inclusion in the printed festival brochure and on the Luminate website. Proposals submitted after this time will be eligible for inclusion on the website only and the deadline for submission of events to be included online only is 5pm on Friday 5 August.

Please click here to put your proposal forward and find useful documents to help you prepare your submission

NCHC Reform – Take part in important provider survey

This Scottish Care survey is aimed at getting providers initial thoughts so these can inform the development of any new framework

As part of this year’s National Care Home Contract settlement, Scottish Care, COSLA and the Scottish Government made a joint commitment to Reform of the NCHC, as part of the wider reform of Social Care.

The NCHC has provided a degree of stability to the sector over the past 10 years, and has also formed the basis of a strategic partnership between the providers, commissioners and policy makers at a national level. At the same time, given the progress of Health and Social Care Integration and the changing landscape of care, there is a need to ensure we have a Care Home framework and process in place which is fit for purpose going forward.

The Reform Agenda includes:

  • Responsiveness to local Strategic Priorities, local capacity requirements, and local market conditions
  • A focus on innovation and new models of care
  • A re-examination of the cost of care home provision to provide the basis for sustainability and investment
  • An appraisal of local commissioning and procurement options
  • Greater emphasis on service user choice and control

The Reform work is underway with the goal of having the key elements of a new framework available for consultation by the autumn. Central to this is having a clear picture of stakeholders’ views on how the existing NCHC has worked and what they think most needs to change. This is an exercise, nationally and locally, that everyone has to feel part of.

This survey is therefore aimed at getting providers initial thoughts, so these can inform the development of any new framework. Please take the opportunity to tell us what you think.

The survey can be accessed here:

There is a strict deadline of Monday 4 July for this survey.  There will be no extension beyond this so please ensure you complete it as soon as possible.