Scottish Care & RCGP Scotland issues joint statement on care homes

The leaders of Scottish Care and RCGP Scotland have today issued a joint statement on behalf of their members in response to significant challenges being experienced by those being cared for and working within the care home sector during the coronavirus pandemic.

Providing reassurances that despite general practice having to adapt the way it provides medical care to patients during this exceptional time, with more care being provided over the telephone or via video consulting, care home residents who are clinically required to be seen in person, will still be visited by their GP in care homes.

Dr Carey Lunan, Chair of RCGP Scotland and Dr Donald Macaskill CEO of Scottish Care said:

“There have always been good relationships between GPs and the care homes that they look after. We recognise that the Covid19 pandemic is an incredibly worrying time for care home residents and their families, and also for care home staff who continue to provide exceptional care during this time.

GPs will continue to deliver the same high level of care and support that they have always provided to their patients in care homes. GPs have had to rapidly adapt the way that they deliver clinical care in the last few weeks, with much more advice and assessment being done over the telephone or by video consulting, where it is safe and appropriate to do so. The safety of care home residents is very important to GPs, and for that reason, they would only visit in person where there is a clinical need to do so, to reduce the potential risk of bringing any infection into the home.

If a face to face visit is needed, they will wear the appropriate PPE to protect staff and residents. We wrote jointly on this issue last week, together with the Royal College of Nurses, to the Cabinet Secretary to highlight the urgent need for appropriate levels of PPE for all community health and social care staff. We are pleased to say that this situation has since greatly improved.

We are committed to continuing to work closely and collaboratively to ensure that those working on the frontline of health and social care delivery in our community feel safe during this uncertain time and that patients continue to receive the care that they need.”

Care Home Representatives Call for Urgent Legislation Change for More Staff

An independent group representing the Nation’s care providers, who care and support over 1.2 million vulnerable people across all forms of social care in the UK, have issued an urgent letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnston.

The group, alongside the support of the Independent Health and Care Providers (IHCP), Care England, Scottish Care and Fforwm Gofal Cymru, has outlined the urgent need for more staff to cover the increased demand on their services and cover staff shortages caused by sickness and self‐isolation during the Covid-19 outbreak.

They request that a clarification is made in legislation that anyone wishing to work in the provision of care including the NHS or any form of Social Care, will be permitted to take up paid employment in the NHS and with social care providers, even if they are currently furloughed in other industries and receiving 80% of their wage.

They have asked that furloughed workers receive their 80% payment AND to work in care and get paid for this at no penalty. Allowing the NHS and social care providers to employ such people with no penalty.

Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care, a membership organisation that represents over 900 social care organisations in Scotland, delivering residential care, nursing care, day care, home care and housing support services both in the private and voluntary sector ( said:

“The next few days and weeks will be critical in meeting the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. Right across Scotland thousands of women and men are leaving their homes every day to go to hospitals, care homes and communities to care for some of our most vulnerable, older and disabled citizens. We need to do everything we can to support them.

We are already facing critical shortages of staff because of the requirement to self-isolate if a family member has or is suspected of having Covid-19. We will face even greater staff shortage in the weeks ahead.”

“During this crisis we are supporting the NHS by helping free up hospital beds for those who will be admitted due to the virus as well as caring for those who have contracted it.

“But we now need more support and urgent action from Government to allow us to recruit more staff to help us during a time when there is a huge increase in demand on our staffing.

“We ask that an amendment is added to allow the NHS and social care providers, in homes or in community, to provide paid employment to staff furloughed from other industries.

“This action would have a significant positive impact on our staffing and our ability to maintain the high level of care we currently provide. It would help us support our existing workforce’s health and wellbeing and provide cover for the inevitable loss of staff to sickness and self‐isolation.

“Our teams across the UK are doing an incredible job under extreme pressure and putting themselves at risk everyday – we want to do everything we can to support them.

Donald concluded: “I, alongside my counterparts in Scotland and the rest of the UK call for an immediate amendment to the legislation to allow us to get on with the important job of staff recruitment to allow the elderly and vulnerable in our society to get the care they deserve.”

Citation Covid-19 & Good Work Plan Webinar

We were delighted to have Gillian McAteer, Solicitor from preferred supplier Citation to guest host a webinar last week.

In this session, Gillian gave a brief update regarding coronavirus (Covid-19), particularly given the questions this raises regarding employment status, rights and sick pay entitlement.

Click here to read Citation’s answers to some of most frequently asked questions they’ve had around both the Health & Safety and HR and Employment Law implications of coronavirus, plus their practical steps on how to move forward safely and keep your people and premises safe.

Gillian also spoke about The Good Work Plan, which is dubbed as ‘the biggest overhaul of employment law in 20 years’. She focused on changes incuding an increase in the holiday pay calculation period, increased protection for agency workers, a written statement of particulars of employment from day one.

You can view a recording of the webinar by clicking the button below.

Scottish Care statement on food shortages during Covid-19

Care homes and care workers across Scotland are facing food shortages. We all know that nutrition is important, so at this critical time we are calling to supermarkets and food suppliers to include social care when they are prioritising access to food and supplies.

Many of our care homes have relationships with local shops who sadly are unable to support them because their own stock is diminished as a result of overzealous ‘stock-pilers’ and other supply chain issues. We heard about one supermarket who insisted on applying a ‘2 items per buyer’ rule despite the shopper needing to buy food for over 50 people.

Our social care workers continue to go above and beyond, working long shifts to support our vulnerable and loved ones in care homes or in their own homes at a time of need. At the end of such a day, they need access to food to provide them, with the energy and nourishment to continue in such a role which is why they must be included in any offering of support.

We are hoping this call will also stimulate networks which could benefit both social care providers and the hospitality industry. Last week in reaction to a supply shortage of hand sanitiser, a movement on social media initiated by Mike Bain of Ardent Spirits led to an overwhelming response by distillers to divert some of their alcohol production to make hand gel. A similar community-led response could mean that local hotels and restaurants deliver meals to care homes. This would mean continued employment for hospitality staff, and that their fridges of food do not go to waste because of social distancing instigated as a result of Covid-19.

Coronavirus has brought out both the best and the worst in people yet it is clear that whilst we are facing many challenges, new connections and collaborations, and our recognition of value will remain. This is time for us all to become part of history and support those most in need.

Karen Hedge, National Director


Message from our CEO on Covid-19 guidance for community & residential settings

Last week, the Scottish Government, in conjunction with the Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Scottish Care,  issued further guidance for social or community care and residential settings on Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our CEO, Dr Donald Macaskill has recorded a vlog regarding this guidance. Please see below for vlog and guidance.


COVID-19 Clinical Consumables Survey

Dear Members,

Scottish Care have been asked by NSS to undertake a risk analysis on the supply chain for clinical consumables  to support contingency planning for the Coronavirus outbreak.  We hope this will help us to identify pathways and procurement opportunities to ensure stock is both available to and best value for the social care sector.

We urgently need you to complete the questionnaire. Please let us know which of the following clinical consumables are hard to source or access, or you are experiencing substantially increased costs in relation to purchasing.

Full list of clinical consumables (click here)