Scottish Care comments on social care report from Audit Scotland & the Accounts Commission

The report from Audit Scotland and the Accounts Commission joins a long line of similar pieces of analysis from representative bodies like Scottish Care and others such as the Feeley Report. They are wholly accurate.

The way that Scotland plans, buys, and contracts social care is not only inadequate for the delivery of quality, person-led and human rights dignified care but creates real unsustainability and risk. This has a profound and frankly shameful effect on the ability of the sector to reward and value the frontline care workforce, not least in our inabilities to trust their skilled professionalism through the way in which they are monitored and regulated. It also fails to meet the very real needs of family and unpaid carers and continues to pay lip-service to their real and proper inclusion and involvement in choosing and selecting the services and supports they need.

Scotland’s social care system contributes more to the Scottish economy than agriculture, forestry and fishing, as well as enabling individuals to lead purposeful and contributive lives. There is a real potential to change. We urgently need inclusive leadership to act upon this report. As the report comments we cannot wait for the promised land of the National Care Service because there will be disintegration and collapse long before that. The social care sector in Scotland is in crisis now to a degree few of us have ever experienced.

The report is absolutely right in saying that the Scottish Government must work with its partners in addressing issues now as a matter of urgency. To do that means listening to, talking with, respecting, and valuing the voice and contribution of the employers and organisations who provide social care. This is singularly lacking in large measure. Instead of only engaging and asking those who contract and pay for services at local authority and partnership levels, we all need to start listening to those who deliver and who use those supports. Radical change and transformation require everyone to be at the table, not treating employers and care organisations as an afterthought and keeping them outside the door whilst the ‘grown-ups’ talk. Continued lack of engagement with social care employers will lead us to the bizarre situation where there are better terms and conditions for employees, but no organisations left to employ them to deliver that fundamental role of care and support.

The pandemic has undoubtedly made matters worse and has led many care organisations to the brink of survival. We regularly hear of the real impact this has on the people who need that care and support and their unpaid carers. This requires systematic response and requires real involvement of care employers and representative bodies, otherwise all we are doing is papering of the cracks as the building collapses around us.

The Social Care Briefing report from Audit Scotland is available here:


Open with Care – Moving to and past Level 0 & testing update: 15 July

Open with Care – Improving care home residents’ contact and connection – moving to and past Level 0

As per the First Ministers announcement on Tuesday 13th July, Scotland will move into Level 0 on 19th July.  The recommended relaxations to restrictions at Level 0 within care homes are detailed in the letter below. For those care homes already in level 0 these recommendations can be implemented immediately and those care homes who are moving into level 0 can take effect from Monday 19th July 2021.

Key points are:

  • Care homes are encouraged to increase opportunities for good quality and meaningful contact with a return towards more normalised visiting
  • Physical distancing reduces to 1m indoors and changes outdoors. This applies to visiting and communal activities
  • Day care services operating in care home settings supported to resume.
Improving care home residents' contact and connection - moving to past Level 0 - 15 July 2021

Care Homes – Testing update for staff and visitors

You will no doubt be aware that a letter on testing was issued to adult care homes on Tuesday 13th July, setting out arrangements for increased care home discretion on the location of lateral flow testing (LFD) for family and friends, visitors and for staff.

Key points are:

  • Family/friend care home visitors – discretion to allow LFD testing at home where tests are collected through the community testing route.
  • Care home staff – discretion to allow staff one LFD test per week at home using LFD test kits approved for self-test at home once available
  • All results for visitors and staff should be recorded at Welcome – COVID Testing Portal (

This letter will be uploaded to the following webpage on Friday 16th July: Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care home lateral flow device testing – (

Bandrum Nursing Home – A Place to Talk

As we commemorate the anniversary of the Covid -19 pandemic and lockdown, I wanted to share some photographs of our picnic area which we created last year, on the beautiful grounds of Bandrum.

We wanted to commemorate a unique moment in time,  and also to remember the highs and low of this year- the dedication of staff,  the loss of loved ones and the support which we received.  The estates’ team created this lovely space, near to the river which staff and residents could walk to, and then sit and talk, or just listen to the river,   and try to escape the stress of the day.

This peaceful place has been life-enhancing during the lockdown.  We look forward to sharing it with friends when we can.

Katharine Spence  – General Manager

Bandrum Nursing Home