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 – (


Dear Colleagues

The Scottish COVID Testing Support Helpline is now part of a portfolio of helpline services offered by The National Contact Tracing Centre (NCTC).

Issues and queries may be submitted to the Scottish COVID Testing Support Helpline:

  1. Directly on 0800 008 6587 from 09:00 to 17:00 every day
  2. Electronically via support button on at any time

Kind Regards

COVID Pandemic Response Team

Care Inspectorate staffing notification system – 10 April

The Care Inspectorate have introduced a new notification which enables services to tell them about changes to staffing levels and what additional staffing they require.

This red, amber and green system will enable them to direct you to available help and support you may urgently need in order to cope with the impact of COVID-19 on your service.

It is essential that you use the notification to let the Care Inspectorate know about any changes in the staffing situation in your care service.

Full information, including when and how to notify, is available here – 



Advice for the Easter Weekend

The Easter bank holiday weekend is an important time for many. This year we need to be doing things differently.

Restrictions on visits to care homes and to individuals in their own homes (unless providing care) MUST remain in place and only essential travel can take place.

Gifts, cards and presents are fine to receive but please follow strict infection control procedures, including isolation of items for a period of time.  Please follow the advice on NHS Inform.

We recognise that this weekend, more than ever, many people will be feeling the strain of being apart from loved ones .  It is essential that we are supporting people as much as possible to remain socially connected to activities and loved ones in order to support their wellbeing.

Useful resources:

Please also consider how staff wellbeing can be supported, as they too will may be struggling with being separated from friends and relatives and of working extremely hard in challenging circumstances.

Useful resources:


Have a safe and happy Easter in these strange and difficult times.





Care Inspectorate update on registration fees during Covid-19

Deferment of continuation of Registration Fees

The Care Inspectorate and Scottish Government recognise the financial and other pressures that providers of care services are currently under.  To support service providers and assist with alleviating cash flow problems service providers are encountering at this difficult time the Care Inspectorate will delay the collection of continuation of registration fees due by care services until July 2020. We will review this position again in June 2020 before any fee collections are made.

This will mean care service providers need not pay any balance of the fees due for the 2019/20 financial year until July 2020.

Service providers normally due to receive fee invoices in April 2020 will not receive an invoice for the 2020/21 financial year until July 2020 (position subject to review in June 2020).

We are happy to make arrangements with service providers that would prefer not to defer the balance of 2019/20 fees.  We are issuing more detailed guidance directly to care service providers.

Fee for Applying to Register a Care Service

We have an emergency truncated registration process in place to ensure a care service set up on a temporary basis as a response to the coronavirus crisis can operate legally.  We are not charging an application to register or any other fees to these temporary services.

Individuals or organisations applying to register a permanent care service will follow our normal registration process and be liable to pay an application to register fee.

Tell Us Once service

Care services may find, in cases where there is no next of kin, that the responsibility for registering a death of someone in their care falls to them. Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go. The service is available in all councils across England, Scotland and Wales.

Tell Us Once can notify organisations including:

  • DWP State Pension, Universal Credit, Attendance Allowance Carers and so on
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • HM Passport Office
  • Council services such as adult social services, libraries, Blue Badge, concessionary travel, electoral services
  • Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)
  • Public sector pensions: NHS, teachers, armed forces and so on.

If you are registering a death with a registrar in your capacity as a care home manager, official informant, next of kin or relative:

  1. the registrar will issue you with a unique Tell Us Once service reference number
  2. you can use this reference number to access Tell Us Once online at or through a dedicated telephony team
  3. a list of what you will need to complete the service to notify central and local government departments to stop services, notify Pensions and Benefits, cancel passports and so on is held on
  4. the system is easy to use and once completed, departments are notified instantly, with no need for you to contact them separately by telephone or in writing.

NHS NSS triage PPE update – 10 April

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is now available through the triage centre for ALL of the following criteria:

  • suspected and confirmed cases of Covid-19
  • shielding
  • where usual supplies are not available
  •  eye protection.

Please contact the triage centre with any requests via the phone number 0300 303 3020.

Please do not contact local hubs for new supply requests – you should contact the triage centre in the first instance who will then advise of local arrangements.

PPE posters from Health Protection Scotland

To provide absolute clarity on what the revised PPE changes mean for health and social care staff working on the frontline, HPS has produced visual posters specifying what kind of PPE should be worn in which setting or scenario. A poster has been produced for each of the following settings:

1.Healthcare settings: Caring for patients not suspected or known to have COVID-19

2.Community settings: Caring for patients or residents not suspected or known to have COVID-19

3.All health and social care settings: Caring for patients who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19

4.High risk acute areas: Caring for patients who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19

The posters have been made available on the COVID-19 section of the HPS website at so that they can be printed and displayed in each of the respective settings. You can also download the posters below.

A3 Posters 

A4 Posters

New Covid-19 palliative care guidance – 3 April

Two new Covid-19 Guidelines have been added to the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines. The new guidelines are for symptom management for when a person is imminently dying from Covid-19 and for supporting end of life care when alternatives to medication normally given through syringe pumps are required. The standard end of life care guidelines should be used for all other situations.

Further guidance related to Covid-19 is also now available on the Guidelines website and includes:

• Anticipatory Care Planning guidance
• Communications guide
• Practical resources to help professionals giving medicines
• Signposts to support members of the public through serious illness death and loss
• Support for professionals themselves