Urgent request for care homes regarding CHAT

Dear Care Home Providers/Managers

Some of you may be aware that collaborative work is underway to progress of the implementation of the CHAT (Care Home Assessment Tool) Covid app. In line with this, we are requesting assistance to inform the progress of Phase 2 work. It would be helpful if care home providers could share the escalation tool carers currently use for recording the deteriorating residents in residential homes. We are aware that care homes with registered nurses will use tools such as News and Restore 2 to support this. We appreciate that there is likely to be variation around this and would appreciate your input to inform this work so we can consider the best triage tool to support carers to escalate and get medical support. If you could contact me re this directly on [email protected] as soon as possible to allow us to determine the best way forward.

Many thanks,

Jacqui Neil

Transforming Workforce Lead

Turas – Digital Safety Huddle Management Tool Webinar -29 October

Scottish Care is organising a follow-up webinar on Turas – the Digital Safety Huddle Tool. 

This will take place on Thursday 29th October at 1:00 PM. This session will have more focus on the purpose of the safety huddle tool as well as the clinical content and technical aspect.

Details to join the webinar will be available on the Members Area. 

Care Home providers should have received an email from NES with an invite to use the Safety Huddle Tool, if you haven’t received this email, please contact:

[email protected]

Please email with your name, role, email and the name of care home/group you are in or responsible for.

For online help and guidance please follow this link:https://learn.nes.nhs.scot/34427/turas-care-management-user-guides

Communications for Social Care Workers – Travel

There have been a number of queries from social care workers regarding travel, since the new restrictions were announced. The communication below has been put together to provide some clarity on the issue:

Travel at work

For travel in the course of social care work for example if two members of staff need to travel together to visit a client, the relevant workplace guidance applies. Please see links below to the Health Protection Scotland guidance documents for Domiciliary Care, Social, Community and Residential Care Settings and for Care Home Settings.

COVID-19: Guidance for Domiciliary Care :  Publication date: 20 August 2020 is for those working in domiciliary care settings to give advice to their staff and users of their services about COVID-19. This includes registered providers, social care staff, local authorities and care staff who support and deliver care to people in their own homes (including supported living settings). It contains a section on : Personal or work travel and physical distancing : https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/3046/documents/1_COVID-19-guidance-domiciliary-care.pdf

COVID-19: Information and Guidance for Social, Community and Residential Care Settings. (excluding Care Home settings) Publication date: 21 August 2020, contains a section on : Personal or work travel and physical distancing : https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/3045/documents/1_covid-19-guidance-social-community-residential-care.pdf

COVID-19: Information and Guidance for Care Home Settings: Publication date: 17 September 2020, contains a section on: Personal or work travel and physical (social) distancing:


All pieces of guidance state : “If you can adhere to physical distancing whilst travelling, then do so. Where this is not possible and you are travelling with non-household members, limit the number of passengers and space out as much as possible. In enclosed spaces, where physical distancing is more difficult and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people who are not members of your household, you should wear a face covering”.

Travel outside work

For sharing transport outwith work duties, such as giving a colleague a lift home from work, you should only do so if absolutely necessary as per the national travel guidance (see below).

National travel guidance Car/vehicle sharing and giving lifts

You should only travel with members of your own, or extended, household.

We recognise that there may be occasions when there is no alternative but to travel with people from out with your household. This should be limited as much as possible.

On such occasions, you should:

  • keep to small groups of people, up to 6 at any one time (assume this is on public transport)
  • keep your distance and take care entering and exiting the vehicle
  • sit as far apart as possible in the vehicle, avoiding face-to-face
  • maintain good ventilation by keeping the car windows open
  • wear a face-covering, unless you are exempt
  • clean your hands before and after your journey
  • if the vehicle is your responsibility, clean the door handles and other areas that people touch.
  • If you regularly share transport whether it is a car or minibus or other private vehicle, try and share with the same people each time.



Survey: Co-designing end of life provision in Residential and Domiciliary Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for all care providers. We want to acknowledge the great work that leaders in all settings have undertaken during coronavirus, to support residents, families and staff. We know from direct work with several providers and through our online services just how demanding this period has been.

During the pandemic Marie Curie has seen an increase in enquiries from families and patients seeking support and advice on death, dying and bereavement, especially gaining access to care and support during the pandemic. As a direct result, there has been an increased ask for direct care and information support from the wider care sector to manage this demand. However, at Marie Curie we believe that there will be longer-term support needs for staff, residents, and families related to general care, emotional support, clinical oversight, regulatory compliance, learning and knowledge exchange and strategic policy and partnership development.

This survey is designed to help us to understand how we can use our palliative and end of life care experience to co-design support for you and your services, both within the context of COVID-19 and beyond. The deadline for the survey is 25 October 2020

Over the coming weeks, we plan to engage with key networks and representative bodies through virtual workshops to explore the co-design of short, medium and long-term assistance that’s both relevant and appropriate. The results of this survey will be used to help us inform these workshops and identify what support we could be developing for care providers preparing for the future.

This short survey will only take 10 minutes of your time; your responses will be anonymous and your answers will not be presented in a way in which you could be identified. Please do not include any information in this survey that could identify you or anyone else (e.g. residents).

Marie Curie’s privacy statement can be found here

Financial support for covid-related costs in social care – survey

Scottish Care has published a survey on financial support for covid-related costs in social care. This survey is designed to provide intelligence on the sector’s experience of and need for financial support for pandemic response. We will use this data to provide evidence for further support if the results show this is what is required.

Please take the time to complete the survey, which can be accessed by clicking the button below.

The survey will be open until close of play Friday 16 October.

Access the survey here – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MWRRGZT

Announcement on updated adult care homes visiting guidance – 12 Oct 2020

Today (12 Oct) at the daily briefing, the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport announced the publication of updated guidance on visiting in adult care homes.

In her announcement, Ms Freeman MSP highlighted that care home residents and loved ones wanted to see changes to visiting restrictions, and that Scottish Government had been working closely with Scottish Care and others on a staged approach to reintroduce visiting in care homes as safely as possible while COVID-19 remains in Scotland.  In doing so, they were trying very hard to balance health of residents with quality of life.

The updated guidance provides additional advice to care homes to better balance safety with need for greater contact.  It provides greater flexibility for indoor visiting in particular.

Easing measures within the guidance include:

  • Extending indoor visits from 30 mins to up to 4 hours
  • Outdoor visits extended to up to 6 visitors from no more than 2 households for up to 1 hour at a time
  • Increased personal interaction including holding hands

The guidance also provides more clarity & visibility for essential visits. Essential visits should be supported generously, and care homes can draw on local support to implement these where necessary.

The guidance also sets out that visits can be enabled from spiritual care professionals, hairdressers, pets and therapets, and also allows for some gifts and resident belongings to be brought in.

As before, to implement these measures care homes must be COVID free for 28 days and must be taking part in the weekly staff testing programme

The Scottish Government will continue to keep the guidance under review, but this guidance hopefully provides some opportunity for greater & more meaningful contact.

The guidance and accompanying documents, including a letter from the Cabinet Secretary to care homes, can be accessed here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-adult-care-homes-visiting-guidance/ 


Scottish Care statement on updated visiting guidance:

Everybody is working hard to ensure that care home visiting can be sustained, particularly indoor visits.  The measures announced in the guidance today have been considered by the Clinical Group to be safe but it should be recognised that unfortunately, easing of existing restrictions won’t be able to happen everywhere – for instance in areas with additional restrictions – and also won’t be able to be implemented overnight.  We very much welcome the increased visiting flexibility that this guidance provides but it will require real partnership activity between Public Health, care homes and relatives.  The sector must also be supported, most crucially in sorting out testing to ensure it is reliable and that results are received promptly.  Care homes continue to work hard to keep people safe and connected to loved ones, and this announcement must be supported by the wider population continuing to follow FACTS advice as well as other national and local guidance.

Help shape the delivery of COVID-19 vaccination to social care staff

NHS Scotland want to speak to frontline social care staff as part of research to inform the delivery of a future COVID-19 vaccination to social care workers.

The research will help them better understand social care staff needs, such as how and where delivering a COVID-19 vaccination would work best, once a suitable vaccine is available.

They’re looking for workers to take part in a one-to-one telephone chat which will last around 30 minutes. This can also be done as a video call.

Times will be arranged to fit around your schedule and it’s likely to take place between 19 October and early November.

Who can take part?

NHS Scotland is initially looking for social care staff (in the statutory, third and private sectors) who provide direct care in the following settings:

  • residential care and secure care for children
  • community care for persons at home (including housing support and care at home services)
  • care homes for adults.

If you are interested in taking part please email [email protected] with the subject title of your email ‘C19 vacc chat’. Please also provide your job role and the type of service you work in. A mix of staff across the above groups will be contacted.

The deadline for emailing your interest in taking part is 21 October 2020.

Take part in a new project on Near Me

Using Near Me in Social Services

The call is open to participate in a new project exploring where Near Me video consulting software can be most effectively and usefully applied in social services.  In partnership with the Scottish Government Near Me team (Technology Enabled Care Programme), Iriss is leading this project over Autumn/Winter 2020.

To gather a broad range of experience and learning of using Near Me, and to support the development of national training and guidance, the project will incorporate a blended approach.

  • Working with 4-6 organisations or Areas who are willing, and have an initial established need, to trial the use of Near Me in their practice through a 4 week Quality Improvement (QI) cycle.
  • Holistic information gathering on priority areas for social services, and learning from established health and social care settings that have experience in the use of Near Me.
  • Light touch support for social services organisations that wish to set up and use Near Me independently outwith the QI setting.

The deadline to register interest for your service/ organisation to participate in the Quality Improvement cycle is midday Friday October 16th.

Details and a link to the Expression of Interest form are in the attached Project Information pack. There is also more information in the pack about how you can get involved in other ways. Please contact Iriss Project Manager [email protected] with any questions.

Information pack Near Me QI v1