Join us and light a #candleforcare tonight

Scottish Care encourages you to join us in the #candleforcare movement.

Every Tuesday, we will light a candle at 7pm in remembrance of all those who have lost their lives to Covid-19 in our care homes, hospitals and communities.

We will also be doing this to recognise all the dedicated key workers, especially those in the social care sector. This is an opportunity to thank them for working tirelessly to provide compassion care during these challenging times.

The need to provide recognition to this workforce is important as highlighted in the latest blog by our CEO, Dr Donald Macaskill- Coronavirus exhaustion – upholding the mental health of the care sector which details the physical and mental exhaustion experienced by care workers, managers and providers across Scotland.  

Please join us in lighting a #candleforcare tonight.


Statement on Testing and Death in Service Benefit


Scottish Care is pleased that following a submission to and meeting with the Cabinet Secretary Ms Freeman and Cllr Stuart Currie from COSLA on Friday 22nd May that the Scottish Government has decided to use the powers within the Public Health Act 2008 to ensure that no worker is disadvantaged if they are identified as requiring to isolate following a positive test for Coronavirus.

We are further grateful that the Scottish Government has taken the decision that the dedication of frontline social care staff who have tragically died from Covid19 should be recognised by means of a one-off ex-gratia payment of £60,000 to the families of those so bereaved.

Scottish Care will work with colleagues in COSLA, the Health and Social Care Partnerships and relevant Health Boards to expedite the practical arrangements of both these commitments in the coming days.



Coronavirus (COVID-19): care home oversight

Coronavirus (COVID 19): enhanced professional clinical and care oversight of care homes


Scottish Government has developed a pack which sets out arrangements care homes should put in place to improve the professional oversight of care provided during the coronavirus pandemic. This is expected to ensure appropriate clinical and care professionals across Scotland take direct responsibility for the professional support required for each care home in each area. 

You find the pack and the accompanying letter below on this webpage:

Letter - care homes - multi professional oversight - May 2020 (003) (003)


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.





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.”

Letter from Cabinet Secretary & COSLA on key workers during Covid-19

Scottish Care has received the following letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Ms Jeane Freeman and COSLA’s Health and Social Care spokesperson Cllr Stuart Currie.

This letter was issued yesterday to chief officers, chief finance officers, chief social work officers and LA chief executives. This letter details information on the definition and status of key workers, as well as providing background and links to useful guidance.

Cabinet Secretary and Cllr Currie letter - social care key workers - 30 March 2020

Personal Protective Equipment – Joint letter to Cabinet Secretary

Community health and care leaders call on the Cabinet Secretary to take urgent action to protect those caring for the most sick and vulnerable during Coronavirus

Organisations representing the community health and social care workforce across Scotland have today written jointly to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to call for urgent action to be taken to protect those caring for the most sick and vulnerable within communities across Scotland during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland (RCGP Scotland), the Royal College of Nursing Scotland (RCN Scotland) and Scottish Care have together written to the Cabinet Secretary to call for urgent action to be taken over the level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) being supplied to health and social care workers caring for the most vulnerable in communities across Scotland.

The organisations are calling for the updated guidance on PPE, which is due to be issued shortly, to recommend a consistent approach regarding the level of PPE required across both acute and community settings. They have also called for assurances that the further stocks of PPE which have now been issued reach those areas of the health and social care sector that need it most – with community care receiving its fair share.

The health and social care leaders call for assurances to be provided and urgent action to be taken to protect the health and social care workforce to ensure that they can continue to provide vital care in the community during this pandemic.

The letter states:

“As the number of patients with Covid-19 increases, our members will increasingly be caring for the most sick and vulnerable within their own homes in communities across Scotland. Many of these people will be showing advanced symptoms of Covid-19, but many more may be asymptomatic, although are likely to still be infectious. Providing this vital care has never been more important, but our members tell us that they are apprehensive about delivering this care, given the current level of PPE that they have been provided with. In short, they are fearful that the level of protection that they have been provided with will not be enough to shield them from the worst effects of Covid-19.”

In their letter to the Cabinet Secretary, the community health and care leaders go on to stress that:

“We are calling for assurances to be provided and urgent action to be taken to protect those who are going above and beyond to care for the most sick and vulnerable within the community at this incredibly difficult time. We need our health and social care workforce to be health and protected as they deal with the greatest public health challenge of our lifetime.”

Commenting on the joint letter, Dr Carey Lunan, Chair of RCGP Scotland said:

“It is deeply worrying that colleagues working across community health and social care in Scotland remain concerned about the level of personal protective equipment that they have been provided with.

“As this pandemic inevitably worsens, GPs along with community nursing colleagues and social carers will increasingly care for the most sick and vulnerable within their own homes and community care settings across Scotland. This comes with inherent risk and all possible steps need to be taken to protect this vital workforce.

“Standing shoulder to shoulder with leaders in nursing and social care, we are today calling for urgent action to be taken to ensure that our community workforce has what it needs to carry out their role safely and effectively at this critical time.”

Theresa Fyffe, RCN Scotland Director said:

“It is completely unacceptable that weeks into this crisis, there are colleagues who still have not been provided with the right personal protective equipment.

That’s why we have joined the Royal College of General Practitioners and Scottish Care in writing to Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport, calling for urgent action to protect those who are going above and beyond to care for the most sick and vulnerable in our communities at this incredibly difficult time.

They now need more equipment and fewer excuses. Every minute we wait is a minute too long. All staff, no matter where they work, must feel safe. We will continue to raise this issue until it is resolved.”

Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care commented:

“It is clearly in everybody’s best interests to ensure that we not only keep our care staff safe but that we can reduce the spread of this virus by the use of appropriate PPE equipment.  

Timely access to sufficient PPE equipment is an issue across the health and social care sector. We absolutely understand and appreciate the challenges associated with prioritisation of resources and applaud the social care triage system and those involved in its establishment, but we need an urgent move towards a preventative approach to equipping frontline staff with the right level of protective equipment.”


Notes to editors:

  • RCGP Scotland represents a network of around 5,000 doctors in Scotland aiming to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standard of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on resources, education, training, research and clinical standards.


  • The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the world’s largest professional organisation and trade union for nursing staff, with members in the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors. RCN Scotland promotes patient and nursing interests by campaigning on issues that affect our members, shaping national health policies, representing members on practice and employment issues and providing members with learning and development opportunities.  With over 40,000 members in Scotland, we are the voice of nursing.


  • Scottish Care is a membership organisation and the representative body for independent social care services in Scotland.  We represent over 400 organisations, which totals almost 1000 individual services and nearly 100,000 workers, delivering residential care, nursing care, day care, care at home and housing support services. Our membership covers both private and voluntary sector provider organisations. For more information on Scottish Care’s work:


Media enquiries:

RCGP Scotland – Lizzie Edwards, Policy and Campaigns Manager: [email protected]

Scottish Care media queries should be sent to [email protected]

To contact the RCN press office call 0131 662 6173 or the out-of-hours press officer on 07962 801005