Flu Vaccine Leaflet for Social Care

Influenza is a highly infectious disease that occurs every year, usually in the winter.  Symptoms can come on very quickly and include fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness.

Infected health and social care workers can spread flu to people receiving care and colleagues even if they have very mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all.

The flu vaccine provides the best protection available against the virus.

  • The vaccines are given in the autumn ideally before flu starts circulating.
  • The vaccine contains no live viruses, so it can’t give you flu.
  • You have to be immunised every year because the virus changes constantly and your immunity reduces over time.
  • Influenza is a different virus from Covid-19.

The best way for social care staff to avoid flu is to get a flu jab as part of this programme.

We encourage staff to take up this opportunity.  It’s quick, safe and free.

Find out more on the NHS Inform website: https://www.nhsinform.scot/flu

flu-campaign-leaflet-for-social-care-workers-2020

Link to leaflet: http://www.healthscotland.scot/media/3171/flu-campaign-leaflet-for-social-care-workers-2020.pdf

Request for care consultancy in Scotland

We have received a request from Fulcrum Care, a  care consultancy in England, who is keen to work with an associate consultancy in Scotland to complement their offering. They have had some enquiries for Scotland and would be grateful to work with a Scottish care consultancy to enhance their knowledge and skillset.

You can in find out more about Fulcrum Care here.

If anybody has a care consultancy in mind, please contact us at [email protected] and we will pass on that information.

Citation Webinar – 26 November

Important webinar for care providers – employee wellbeing and engagement

After such a challenging year for the care sector, it’s never been more important to focus on your staff. Whether their stresses and strains stem from in or out of work, it’s easy to overlook those struggling in silence.

That’s why Scottish Care Preferred Supplier, Citation, is hosting a webinar on Thursday 26 November at 2 PM, which we strongly encourage members to join.

The hour-long session will offer practical top tips on how to proactively support your employees’ wellbeing. This includes the importance of developing strong foundations in HR, Employment Law and Health & Safety, to create an environment in which your people will feel safe, happy and supported.

REGISTER YOUR PLACE

The session will be interactive and there will be an opportunity to ask their experts questions throughout, including a dedicated Q & A.

Some of the key discussion points will include:

  • Starting with the basics, including handbooks, policies, and contracts;
  • The fundamentals of employee engagement and why it’s particularly important for the care sector;
  • The three main motivators for your staff, including a positive working environment;
  • Practical tips and solutions for supporting your staff’s wellbeing, including communication, getting help from others, and training, learning and development.

Places are first come, first serve, so please reserve your place today to avoid missing out.

Once you have registered using the above link, please click here for further details for helpful tips on how to join on the day.


Please note that this webinar is open to all care providers and this session is hosted through Cisco Webex instead of Zoom.

Flexible Workforce Development Fund

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) will now be offered to both levy payers and SMEs, across the private, public and third sectors. This will allow employers to utilise funding for upskilling and reskilling their workforce.  An initial £13 million was made available to allow colleges to provider additional support for levy paying employers. Now the second £7million phase has been announced, with £5million available to support SMEs through a college and Open University in Scotland partnership, while Skills Development Scotland will offer a new option testing the use of private training providers for levy paying businesses who require specialist training. Applications are expected to open on 16th November.

More information is available here:

https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/news-events/2020/november/fresh-funding-helps-employers-access-training/

Scottish Care Legal Survey

Scottish Care members with legal questions – we want to hear from you!

What are your biggest legal issues? What is affecting your business at this difficult time? How can we help?

Our recently formed Legal Resources Select initiative, which includes five of the very best law firms in Scotland chosen for their experience and understanding of the social care sector, wants to hear from you and give you their input and legal advice! All you have to do is answer this very short survey which will take you less than 5 minutes!

We will gather all your feedback and share with the Scottish Care Legal Select group. They will bring their best and brightest specialists on the areas that YOU HAVE HIGHLIGHTED to an upcoming Legal Webinar Panel happening mid-December (exact information on the date for this webinar coming soon!).  Each of the five law firms will have a specialist to speak to your concerns based on the results of this survey.  They will also answer your legal questions in real time in the webinar so make sure to fill out the survey and come on the day.

More details coming soon but first WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!!! As a reminder, the goal of the Scottish Care Legal Select initiative is to offer a broad range of legal services to all of you and this is your time to tell us – and them – what you need support with. They will provide the answers!

For more information on the Scottish Care Legal Resources Select Group please go to our website: https://scottishcare.org/legal-resources-select/ 

Survey deadline: Friday 27 November

A survey on behalf of British Business Bank

We would like your help with important research we are conducting on behalf of the UK Government’s British Business Bank, which is owned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This research informs how the Bank can help small to medium sized businesses find out about and access finance more easily. We would also like to get your views on other matters that might impact your business such as the coronavirus pandemic. 

What does the research involve?

The research is being conducted by Ipsos MORI, an independent research organisation.

We would like to invite you to take part in a 10 minute interview which will be scheduled to take place by telephone at a date and time that is convenient for you. An Ipsos MORI interviewer from our Edinburgh office will call you over the next few weeks on 0131 561 4532. Your business was selected at random from Dun and Bradstreet, a commercial business database, and you have not been targeted for any specific reason.

Please click on the link to open the information sheet here. 

Who would we like to speak to?

For this research, we would like to talk to someone senior with the best overview of your business. The right person may be the Business Owner, Managing Director, CEO, Head of Finance, or someone else in a senior position.

We can assure you that everything you say will be treated in the strictest confidence and results will only be analysed at an aggregate level. The interview will be conducted within the MRS (Market Research Society) Code of Conduct and used for research purposes only. Details of our privacy notice are on the Ipsos MORI website here.

Here is a link to the report of last year’s British Business Bank Finance Survey, in case it is of interest: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2019-Business-Finance-Survey.pdf and the British Business Bank’s latest Small Business Finance Market report, that this survey feeds into: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/research/sbfm/.

What if I would like more information?

If you would like to find out more about the research, please call Jamie Douglas at Ipsos MORI on 020 3059 5567. If you would like to verify the authenticity of this research please contact Anthony Gray at the British Business Bank on 0203 772 1372.

Scottish Care responds to the Adult Social Care Winter Plan

Scottish Care welcomes the first ever Winter Plan for Adult Social Care as an indication that there is now a recognition of the importance of social care for all citizens. We are pleased to see that there is a particular emphasis upon collaboration and look forward to future plans more directly engaging with and involving those with operational and frontline responsibility.

We are pleased to see within the Plan a real sense of value of and an emphasis upon the dedicated and professional social care workforce who not just during COVID-19 but throughout the years have been professional and highly skilled in supporting individuals regardless of locations.

Details of the Winter Plan:

We welcome the additional £7 million allocated to Nurse Directors to enable IPC support and training and want to underline the critical and distinctive nature of IPC in care homes and community settings. We will work closely to ensure that IPC training and models are appropriate to the setting and that we do not simply embed acute hospital and NHS based IPC practice. Such adoption of IPC has not only to be context specific but enhancing of the rights and autonomy of individual care home residents or those who live in their own homes.

The majority of care homes already undertake a daily review of COVID-19 symptoms, and we note this in the Plan and look forward to sharing the clinical experience of care home staff with the Clinical and Professional Advisory Group.

We support the imperative around the flu vaccination whilst urging all stakeholders to learn the lessons of what has at times been an ineffective and haphazard implementation of the vaccination strategy, failing at times to recognise the distinctive realities of care at home and housing support staff and the skills and experience of care home nursing staff. We look forward to closer collaboration as we plan the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The care home sector is fully supportive of ensuring that visiting guidance is implemented in a manner which maximises safety and reduces risk. Providers recognise and value the truth that family members are intrinsic to the mental and emotional wellbeing of residents. However, there is both an understandable desire on the part of providers to protect residents and a fear about introducing infections. We acknowledge that the introduction of a robust and effective testing system will help to allay the fears of providers of care. This urgently needs to include family members alongside staff, and all those who visit care homes for whatever reason, in a manner which is as timely and effective as possible in terms of testing access and turnaround of test results. As a whole system we need also to address the challenges brought about by emerging difficulties in gaining insurance and indemnity, the stresses and overwork created by Operation Koper, and the capacity of a stretched workforce to support visiting in practical ways.

We note the evidence of staff movement in relation to outbreaks. We recognise the desire to create cohorts of staff regardless of settings. Achieving this outcome will not be easy. Individuals who work in social care are amongst some of the lowest paid within our society and they frequently have multiple jobs not because they want to but because they need to. This is especially true in homecare where we are already noting a drift from full-time employment to part-time working because staff are exhausted by the efforts of the last few months.

Great care needs to be taken that to ensure that restricting the right to employment and requiring individuals to isolate for 14 days between employment does not disproportionately penalise individual workers.

In addition, there has to be a realistic appreciation that there is a limited supply of workers. Before the pandemic providers of care – regardless of sector – struggled to recruit, most especially nursing staff. We have all to work closely at local level to ensure that there is adequacy of workforce supply to ensure safety and quality practice. The roles involved are highly skilled and cannot simply be undertaken by individuals without experience, skill or training.

Further the creation of any legislation which effectively limits employment opportunity within a sector which has struggled to recruit, and which is likely to be negatively impacted by future immigration restrictions, will require to be carefully considered and thought through. The consequences of disproportionate restriction regardless of the robust grounds for their introduction may be hugely damaging.

We note the allocation of £50 million to meet these proposals but want to understand how this figure has been calculated and whether it is sufficient, what it will be used to pay for and how we will collectively compensate workers and organisations faced with additional restrictions on staffing.

Testing remains critical. In addition to our comments above we want as a sector to see urgent and immediate plans as to how care at home and housing support staff will be prioritised for asymptomatic testing. It is now seven months since we called for this to become the norm and we still have not seen this commence.

In the community we welcome the emphasis on ensuring people remain independent and at home for as long as possible. With others we continue to urge the re-introduction of care packages for those who have not been supported for a long period of time. We remain concerned that there needs to be significant improvement in practice around communication and information for homecare providers when an individual with COVID-19 is released from hospital. We continue to be concerned that effective winter care in the community will not be achieved as long as some local authorities continue to insist on 15-minute visits during which personal care and other tasks are required and the staff member has to don and doff PPE in a safe manner. Such restrictive packages of care together with the electronic monitoring of homecare staff should stop. They are hardly illustrative of our shared aim for Fair Work.

We welcome the continuation of the Social Care Support Fund which goes some of the way towards plugging the unfair terms and conditions within publicly commissioned social care contracts.

We are also grateful for the continued commitment to the supply of PPE where providers are unable to access these through business as usual routes, and especially in light of the reprehensible re-introduction of VAT on the 1st November.

We look forward to continuing to work with colleagues in the roll out of digital devices to care homes to improve connection and welcome the commitment of £500k to support this work.

Any Plan is only as effective as the commitment and resource to enable it to be enacted. Social care providers continue to prioritise not just keeping people safe and well but ensuring individuals achieve their fullest potential and live life to the full. We agree with the aims of the Plan and commit to demonstrating integrity to resolve challenges in a supportive and empathetic manner in the months ahead.  Its success will be premised on true and meaningful partnership with social care providers at national and local levels.


The Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness Plan 2020-21  is available here.

Find out more about the Plan on the Scottish Government website.