New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for social/community care and residential settings – 13 March

Dear colleague

I am writing to you to supplement information which we have already issued.

Alongside colleagues in Scottish Government, the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland we are issuing further information specifically for care homes.

Yesterday evening further guidance for community and residential settings was also published by Health Protection Scotland.

I strongly advise all providers to read these documents closely.

I would particularly stress the importance of providers trying to ensure that we are able to continue to receive new admissions into care homes at this time. Health colleagues will ensure that robust assessment and screening together with appropriate risk analysis will be undertaken for anyone transferring to a care home. It will become critically important in the weeks ahead that we are able to alleviate pressures on the acute system without any detrimental effect on the health of existing care home residents. If you have any concerns or issues on this, please get in touch with Scottish Care either directly or through the membership discussion board.

I also want to underline at this time how critically important it is to recognise nursing students as an important part of the fight against Coronavirus. We have heard that some care homes have sought to end these placements. I cannot stress enough that we will be desperately in need of students to supplement and augment the existing workforce over the next few weeks. Please do not end these placements. If you have any concerns, please contact academic staff or Scottish Care.

Thank you all for your continued commitment and efforts in this challenging period.


Dr Donald Macaskill

Chief Executive, Scottish Care

Information on Coronavirus (Covid-19) from NHS Scotland

As part of the Scotland-wide, coordinated response to coronavirus (covid-19), NHS 24 provides regular updates to advice and information via the website (

NHS 24 has also set up a dedicated helpline for people who do not have coronavirus (covid-19) symptoms but are seeking information. The helpline number is 0800 028 2816 and is available Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. 

People who have travelled to an affected area and have symptoms of a cough, fever or difficulty breathing should phone a GP (family doctor), or call 111 if the GP is closed. 

People with general questions are advised to visit NHSinform in the first instance. This is the quickest and easiest way to get information and allows the 111 service to be able to help those with more immediate clinical need. NHSinform includes a self-help guide where people can answer a few simple questions on line to assess whether they need to seek further help or advice by telephone.

There is also a tool kit with information for health and care settings to download and print information (please be aware that this is updated as advice changes so should be checked frequently). This tool kit is available at the bottom of this webpage.

Life Changes Trust: ‘All Things Tech’ Event – 24 March

The Life Changes Trust, along with the William Grant Foundation, Alzheimer Scotland and HammondCare is hosting a free event on Tuesday 24th March at Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre called “All Things Tech”.

The programme has been designed so that people with dementia, unpaid carers, professionals working in dementia and industry experts can come together to share learning around the use of and benefits of technology.

The Trust will launch a report called “Dementia and Technology – a literature review and study” which looks at the effectiveness of assistive technology devices for people with dementia and unpaid carers living in communities.

People with dementia, carers and practitioners will also share their experiences of using technology.

Further information can be found in the registration link which is now available on Eventbrite:

Response from Jackson Carlaw MSP to our social care immigration letter

On Friday 21 February, Scottish Care issued an open letter to Jackson Carlaw MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party, from Scottish Care CEO, Dr Donald Macaskill.  It has also been issued to all other Scottish Party leaders.  

You can read the letter here.

Yesterday, Scottish Care received a response from Jackson Carlaw MSP, you can read his letter below. 

Dr Donald Macaskill

New briefing paper for Scottish Care members on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Scottish Care members will be increasingly aware of the global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Scottish Care has prepared a briefing paper with the most up to date advice on this subject. You will appreciate that this is a continually moving issue and members should keep up to date with all public information.

This paper is based on published UK and Scottish Government advice. You can find more information, notification and guidance here and here.

Covid-19 Report Ver 1 (3)

Important alert: phishing phone calls

It has come to our attention that care providers are receiving phishing phone calls. The first incident happened with providers in the Dumfries & Galloway area who raised concern about a phone call from a Lauren Mackie from GMB Union.  She claimed that they are working alongside Scottish Care as part of a project to ask care staff about how they feel about the pressures being placed on the care sector, and how it impacts on their job role and would like to come along to speak to staff about this and what they see future of care provision.

We can confirm that there is no direct collaborative work between Scottish Care & GMB, please direct any enquiries of this nature to our Head Office on 01292 270240.

Another provider shared that an individual claiming to be a rep for Proctor and Gamble stated that he had management’s permission to speak to staff regarding sanitary products in exchange for free samples. He proceeded to ask staff very intimate questions and for their telephone number and address. This concern has been raised to Proctor and Gamble, who have said that he does not work for them and that the police and them are aware of this.

Scottish Care advise to you to politely decline to engage in any discussion if this individual does phone you and to not give out any personal details.

Scottish Care Workforce Focus Group – 19 Feb

I would like to invite you to attend one of our Scottish Care Workforce focus groups that we are holding in February around current issues and challenges facing Managers and Supervisors working within social care.  The feedback that is provided from you, our members, at these focus groups will then form the basis for the next workforce event that we will be having in April, details to follow.

The next focus group is being held in Edinburgh on the 19th February 2020 between 2:00pm-4:00pm at the Randolph Hill Group, 31 Dunedin Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4JG.

Please can anyone interested in attending contact me at [email protected] to book a place.

As always your feedback and assistance is hugely appreciated and will be used to inform our research which will then be compiled into a Scottish Care workforce report for care providers and major stakeholders within the care sector including Scottish and local government to help to drive positive policy changes.

We will also be asking care providers to share their own stories of working as Managers and Supervisors in social care and the many demands and challenges that are currently being faced.  I would ask where possible Managers of services bring Supervisors and Team Leaders with them to this focus group so that we are hearing directly from front line workers.


Caroline Deane

Workforce Policy & Practice Lead

Workforce focus group agenda Social Care Managers and Supervisors challenges

Safeguarding You Safeguarding Me Seminar – 6 March 2020

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland is hosting and facilitating a free seminar/workshop for Learning Disability Provider organisations.

This seminar is titled Getting our Voices Heard: Safeguarding You Safeguarding Me. This is a free workshop and will take place on Friday 6 March 2020, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Dome, Seminar Facility, 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh.

This is a Four Home Nation’s piece of research and saliently looks at how People with Learning Disabilities have an influence over Safeguarding Policy. The research has been led by Queen’s University Belfast.

For any queries please contact Joanne Plunkett on 0141 779 6304 or [email protected]

Please see below for more information and booking form on this seminar. If you are interested in attending, please return completed booking forms by Friday 21 February 2020 to [email protected]. 

Safeguarding You Safeguarding Me! Findings and Recommendations morning session

A reminder from the Care Inspectorate for services to submit their annual return by 14 February

Each year, we ask services to complete an annual return. This gives us important information that helps us plan, inform and carry out our inspections.  We also share some of the information with other organisations, such as the Scottish Social Services Council and the Scottish Government, and we use it to produce several statistical publications that you can view on our website.

Annual returns opened online on Friday 3 January and are closing soon, on Friday 14 February.

The annual return is available for services to complete through our online eForms system. All service types must complete their annual returns electronically. You can access this here:

All services registered before 1 October 2019 must complete an annual return. If your service registered on or after 1 October 2019, you should still try to complete an annual return this year.  Although it’s not mandatory, we will still be able to use any information supplied.  The information you put in will automatically appear in the next annual return and you will then only need to enter any information that has changed.

Remember – even if your service is inactive, you must submit an annual return.

If you have any questions about the annual returns, please read our frequently asked questions here or if you need advice you can call us on 0345 600 9527.