Climate Change and Social Care Collective – Hot Report 1

On August 11th 2021, The Health and Social Care Academy (a programme of the ALLIANCE) and Scottish Care held the first of a series of roundtables – ‘The Climate and Social Care Collective.’ The roundtable was developed to highlight the role that the social care sector can play in the climate change debate. Social care has been largely absent from climate discussions, and we believe national attention must be urgently given to achieve a sustainable development strategy in social care in Scotland, which embeds sustainable environment concerns and supports inclusive climate action. There is clear need for the social care sector to be involved in the debate, given how the sector is both affected by and contributes to climate change.

The first session was focused on understanding what is currently happening in terms of the social and wider policy context. A group of panelists brought their expertise and knowledge to the forum with presentations, followed by a question-and-answer session moderated by Scottish Care National Director, Karen Hedge.

Christine McGregor, unit head with the Directorate for Mental Health and Social care at the Scottish Government, discussed the current priorities of Scottish Government and some of the targets in place to rebuild and recover greener, with focus on equality and wellbeing. There was recognition of the point of shift that we are seeing within the social care sector, and the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care which will feed into the creation of a National Care Service.

Anna Beswick, Programme Manager from Sniffer (a sustainability charity) covered climate resilience, adaptation, and the impact a changing climate has, not least on the more vulnerable people in society. Learning to live with the unavoidable impacts, what some of the barriers to action are and understanding how to empower people to take action are all key elements to embedding climate change action in policy and practice.

Lastly – though certainly not least – Katie Gallogly-Swan, Board Members from the Scottish Women’s Budget Group highlighted the parallels between social care and climate change which has resulted in them both being historically overlooked within policy, with points echoing Christine and Anna on how we have to mitigate, adapt, and support the communities most affected by climate change.

Following presentations, attendees were invited to breakout rooms for further discussions on what people, organisations and the sector can start to do to take action and engage with those who may not yet feel that climate issues are relevant to them. Indeed, there is some way to go – known challenges include social injustice, promoting buy-in to the sector at large, lack of information and awareness, staff capacity, sustainable transport and demonstrating the real work going on behind the scenes.

We are looking forward to the next panel session on Wednesday 15 September from 10:00 – 12:00 which will be largely innovation and solution focused. We look forward to welcoming our panelists for the session and invite anyone interested in the subject to attend!

Care Home Awards 2021 – entry deadline extended!

The deadline to enter the  2021 Care Home Awards has now been extended to close of play on Friday 17 September 2021.

Scottish Care would like to invite you to enter your company, staff and residents for the Care Home Awards 2021. Help us recognise the work of fantastic staff and providers whilst also giving positive visibility to this often neglected sector.

There are 13 award categories which you can enter in:

  • Ancillary & Support Staff Award
  • Nutrition & Eating Well Award
  • Meaningful Activity Award
  • Training, Learning & Staff Development Award
  • Emerging Talent Award
  • Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Management & Leadership Award
  • Palliative & End of Life Care Practise Award
  • Nurse of the Year Award
  • Carer of the Year Award
  • Specialist Service/ Unit of the Year Award
  • Care Home Service of the Year Award
  • Positive Impact Award

Find out more about the awards and submit your nomination here.

National Care Service Consultation with Scottish Care Members

Scottish Care will be holding a number of events over the next few weeks to consult and directly engage with members on the topic of the National Care Service.

From these events, we hope to gather insights and views from Scottish Care members to allow us to officially respond to the National Care Service Consultation held by the Scottish Government. More details on these consultation events can be found below.

Care Home Members – Tuesday 14th September, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm (instead of our usual care home surgery)

Care at Home Members – Wednesday 22nd September, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Details to join these events will be available on the Members Area.

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the importance of social care services. Last year, the Scottish Government commissioned an independent review of adult social care to identify ways of consistently delivering high-quality services for everyone who needs them.

The review recommended the creation of a new National Care Service, with Scottish Ministers being accountable for adult social care support. The Scottish Government now have a consultation to seek views on the creation of a community health and social care service that supports people of all ages, whatever their needs may be.

Find out more about the National Care Service Consultation here.


Sepsis Awareness Webinar – 16 September

September is Sepsis Awareness Month, with World Sepsis Day on 13th September

Scottish Care is proud to be supporting Sepsis Awareness Month and World Sepsis Day. We are delighted to invite Colin Graham, the Chief Operating Officer from Sepsis Research to join us for a webinar on Thursday 16th September at 2:00 pm.

We encourage members to join this webinar to find out more and raise awareness about sepsis.  Details to join this webinar are available on the Members Area of this website.

Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection that accounts for around 50,000 deaths in the UK annually, more than bowel and breast cancer combined.

Sepsis can kill a previously healthy person in hours – taking the lives of five people on average in the UK every hour. It can strike anyone without warning, it’s very important that people know the symptoms and seek urgent medical help if they suspect sepsis.


More than a visitor: a reflection for World Suicide Prevention Day

Next Friday (10th October) is World Suicide Prevention Day. I have written before in this blog about the challenges of mental health for older people in society. Those challenges are even more acute when it comes to considering the prevention of suicide amongst the older population.

This year’s theme is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ and aims to empower people with the confidence to engage with the complexity of ‘hope’. There are dozens of organisations including well known ones like the Samaritans who campaign on World Suicide Prevention Day under the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA).

Together, they ask the governments in the UK and Ireland to make suicide prevention a priority and help raise awareness about how we can each support each other better.

On the day itself we are being asked to share the things that we do which helps us feel hopeful when we are going through a difficult time. For example:

  • Reaching out for a coffee with our best friend
  • Taking a walk in the fields and letting the wind blow everything away
  • Go for a run along the seafront

Suicide affects many people in Scotland. In 2020, 805 suicides were registered in Scotland (575 males and 230 females). These numbers comprise deaths coded to ‘intentional self-harm’ and to ‘events of undetermined intent’. See

Throughout my life I have worked with people affected by suicide and mental health challenges and whilst it is always dangerous to make any statement in this area because of the risk of it becoming trite, I think there is one thing more than anything else I have learned and that is that communication and talking are so vitally important. It is one of the reasons why I get so angry that for too many of our older citizens, whether they use social care supports or not, as a society we have steadily reduced the opportunities and chance to chat and talk, to listen and to be available. If social care is about anything it is about the dimension of care which is social and relational rather than simply about task and function.

Now I am the first to admit that conversation and communication is not easy especially if someone is distressed, anxious and upset. There are times when we worry about saying or doing the wrong thing but in most of those instances doing nothing can be just as bad.

Since its creation Public Health Scotland has produced some fantastic short animations to help individuals address the challenges of communicating on hard issues including listening, questioning and responding. You can access these through the NES website

There are a whole host of reasons why someone might be at risk of suicide including family breakdown, insecurity of life including employment, alcohol and substance misuse and so on, but over the years we have often ignored factors relating to age as key influencers.

During the pandemic many older individuals felt a sense of powerless, they endured isolation and exclusion, a sharp loss of contact and routine, and some developed a sense of worthlessness because of the way society was perceived as valuing older age. There were some older adults who felt that they were a burden to family and friends and many experienced bereavement without the usual supports of ritual and family for their grieving.

Increasingly professionals are aware of these heightened risks and some resources have been developed to support us all to be aware of the risks of suicide in older age not least as a result of the pandemic. I would personally commend the NHS Education Scotland work in this space.

Talking and listening, supporting and being present are all so critical perhaps especially at times of memory and community celebration. World Suicide Prevention Day allows us to focus on the importance of this work as professionals and as individuals and I hope we can all take some time on that day to reflect what we do as individuals and organisations and what more we might be able to do.

There are also times and spaces where silence interrupts the talk, and it is easier and better simply to sit and to be with another. It is in those spaces that I find, along with others, that poetry offers a unique insight into the emotions that many of us struggle with.

Some of you might know the poetry of the activist and mental health campaigner P.Bodi  who for me provides short but deep insight into the struggle of living and loving. In her work ‘Inherit the Dawn’ P.Bodi writes poems for hope. They are poems written for anyone who has ever struggled with their mental health, and for those who are in need of compassion, empathy, and gentle reminders to keep going.

“I will do as the flowers do

Inherit the dawn.

Tell me of the morning

And the gentler days beyond.”

It is this necessity of grasping hope which is the at the heart of the work of many poets who have written about a depth of despair that has cut them to the core, perhaps no more eloquently than Mary Oliver who has across her career written and spoken openly about issues of mental health and challenge.

I leave you with her poem, ‘When death comes.’

“When death comes

like the hungry bear in autumn;

when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse


to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;

when death comes

like the measle-pox


when death comes

like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,


I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:

what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?


And therefore I look upon everything

as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,

and I consider eternity as another possibility,


and I think of each life as a flower, as common

as a field daisy, and as singular,


and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,

tending, as all music does, toward silence,


and each body a lion of courage, and something

precious to the earth.


When it’s over, I want to say all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.


When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.


I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.


I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world “

Donald Macaskill

Partners for Integration Roadshows – Reform Following the Storm

We are delighted to invite you to our Partners for Integration (PfI) Roadshows which will take place virtually in September and October.

The event titled ‘Reform Following the Storm’ will reflect on the work of the PfI Team over the pandemic and discuss how to move forward for the future.

The invite and event programme is available below:

Overall, there are four roadshows on the dates below for the following areas. If you are interested in attending, please email [email protected].

Monday 6th September 13:00-16:00 Thursday 9th September 13:00-16:00
Glasgow (ISL)

North Ayrshire (ISL)

North Lanarkshire (ISL)

Renfrewshire (ISL)

South Ayrshire (ISL)

East Ayrshire (ISL)

South Lanarkshire (ISL)

West Dunbartonshire (ISL)

East Dunbartonshire


East Renfrewshire

Edinburgh (ISL)

Dumfries and Galloway (ISL)

Scottish Borders (ISL)

West Lothian (ISL)

East Lothian



Tuesday 12th October 13:00-16:00 Thursday 14th October 13:00-16:00
Angus (ISL)

Perth and Kinross (ISL)

Dundee City (ISL)

Falkirk (ISL)

Fife (ISL)

Clackmannanshire and Stirling



Argyll and Bute (ISL)

Highland (ISL)


Aberdeen City




Western Isles

Climate Action and the Social Care Collective

We are co-hosting a series of virtual roundtable events to explore climate change in the context of social care with The Health and Social Care Academy (an ALLIANCE programme). Discussions will consider both the impact on the sector and the action required to tackle climate change. 

In the run up to COP26, we will be holding a series of roundtable events which will foster dialogue and explore the crucial role that social care must play in the context of climate change – in addressing, adapting to and taking action to mitigate the impacts. 

Scottish Government has pledged to be a net-zero nation by 2045 and Industry and investments are going green. There is a need for the social care sector to be involved in supporting sustainability effort as it is both affected by and contributes to climate change. Presently, there is little policy and action being taken to deliver social care in a changing climate. Given the mixed economy of care provision in Scotland, the impact of climate change will need to be acted upon by a range of different bodies, including local authorities, health and social care partnerships and care providers. 

Events will look at the current context, the barriers to action and will help identify solutions that can be taken forward by the sector as a call to action. It is our hope that these roundtables start to foster innovation, inspire action in the sector and ensure that social care is recognised as an equal partner in tackling climate change. 

The series will inform a set of principles and a call to action to inform stakeholders and groups on the areas for constructive and collaborative improvement in climate change and social care, which will be shared prior to COP26 on November 1, 2021. 

These roundtables will be held online on the following dates: 

  • Wednesday 11th August, 10:00 to 12:00 
  • Wednesday 15th September, 10:00 to 12:00
  • Wednesday 20th October, 10:00 to 12:00 

Final details for each event, including confirmed speakers, will be announced over the coming weeks. 

The events will be held on Zoom and are not designed to elicit person information from participants. For more information, please read our respective Privacy Statements: 


 Scottish Care 

Please sign up through Eventbrite.  If you have any questions or would like to learn how to get involved, please email [email protected]

Save the date – Care Home Conference & Awards 2021


We are pleased to announce that our annual Care Home Conference and Awards will take place this year on Friday 19 November 2021. Please get this date in your diary and share with your colleagues.

We are anticipating these events to be live and in-person at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow (1 William Street, G3 8HT). However, this may be subject to change due to Government COVID-19 restrictions/guidelines at the time of the event.

More details to follow.

2021 Care Home Awards now open for entries

We’re delighted to announce that the 2021 Care Home Awards are now open for entries! Scottish Care would like to invite you to enter your company, staff and residents for the Care Home Awards 2021.

Help us recognise the work of fantastic staff and providers whilst also giving positive visibility to this often neglected sector.

There are 13 award categories:

  • Ancillary & Support Staff Award
  • Nutrition & Eating Well Award
  • Meaningful Activity Award
  • Training, Learning & Staff Development Award
  • Emerging Talent Award
  • Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Management & Leadership Award
  • Palliative & End of Life Care Practise Award
  • Nurse of the Year Award
  • Carer of the Year Award
  • Specialist Service/ Unit of the Year Award
  • Care Home Service of the Year Award
  • Positive Impact Award

Find out more about the awards and submit your nomination here.

Award entries close on Friday 10 September 2021.

Launch of ‘Time for Change: Conceptualising a National Care Framework’ report

Today, Tuesday 13 July we are pleased to launch the ‘Time for Change: Conceptualising a National Care Framework‘ report, a follow-up to the release of ‘Coileanadh‘.

In June 2020, Scottish Care began the Collective Care Future programme, which involved a series of engagements with a diverse range of people with experience and expertise in the social care sector in Scotland. From these contributions, we launched Coileanadh’ – a future landscape for social care that articulated eight concepts and 39 actions for change, underpinned by three priority areas of focus relating to the ways in which practice-based change can be achieved, implemented and sustained to achieve a positive vision for the future of social care. 

The findings from ‘Coileanadh’ were compared against the recommendations of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care to explore the synergies and areas of opportunity that can help to overcome the implementation gap that currently exists in adult social care and articulate the key requirements in conceptualising ‘National Care Service,’ summarised in the ‘Time for Change’ report. In doing so, we aim to offer a more holistic perspective on what such a service might look like and the resulting implications for how work in this context could be taken forward.

The actions identified are both complementary and distinct to the recommendations of the Independent Review. The report aims to demonstrate the authentic value of the social care sector to wider society and the relational interdependence that social care has with health. A broader view of social care that considers and encompasses key concepts around positive ageing, a life course approach, and the language we use when talking about social care is critical in supporting mindset shifts and realistic perceptions. We propose that within these first 100 days of new parliament, the actions articulated in ‘Coilanadh’ are adopted as complementary to the recommendations of the Independent Review, and that our work is included as part of the consultation process that the Government will carry out. It is our hope that this work is the start of a national conversation on the future of adult social care in Scotland.