Scottish Care comments on the Scottish Budget

Before the Scottish Budget Scottish Care had in an Open Letter ( ) called upon the Finance Secretary to recognise the significant fiscal contribution of social care to the whole Scottish economy. We appealed for an increased budget of between 3-5% to address the chronic underfunding of public social care services in Scotland. We are therefore immensely disappointed that the pleas of many across the sector have fallen on deaf ears and that the increased funding  which has been announced will only be in the region of £69million. This is swallowed up completely when the increases in the Real Living and National Minimum Wages are taken into account. There is no funding for sustaining the sector to meet increased challenges.

Scottish Care agrees with COSLA (the local government association in Scotland) who have highlighted that the Budget whilst announcing £495m extra for councils also makes £590m worth of Government commitments which they have to carry out. Effectively local government which is already on its knees is facing a £95m shortfall.

Scottish Care Chief Executive Dr Donald Macaskill commented.

The Scottish Budget is another huge disappointment. There is a critical gap between the political rhetoric that the Government cares for and supports social care and the reality of a funding package which does absolutely nothing to address the problems facing the sector. That reality is a critical and worsening workforce shortages, rising costs, increased levels of need and demand and an urgent need to invest, . The social care sector for older people in Scotland is teetering on the brink. This budget far from throwing it a necessary lifeline  pushes us closer to the edge.”

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

News release: New research on the implementation of SDS for older persons care home

New research by Scottish Care, the representative body for Scotland’s independent social care services, indicates that there has been a failure in the implementation of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) Act for older people accessing nursing and residential care home provision. Scottish Care argues that this poses potential equality and human rights issues in their latest report which will be launched at a round table discussion event at Glasgow Caledonian University on Wednesday 12th February.

The Future of Self-directed Care in Scotland Round Table’ is hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University in collaboration with SIKE (Social Innovation Knowledge Exchange, an Eramus+ project), the University of Stirling and Scottish Care. This round table discussion seeks to collate insights from key stakeholders in order to generate a Briefing Paper for policymakers in government and local authorities on future directions in self-directed care in Scotland.

The report titled ‘Rights at home: the Scottish care home sector and Self-directed Support’ highlights the importance of measuring the extent of self-directed support for older persons care homes. However, statistics show that most individuals accessing care and support in care homes in Scotland are not been given their full rights under the self-directed support legislation:

  • 98% of care homes surveyed stated that none of their residents are in receipt of an SDS package.
  • 25% of care home residents were believed to had been given an assessment which identified personal outcomes under the SDS Act
  • 09% of the potential total of care home residents were in receipt of an SDS personal budget
  • 1% of care home residents in the survey were given the choice of available SDS Options

Dr Donald Macaskill, CEO of Scottish Care commented:

This research makes for sad and disturbing reading. It is quite clear that older adults in Scotland who find themselves moving into a care home are being denied their full rights under the Self-directed Support Act which is the main way people get social care and support in Scotland today. Five years on from the Act commencing older Scots are not being given the choice and control that others have. They are being treated as second-class citizens. This is wholly and utterly unacceptable and all stakeholders involved including national and local Government together with providers need to act on this as a matter of real urgency.

The unequal and discriminatory treatment of individuals on the grounds of service and age in the implementation of Self-directed Support where there is no justifiable and legitimate reason for this treatment is effectively a breach of the human rights of the individuals involved.

Scottish Care issues open letter to Finance Secretary

Today (5 February) Scottish Care has issued on open letter to Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work regarding investment in the social care sector. 

Within the letter,  CEO Dr Donald Macaskill calls for serious focus to be given to protecting and increasing investment in social care at a time of genuine risk of system collapse, in advance of tomorrow’s Scottish Budget.

You can read the open letter here.

For further information or to request an interview with Dr Macaskill, please email [email protected]

UWS Care Home Placement Pilot Meeting – 11 February

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) are proposing a care home placement pilot around their campus areas (Ayr, Lanarkshire, Paisley and Dumfries). This includes care home providers that don’t currently support students but are keen to. This pilot will help support independent care home providers to become ready to support students. 

 Tom McEwan (Practice Learning & Partnership Lead – School of Health & Life Sciences, UWS) kindly hosted a webinar for us which discussed this pilot project, and provided an update about the new NMC standards for student nurses which will go live from September 2020, as well as their new Pre-Reg Nursing Programme. A recording of this webinar and Tom’s presentation slides can be found here.

For those who are interested, there will VC meetings on Tuesday 11th February across the 4 different university campus. There will be a morning session at 10:00am – 12:00pm and an afternoon session at 1:00 pm – 3:00pm in the following rooms.

Ayr Campus: Room CR1 

Address: University Avenue, Ayr KA8 0SX

Dumfries Campus: Room W12 

Address: Dudgeon House, Bankend Rd, Dumfries DG1 4ZN

Lanarkshire Campus: Room 2.1.10 

Address: Stephenson Place, Hamilton International Technology Park, South Lanarkshire, G72 0LH

Paisley Campus: Room P121 

Address: High St, Paisley PA1 2BE

Please contact [email protected]  or [email protected] to register your attendance by Thursday 6 February.

Nurse Empowerment Blog by our National Workforce Lead for Nursing

How do we empower nurses today?

Nursing has long been seen as a challenging profession but viewed by many as a vocation for the dedicated and the selfless, which relies on nurses being professional, self-aware and motivated educators to lead change. Being caring and compassionate were integral to the role, as was the ability to follow instruction, which for some led to ritualistic practice for a number of years.

The development of nurse education led to evidence-based practice through nursing data and research, which has been key to empowering nurses to influence change, resulting in service improvements and better quality of care, and recognition of the need for nursing to be part of a life-long learning process.

Nursing empowerment is a structural process which supports shared team goals and ability. This is  supported by open communication and positive leadership which has the desired outcome of motivating staff to work to the best of their ability which will improve achieving outcomes and  creates the capacity to utilise resources and to provide support, opportunity, and information.

Research shows that empowering nurses allows for better decision making, job satisfaction, reduces stress and improved outcomes for patients. Subsequently when nurses are in a position to influence, they are less likely to suffer from ‘burnout’ as they feel listened to and are empowered to work to the top of their job descriptor.

Within the care sector nurses should not only be empowered but expected to work with a high degree of autonomy, and to act as an advocate for the residents, as they can’t always do this for themselves.

According to the RCN ‘One of the most important principles of safeguarding is that it is everyone’s responsibility ’.This requires strength of character to challenge other professionals, who may often hold more senior roles, to ensure the views of the residents are upheld, and more importantly no harm ensues. The quality of care is reliant on nurses measuring risk and harm and being educated and skilled to act appropriately to ensure safe practice.

This is particularly important within the independent care sector to ensure that despite some residents being frail and having cognitive deterioration, that they are still given the opportunities for improvement and achieve a level of stability through preventative programmes

Research would indicate that a move to an inclusive approach empowers residents through self- determination and autonomy although this does require the nursing staff to think differently and be more innovative.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines patient empowerment as “a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health” and should be seen as both an individual and a community process.

This is evident within interventions such as the Care About Physical Activity (CAPA) programme and meaningful activities used with care home nursing, which show that empowerment initiatives provide both a process and an outcome. Research is limited in this field however if empowerment is present for staff then residents may benefit in a way that promotes an awareness of self-ability that can influence goal setting, with the potential to improve quality of life.

So how do we empower our nurse today?

Education, alongside a determination to provide quality care within a positive culture of change has brought nursing to where it is today, but it is through positive leadership that we will harness our nurses to be empowered today and into the future.

We know that disempowerment can be related to deficient leadership interventions. Some nurses may feel that managers are insensitive to their staffing needs, don’t support employee well-being, and don’t invest enough in training or career or professional advancement. This is fundamental to ensure successful recruitment and to retain staff in this field. Many nurses leave their positions because of negative experiences with heavy or unrealistic workloads, as well as a feeling of being unheard and undervalued.

On the other hand, several studies have indicated that when staff rate their managers then they feel that they’re listened to, and more likely to get, and be involved in the decision-making process. This is an indicator of positive leadership. Therefore if our managers’ behaviours support a team -based approach, then this will ultimately impact on empowering our nurses.

Creating supportive environments where staff have the psychological safety to speak out, to have an opinion and ultimately grow, is also a reflection of positive leadership. This should not be underestimated as highlighted within this recent article:

Creating a positive culture that provides access to appropriate training and development will provide staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out their role efficiently and effectively .This will boost self -awareness, give staff a voice, and the ability to be confident to act as a representative across a variety of arenas. It will continue to challenge staff to find solutions and promote nurse led initiatives.

This needs however to be done as a systemic organisational approach, as even when positive changes are adopted where staff are not consulted about these changes in advance then the changes can still be perceived negatively by staff.

Through this visionary intelligent leadership approach a supportive culture will exist that expects staff to question, to take risks and to have the permission to ensure transformational change.

Ultimately the message to our nurses is one that continues to push the boundaries for excellence, promotes our new nursing standards, ensures advocacy for our most vulnerable adults and doesn’t lose sight of our ability to care.


Jacqui Neil

National Workforce Lead for Nursing, Scottish Care

Citation Care Community Event – 18 Feb

Citation are running an event for local care providers in partnership with Scottish Care where experts from Citation – Care Business Manager, Mick Feather and HR and business guru, Flora Neville –  will be sharing expert insight and knowledge within the sector, covering a range of topics including:

  • Equality and Diversity – it’s importance in Care Inspectorate reports
  • Relationship-Centred Care
  • Quality Assurance and good governance
  • Top tips to recruit, retain and motivate your employees
  • Keeping everyone safe at all times

Hot brews and snacks will be served from 9.30am so join this event armed with any questions you might have, at the end you’ll also get to take away a expert guide on Excellent Services as a thank you for coming.

To book your place please complete the form here, email [email protected] or call 0141 404 0560.

Kilmarnock Care A5 Invite

Midlife and Menopause Webinar

I’m delighted to inform you that Shiona Johnston (Midlife Menopause Mentor, Dumfries House) has kindly agreed to support my January nursing blog on Workforce Wellbeing – Menopause in the Workplace, by providing a follow up pre-recorded webinar on this subject for employers and staff. If you haven’t read my January blog yet, you can catch it here.

I encourage you to watch this webinar as Shiona offers guidance and tips on managing the signs and symptoms of menopause. You can access the webinar through the ‘Members Area’ of this website. 

If you have any questions at all for Shiona, please contact her on [email protected] or through her Facebook (@sjwellnessforwomen) or Instagram (@shionajohnston)

Many thanks


Jacqui Neil 

National Workforce Lead for Nursing, Scottish Care 

Twitter Handle: @TransformNurse

Consultation meetings on future delivery of social care in Scotland

Our media partner – – are keen to gather the insights and opinions of Scottish Care members on the Health and Sport committee’s inquiry into social care for adults. will be hosting consultation roundtable meetings in different areas of the country including Ayr, Inverness, Motherwell and Fife. We invite Scottish Care members to attend these meetings.

From these consultations, will be able to

  • gather insights to allow us to run a series of reports from those on the front line of social care delivery in Scotland, examining their challenges, ambitions and vision for best future delivery;
  • support Scottish Care to engage its members in four parts of the country on these issues, helping to further inform Scottish Care’s own response to the inquiry;
  • demonstrate the role that can play in running consultative roundtable events.

Find out more about the Health and Sport Committee’s Social Care Inquiry here. 

For more background information on reforming adult social care support click here. 

Meeting details

Fife – Monday 10 February, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Venue: Brightside Cafe, Bandrum Nursing Home, Saline, Fife, KY12 9HR

Motherwell – Tuesday 11 February, 10:00 am -12:00 pm 

Venue: HRM Homecare, 11 Hagmill Road, Coatbridge, ML5 4TD

Ayr – Tuesday 11 February, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Venue: Scottish Care Office, 25 Barns Street, Ayr, KA7 1XB

Inverness – Wednesday 13 February, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Venue: The Spectrum Centre, 1 Margaret Street, Inverness, IV1 1LS

If you are interested in attending these consultation meetings please contact Verity Monaghan at [email protected]