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.

‘The future vision of health and social care nursing’ event recording

Huge thanks to all our speakers and attendees for coming along to our nursing event in June which focused on ‘The future vision of health and social care nursing’. We hope that you found the event enjoyable and informative and that it will inform and support your practice moving forward.

We are pleased to share the recording and presentation slides from this event. These are available via the buttons below. If you have any issues accessing these files at all, please contact [email protected].

You can also catch up on the day on Twitter with the hashtag #carenursevision.

Thanks again for your attendance and we look forward to welcoming you to another Scottish Care event in the future.

Kind regards,

Jacqui Neil

Transforming Workforce Lead for Nursing

Supporting Student Placements in Care Homes Webinar – 22 July

We have an upcoming webinar on Thursday 22nd July at 2:00pm around supporting student placements within our care homes.

Dr Kathleen Duffy from NES will provide an overview of the current placement picture across all our care homes currently approved for students. She will highlight the benefits of supporting our future workforce and discuss the potential contribution care homes can make as practice learning environments (PLEs).

Due to the reconfiguration of all health and care services in wake of the pandemic, the demand for student placements is extremely high, not just for nursing students, therefore it is paramount that we utilise all potential care homes to support students by ensuring staff have the resources and information to be able to supervise and assess students through the new curriculums. One of the CHEF‘s will discuss their role in relation to this.

We also recognise that the last year had particular challenges which resulted in care homes having to safeguard residents against unnecessary footfall from external staff, this meant a significant decline within some student placement areas.

Joining details now available on the Members Area of this website.

Care Home Day 21 – A blog from our Joint National Partners for Integration Lead

Respair: The Return of Hope

“The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced” -Dan B Allender

After what can only be described as an uncertain and difficult 16 months – where family life became intertwined with working life, where working life was lived through a computer screen and workdays lasted long past when they should have finished. There does seem to be a small chink of light at the end of the tunnel.

The Partners for Integration (PfI) team, like everyone else, has worked hard during this time with resilience and tenacity, going above and beyond what is expected of them. But they also at times felt isolated and anxious, having sleepless nights and wondering if there will ever be a time when things will get back to “normal”.

However, after these long hard months, we must look for some of the positives. There is no point in being inward-looking, we need to acknowledge that this has been hard and traumatic for many people in many ways, but if we don’t acknowledge that, how can we begin to learn and move forward?  Recognition of where we have been is important. Some reflection of the learning is vital but most importantly coming together, being courageous and warmly supporting one another to bravely take those important steps to recovery as one.

Along with many people, the PfI team have had to change and adapt how they have worked. Looking for how they could continue to represent and support the sector from the confines of their own houses. They have achieved this by providing support in a variety of ways to those who needed it across Scotland.  There have been many shared and difficult emotions – some many of us will never forget, yet we have realised how important our relationships are. They are relationships that will carry us through to recovery from this difficult time.

New collaborative relationships have been established; old relationships strengthened. Teams are working closer together with a greater understanding of everyone’s role in that team and we have many quotes from providers and peers that have shone a very positive light on the vital role of the team during this time. Relationships have been developed across Scotland which will last way beyond the pandemic, and we hope will take a different supportive pathway going forward as we look to what the future will bring.

The new different relationships will be what we embrace going forward. They are relationships based on respect and value. The answer was always within the virtual room, and we have grown to discover, realise knowledge and cherish the ability to share across the miles. This must be what we hold onto going forward, this has to be what we build on to create a positive and flourishing future for the sector. No one says it will be easy, but like the phoenix, it’s time to rise!!!

“You’re off to great places, today is your day, your mountain is waiting so get on your way!!” – Dr Seuss

Janice Cameron

Joint National Lead for Partners for Integration

Care Home Day 21 – A blog from our Membership Support Manager

Membership Support Care Home Day 21 Blog

In volunteering to write a blog for this important day in the Scottish Care calendar – Care Home Day ’21 –  I feel a little underqualified to share my thoughts with you. In part because I am relatively new to social care, or because I only started in the role of Membership Support Manager in February of this year, so what do I know? Granted, I have been with the organization for nearly 2 years in other roles here at Scottish Care, but do I really have enough to say that is important or relevant or valuable that shares how I feel about all of you and the work you do? How you should be celebrated not just on Care Home Day, but every single day of the year, for the work and the service you provide to loved ones everywhere?

One thing I have realized during my time with Scottish Care, that it is not the individual role any of us play that counts; it is all of us as part of the sum, part of the whole, that has kept things going these last 12 months.  By ourselves, we can all do our little bit, but together we can, and we have created a movement. We have created an environment where no one is left behind and everyone is taken care of, no matter their level of need, all are loved and cared for – but often times this has been to the detriment of those who do the caring – YOU the amazing care workers, our incredible members.

It is so easy to say how much we admire you, how you inspire us and how we know the value you bring to the people you take care of. Because it is true. I can only speak to my experience working with all of you and I am in awe. I speak to you every day – learning about your struggles, your challenges, the issues you must deal with daily, especially in this last year when things have been so very hard. I sit in meetings and hear the passion, the spirit, the frustrations, the sadness even – and I truly cannot believe you get up and do this day in, day out, 24/7, 365 days a year.  I try to be creative, solution-oriented, and supportive for you and I always promise if I cannot help you, I will find someone at Scottish Care who can. Because it takes all of us to get to where we need to be – as a sector, as care home providers, as individual care workers, together we are stronger.

I truly believe it is this can-do attitude that personifies social care and all of you who have been working tirelessly in care homes this past year. You care SO much for the residents and their day-to-day experiences. You speak passionately to regulatory bodies, local authorities, HSCP’s, Scottish Government, to anyone who will listen – that this is about the care home being the resident’s HOME, somewhere they need to live with dignity and with love. You advocate for them in ways far above and beyond what some may feel is your role. Why?  Because you CARE – CARE as in CARE home, CARE as in CARE worker, CARE as in CARE home day and CARE as in CARE FORWARD. The skill, talent and dedication you bring to work every day, even those days when you feel you just can’t do it– this is what we must shout to the world! YOU have the power, you have the GIFT, you need to be recognized again and again and again for who you are and what you do – with LOVE, with RESPECT and with DIGNITY for those you care for. Thank you seems so little for all you have done but truly, thank you sincerely for all that you do, for all that you have undertaken this past year and let us hope that this next year will be all about YOU and that you can and should be CARED for too!

Stefanie Callaghan

Membership Support Manager




Care Home Day 21 – A innovation blog from our Workforce Lead

Innovation is about Reshaping Services not Cutting Costs

Some of the most exciting work I am involved with at present is research that has received UK Research and Innovation funding to develop innovative resources and products that will assist care home workers to stay healthy for longer. I believe that this work is vitally important as the social care workforce has an incredibly difficult job both physically and mentally and any measures that can be put into place to support them should be implemented where possible.

One of the best parts of this programme is that there is an intention to make sure that some of the ideas being generated come directly from the care home workforce and that they will be supported to bring these ideas to fruition. So many discussions and decisions that will impact social care staff take place amongst policymakers and social care stakeholders who are not delivering actual care services. This results in front-line workers often asking why they are not consulted more on these decisions that are being made and that directly affect them and how they carry out their roles. Care home staff are the experts in their field, they are the ones who work with individuals every day and night and are responsible for building vital relationships with people they care and support in order that care is provided in a manner that is appropriate for that specific person. It makes perfect sense that they would be hugely instrumental in deciding what measures will be easier to implement and what will be realistic to achieve.

My hope is that another benefit to this research is that it will open up other types of work opportunities and careers for care home staff and will attract new people into the social care sector. Social care roles often include using technology and digital devices that require the worker to have these additional skills and experience. Including them in discussions around how technology can be utilised effectively within social care settings is vital in order to ensure this approach is undertaken in a person led manner and takes into account human rights in the process. We have already seen fantastic examples of what can be achieved by care providers who recognise there is an issue or a gap in the social care system and create a solution to that. Many care homes will be implementing creative ideas and solutions at an organisational level that can be scaled up and implemented across the whole sector should they receive the support and funding needed to achieve this.

It is also important to address the perception that innovation is a cost-cutting measure and that services must work in innovative ways in order to make savings within the social care sector. This is absolutely not how innovation should be implemented and care organisations need the tools to challenge that narrative and state that if they are going to be innovative, which could come with cost savings in the longer term, this must be appropriately resourced and funded to achieve the positive changes that are needed and will benefit the workforce in years to come.

I am extremely excited to witness changes within the care home sector that will be developed collaboratively with the workforce to aid and support them in their roles and to ultimately shape the delivery of care and support services in the future.

Caroline Deane

Workforce Policy & Practice Lead

Care Home Day 21 – A blog from our Nursing Lead

Leading to Care – Who are we if we can’t care?

 All staff within our care homes need to have the ability to care, the desire to care is not enough, staff need to be enabled to care. As we look ahead, we must understand how care can be compromised. It’s not just about the number of staff available each shift to provide care but the skill mix, the expertise, the skills staff have to allow them to care they way they need and want to. Intrinsic to this is that nurses and care staff provide care underpinned by dignity, humanity and equality.

We need a future where we have leadership at all levels, where kindness is at the heart of everything we do for those residents who rely on being cared for as well, as our staff who must also feel secure, valued to provide care. Staff must have a voice and be listened too and only then will we have a workforce that can have the tools to care through safe staffing, helping enhance the lives of the people they care for. Then care can be compassionate, not a practical responsibility, it will ensure relationships are re-established, the family of care staff are reunited, and the home is restored.

Care is multi-dimensional, it’s about showing empathy, being responsible but most of all it should be about enhancing lives. It should be a constant in everything we do, not a fleeting gesture. It should embody everything.

Looking forward we want a workforce that is not only satisfied by the care they provide but see the visible changes it makes to residents. Being outcomes focused is the key, shape care around what matters to people not a predetermined output.

You will know it’s been achieved when you see smiles, hear laughter and witness a caring physical embrace. Often care needs no words. So, let’s all look towards a future where we invest in care by investing in our nurses and care staff.

There is no forever?

Then maybe that is why it is so beautiful.

Knowing our time is limited

and all we have is now

is more than enough reason we need

to exhibit love at its most radical.

———————writings of M.

Jacqui Neil

Transforming Workforce Lead for Nursing


Care Home Day 21 – National Director Blog: Vulnerable Leadership & Workplace Wellbeing

Vulnerable Leadership and Workplace Wellbeing

It is great to be celebrating another Care Home Day, although I am sad not to be having my usual visit to celebrate in person. Indeed, like many others, I have spent much of this year thinking about lost connections because of the pandemic, and actively working to make it safe for those connections to be re-established.

I know many of our care home staff have felt the same pressures, and most likely more as they take on board the many additional tasks asked of them. I also know that our staff are exhausted, burnt out and in need of a break. I have spoken with staff who want to quit social care and even some who have felt suicidal.

And so, on this Care Home Day, I want to talk about workplace wellbeing. But I want to do this different from how I have done so before, from my spare bedroom happily preaching to others about the importance of self-care whilst completely ignoring, or more accurately, not being open about my own situation. In applauding our workforce for their resilience, we are creating a culture where we cannot talk about the reality. I want to flip things around and open doors for others. Because, as a colleague of mine said earlier this week, the impact of the pandemic is showing.

I am calling for a campaign where instead of talking only about the nice things we can do to make us feel better, we speak truth to power and talk openly about our own experiences and in doing so, create safe spaces for others to do the same. We cannot continue to gloss over experiences of stress and trauma with toxic positivity. What makes social care different from many other sectors is its reliance on humanity. Something which applies as much to the workforce as it does to those accessing care and support.

Today my phone pulled out a ‘this day last year’ photo of me and I was shocked. It was taken during lockdown when, like many others, I was home-schooling and working at the same time. I had back-to-back meetings, phone calls and I was receiving 600+ emails a day. In a reflection of frontline experience, Scottish Care was working tirelessly to support members locally and nationally through knowledge mobilisation and influence. I am so very proud of what our team achieved in those darkest of days and continue to do now. To be able to play our part in history is a real honour, I really do have the best job in the world.

The photo was taken the day that I realised I had to ‘put on my oxygen mask before helping others’ and I had decided to go for a run. My face was bright red, and I was 30lb heavier. I had got into the habit of working odd hours around the kids, grabbing food instead of preparing it, not sleeping enough, and finishing most days with a glass of wine. My back was aching from sitting on a dining room chair in front of the computer on our camping table for most of the day. I might have been smiling on the outside, but on the inside, I was beginning to ‘go through the motions, every day was the same, and there was a black dog at the front door pining to come in. My poor colleagues and family met my inner grump too. I knew I needed to get my energy and my lust for life back. My work deserved it, my family deserved it and I deserved it.

I first started to carve out patches of time just for me – to get away from my desk at lunchtime for 10 min and play with my kids or go for a walk, to connect with colleagues and peers, to catch up on admin, I pushed back on those back-to-back meetings or scheduled them for a shorter length so that I could squeeze in a short social chat, or to grab a cuppa. I bought a proper desk chair and made sure to move every hour. I showed up to meetings post-run in my workout clothes because getting the run in was far more important than how I looked. We introduced the weekly surgery sessions so that we could respond to more people more quickly, being more effective and efficient with our time across the organisation. As my lifestyle changed, my energy levels picked up, I found I could accomplish more too.

I joined ‘Wild Sea Women’ and became a leader, now hosting beach breathing sessions followed by wild sea dipping and swimming. On solstice, we hit our covid max of 50 with at least another 20 on a waiting list. It was a pivotal moment on my journey.

When I felt things slipping, I found a mentor that I met every week for a few months for just 20 min to keep me on track, and I have developed a virtual peer support group who do this for each other now. I also made better use of my time – walking meetings or doing my learning whilst walking by listening to audiobooks and podcasts.

It was then that I found the book Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski, (if you do not think you have enough time to read a book, start with the Brene Brown podcast interview with them both – you can listen whilst doing chores or driving. Start small, as my mentor says, “progress not perfection”).

In it they write ‘The cure for burnout is not ‘self-care’; it is all of us caring for one another”. If we can create safe spaces for people to be how they feel in the moment, then they can have the space they need to heal and to grow and to prevent or process trauma. Something which I know our entire care workforce needs.

I hope that by telling my story I have helped to do this for others but also that I have inspired others to share their stories too.

Before I finish, I want to share more words from Emily and Amelia they have been my guide now for many months and I am finally fulfilling the last line:

“Trust your body,

Be kind to yourself.

You are enough just as you are right now.

Your joy matters.

Please tell everyone you know.”


Karen Hedge

National Director