News Release: Launch of Care Badge Scotland at Scottish Care’s National Care Home Conference 2019

Today, at the National Care Home Conference and Exhibition, CARE badge, the unifying symbol of pride and quality in care, is launched by Duncan Campbell, Director of everyLIFE Technologies Scotland, supported by Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care.

Under the slogan “It’s the small things that bring people together”, the CARE badge aims to highlight and respect nearly 1 million people delivering care in Scotland every day. This is made up of over 200,000 social care workers, accounting for 7.7% of all employment in Scotland. Unpaid carers are estimated to be 788,000, which is 14.5% of the Scottish population.

Dr Donald Macaskill: I am delighted to be involved in the launch of the Care Badge in Scotland. The work of care is one of the most rewarding, invigorating yet at the same time challenging jobs in Scottish society. We owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to the thousands of women and men, both paid and unpaid carers, who every day make a difference to the lives of others. They are the soul of our nation and show us our communities at their best.  I hope we will see thousands of these badges being worn in villages, towns and communities across Scotland so that we can celebrate care. This is all about making care visible The valuing of the work of care is a mirror of a nation that cares.”

Duncan Campbell: “It’s time to raise the public profile of this crucial service and the appreciation of those providing care. So we’ve launched the CARE badge campaign in Scotland as a unifying symbol of pride and quality in care.”

In the UK as whole, there are over 2 million social care workers and 7 million more unpaid carers in the UK today. With each carer supporting at least one person, over a quarter of the UK population is either providing or receiving care outside of hospital every day.

The daily impact of care is even greater, given the significant number of family members of those working in or receiving care, as well as the suppliers and employees that assist the sector. Carers deliver this high-quality support each day, no matter if it’s a holiday for others or if the weather is adverse and travel is difficult. Unfortunately, they often do so without the public interest and support that other professionals reasonably enjoy.

The CARE badge CIC is administered and managed for free by everyLIFE Technologies who also donated the first 20,000 badges. To date, over 87,000 badges have been distributed. All profits from the sale of CARE badges are given to care related charities, suggested by care workers and carers and overseen by a CARE badge CIC charity committee.

Press Information about everyLIFE Technologies, co-founders of CARE badge

everyLIFE Scotland:

everyLIFE Technologies, a leading provider of care planning and delivery software, is led in Scotland by Director, Duncan Campbell.

everyLIFEprovides the “PASSsystem” suite of care-planning software and apps to the UK’s homecare, reablement and residential care sectors. Provided on a SaaS basis since February 2015 and on a monthly payment structure, the PASSsystem is used by ~700 care businesses throughout the UK.

The PASSsystem digital care planning and management platform provides a single view of care records in real time on both desktop and mobile devices. From initial enquiry and service user assessment through medications (MAR charts), task changes to outcome reviews, PASSsystem automates care management processes while promoting safe medicines administration.

“openPASS” is a sister application that provides consented customers, family members and additional health professionals with inclusive access to real-time care plans and records in the PASSsystem.

Together, everyLIFE’s PASSsystem and openPASS are proven* to:

  • better manage risk
  • realise business efficiencies
  • aid delivery of high-quality care
  • demonstrate accountability to services users, families and regulators

everyLIFE is a Founding Member of the Care Software Providers Association (CASPA).

* Improving care through digital care planning: An evaluation of the PASSsystem by the Social Care Institute for Excellence. SCIE March 2019. Available at

Scottish Care:

Scottish Care is a membership organisation and the representative body for independent sector social care services in Scotland, covering private, charitable and not for profit social care organisations.

We represent over 400 organisations, which totals almost 1000 individual services, delivering residential care, nursing care, day care, care at home and housing support services.

Our membership includes organisations of varying types and sizes, amongst them single providers, small and medium sized groups, national providers and family run services.

Our members deliver a wide range of registered services for older people as well as those with long term conditions, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, dementia or mental health problems.

In Scotland, the independent social care sector contributes to:

  • The employment of over 103,000 people, which is more than half of the total social services workforce, including approximately 5,000 nurses
  • The provision of 88% of care home places for older people
  • The delivery of over 55% of home care hours for older people

About the Care Home Conference:

Over 400 day delegates are expected to attend including care providers, local authority, NHS and Scottish Government colleagues.   This event is the only one of its kind in Scotland specifically for the care home sector and, whilst organised by Scottish Care, is very much a cross-sector event.  The conference is now in its twentieth year.

The conference contains a mixture of key contributions. Through creative, business-focused, practical and policy sessions, the event will focus on the significant role care home services play in ensuring individuals are able to remain connected to their communities and the criticality of their involvement in shaping Scotland’s future health and social care system.

The conference will address current challenges in the sector including workforce shortages, Brexit and the sustainability of the care home sector. There will also be a range of innovative approaches and tech products showcased to help people in their every day care practice.

A number of resources will be launched at the conference:

  • New Scottish Care conference paper – Essential care: the critical role of care homes
  • A hints and tips guide on supporting people with visual impairment from Royal Blind, in partnership with Scottish Care
  • The formal launch of the CARE Badge in Scotland

The conference hashtags are #essentialcare and #carehome19

Genesis of the CARE badge:

The CARE badge was born on the 19th March 2019, while listening to Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, highlight the challenges faced providing care and the unfortunate message that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care inadvertently sends to those involved by only wearing an NHS lapel badge. The Chairman of everyLIFE Technologies, sitting in the audience turned to his colleague and said, “We should work with them to change that”.

How to get CARE badges: 

The CARE badge is sold to companies, charities and other organisations by the CARE badge CIC (community interest company). Badges are not sold to the public directly. Badge purchasers are both from the care community as well as national corporations and organisations, such as supermarkets, manufacturers, service industries etc., interested in supporting care workers and the carers in their own workforce.

Badges are distributed for free to employees and customers i.e. badges are not for resale. Badge purchasers are also given the right to use the CARE badge logo in their marketing materials to highlight how much they CARE.

Organisations with few employees or customer outlets can donate purchased badges to the CARE badge “pool”These will be distributed on their behalf to individual carers for free by the CARE badge CIC at care-related events.

Order details can be found on Badges cost £1 including P&P (plus VAT when applicable). There is a minimum order size of £100, with a choice of three fixing styles; butterfly pin, magnetic and brooch to suit both care and non-care settings.

All profits from selling CARE badges go to care-related charities:

The CARE badge CIC is administered and managed for free by everyLIFE Technologies who also donated the first 20,000 badges and 1,000 display trays. Costs incurred are therefore limited to the cost of badges, packaging and postage. All profits from the sale of CARE badges are distributed to care related charities, suggested and voted for online by care workers and carers and overseen by a CARE badge CIC charity committee.

Find out more: 

The website ( carries background, details of our growing community of partners, and how to order the CARE badge. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are live with @theCAREbadge and #badge4CARE. Please post pictures of individuals and teams showing how much they CARE.

Feel free to get in touch by emailing [email protected].

News Release: Care Home Conference 2019 – Essential care: the critical role of care homes

“Essential care: the critical role of care homes”


Scotland has to get serious about valuing social care or risk losing the vital services, jobs, social and economic contributions it provides.

The message will be delivered at the National Care Home Conference in Glasgow today (FRI NOV 15) by Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care, the representative body for the country’s independent social care services. The 450 delegate event – the largest event of its kind in the UK - which is sponsored by the Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank, will include an address by Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport Jeane Freeman.

Unveiling a new report of the same title as the conference - ‘Essential care: the critical role of care homes” - Dr Macaskill said:

A Scotland that invests in its people invests in care.

“The care sector is a people sector. It is also a sector that contributes massively to the Scottish economy - more than Agriculture, forestry and fishing and many other sectors.

“So why is it that we have so little focus on the need to invest in and grow the care sector? Why does it feel like businesses that care - that employ thousands of people, that are economic engines and care centres at the heart of our villages and towns - continually feel as if they are having to beg new resource, scrimp and save and be apologetic for asking for more? 

“We need to get serious. We either want a world leading care sector with the best possible rights-based care or we want just enough, the sufficient, the it’ll just have to do approach.

“If we are serious about being a country that cares, then let’s grow the sector, let’s invest time, energy and resource in being the best; let’s change the record from it costing too much to contributing so much; let’s invest to ensure survival and sustainability, growth and cutting edge innovation; let’s invest in care by creating a special economic task force to make social care an economic priority .

“Let’s get serious about care or let’s finally stop pretending that we care - and be honest with those who are our most vulnerable and needy.”

The report details the role that care homes play in contributing to Scottish society and citizen wellbeing, in areas such as ethical technology, upholding human rights and tackling social isolation and loneliness.  It highlights that social care is the eighth largest employment sector in Scotland, with nearly 54,000 individuals working in care home services.  With over 1,100 care homes supporting over 33,000 older people in communities across Scotland, the report outlines the ways in which care homes:

  • give people back a sense of community and connectedness where this has often been lost through isolation and ill health
  • prioritise the respect and dignity of all residents in their practice
  • provide companionship as well as complex health and social care support to individuals with a wide range of conditions
  • challenge perceptions of what older people can offer and achieve.

Warning of the dangers of continuing to underfund social care, Dr Macaskill will tell delegates:

“We need to get serious. We either want a world leading care sector with the best possible rights-based care or we want just enough, the sufficient, the ‘it’ll just have to do’ approach.

“If we are serious about being a country that cares, then let’s grow the sector, let’s invest time, energy and resource in being the best; let’s change the record from it costing too much to contributing so much; let’s invest to ensure survival and sustainability, growth and cutting edge innovation; let’s invest in care by creating a special economic task force to make social care an economic priority .

To politicians and health and social care partnerships, he will say:

“Let’s get serious about care or let’s finally stop pretending that we care - and be honest with those who require support in our country’s care homes.”

Derek Breingan, Head of Health & Social Care Sector at Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank, who sponsor the care home conference added:

“Never has the role of care homes been more crucial for our ageing population with the rise in longevity and increasing ability to live with complex medical and physical conditions.  The diversity of the Scottish demographics and the geography of our country also add an element of challenge. 

“As strong supporters of the sector Clydesdale Bank is delighted to be working with Scottish Care to contribute to ensuring that care homes remain integral to the future of health and wellbeing for our society and also will provide a stable and rewarding workplace for those dedicated to delivering quality care.

Blog: Disrupting stigma means disrupting commissioning and procurement

Every single day I hear people discussing the sustainability of the care sector.

I hear it from providers, I hear it from commissioners, I hear it in the news, I hear it from our Politicians. But the quietest of all in this are those who are most affected. I almost never ever hear it from those who access care and support or indeed their loved ones who are also impacted by social care experience.

This voice is missing for many reasons, but mostly because it comprises of our most vulnerable. Those who may need support to articulate their desires clearly, or perhaps those who do not wish to rock the boat because they may have fought for what they receive, or even those who come to social care at a point of crisis. At best, it may find itself contained within a report presented to an Integrated Joint Board or kept in a silo perhaps because it is considered to pertain only to carers and not the holistic setting that a family is.

There is a stigma in accessing care and support. Those media headline grabbers and others on that bandwagon should put themselves in the shoes of those who may be in the demographic of the ‘ticking time bomb’ they write about. My own loved one describes a pervasive guilt about accessing something in case it prevents another, “perhaps younger person”, from accessing it. The guilt is so deep that I cannot even name them here.

And so we find ourselves (for a variety of reasons) in a place where people are coming to care much later than previously, which means they have more complex needs, are requiring a more intrusive intervention and face potentially life-limiting circumstances as they often first enter ‘the system’ because of an unplanned hospital admission.

This position then creates a ‘double whammy’, in both the here and now, and in the future, as without accurate data, we cannot accurately plan. For instance, how do we know how many care staff or nurses we might need, or need to train, if we do not have a true picture of those who may actually need care and support? And perhaps more importantly, how do we adapt for the future? For instance, by utilising and embedding preventative disruptors such as technology developed and applied with human rights in mind (guided perhaps by Scottish Care’s Human Rights Charter and Guidance for Technology).

Amidst this there remain Health and Social Care Partnerships who continue to dis-invest from social care in order to meet targets, without realising the wider impact upstream. Or worse still, to test out that impact in order to prove a point. And in doing so, completely missing the point. Health and Social care is about people’s lives and lifestyles, not about which funding body holds the pot of money.

The chronic and long-term under-funding of the care sector is undermining the human rights of the citizens of Scotland. It has created the conditions for marketplace competition – a drive for the lowest price rather than the high-quality care and support that the people of Scotland deserve, but which care providers continue to strive for. You don’t come into care if you don’t care.

An Ipsos Mori/Centre for Ageing Better survey conducted earlier this year explored user views on the worst things about getting old: 30% are concerned they won’t have enough money to live on, 26% losing mobility, 24% losing memory; 22% unable to do things they once could, 19% being lonely[1]

Quite frankly, we can do better. If people knew about the opportunities which lie in social care, this could be vastly reduced.

However, I write this blog in the week that the process for application to the National Procurement Framework for Care and Support is due to close. Scottish Care is eager to play our part in ensuring that the current model of commissioning and procurement is changed to ensure that it better reflects a rights-based, trust focused and relational approach to the care and support of older people. I personally have a history in disrupting commissioning practices from when I worked for a Local Authority in England (incidentally, joint funded by the NHS) leading to a model devised by working with families and providers, and resulting in 110% more people having access to care and support than previously at no additional cost.

Collaboration and co-production is where we work together to make the most out of what we have, and the bringing together of minds around a common vision and focus leads to realistic innovation, choice and control. Not incidentally a characteristic required of the market by the Self-Directed Support (Scotland) Act.

Scottish Care saw the initial development of the National Procurement Framework as offering the potential of reducing complexity, fostering relationships and addressing some of the sustainability issues. Yet the process has resulted in a Framework which is far from proportionate, requiring only the accountability of providers, it leads merely to a duplication of regulation and negotiation. An action in opposition of the trust-based relationships being nurtured and in effective community-based planning, and which led to the inherently more cost effective and equitable service provision which I describe above in my previous work.

There are of course other challenges with the framework, but that unwillingness to engage and work with the whole sector as equals is what mostly holds us back. In one recent review of a Health and Social Care partnership, their only comment on the contribution of the independent sector, was to list the number of care home beds and home care hours that they provide. This undermining of resource and opportunity and resistance is clearly articulated in the Audit Scotland report into integration which describes the challenges of culture change and the role of leadership in achieving and embedding best practice. After all, it is best practice which offers opportunity.

Whilst a solution is complicated, it is not unachievable.

In May I launched a paper on ‘Putting Human Rights into the Commissioning Cycle’ at the Scottish Care National Conference for Care at Home and Housing support in an attempt to put the person into planning. All too often Strategic Planning happens behind closed doors and based purely upon a set of statistics, or upon the results of community engagement which is tokenistic or piecemeal and therefore not representative. A shared vision grounded in human rights can support a whole community, including the significant contribution of independent care providers, to come together for good.

Above all however, that shared vision must be a positive one. A vision which recognises the value of our older people and the contribution that they and their families make, a vision which recognises the wider value of social in employing 1 in 10 Scots, and in contributing £3.4 billion to the economy, a vision which values the varied mix of care and support which offers real choice and control to those who may wish to access it.

At the recent Business in Parliament Conference, the First Minister said that “ … any country will only achieve it’s potential if it enables the people within it to achieve their own potential”.

Well, that time has come, who’s with me?

Karen Hedge

National Director, Scottish Care


[1] IpsosMori/Centre for Ageing Better/Feb 2019

Updated guidance to support the real living wage commitment for adult social care workers

Below is a letter from Ms Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, and Cllr Peter Johnston, COSLA Health and Social Care Spokesperson, with updated guidance on the shared commitment to support payment of the real Living Wage to everyone delivering adult social care in Scotland.  The guidance has been developed by the Living Wage in Care Implementation Group which was established to support. The group comprises representatives from Scottish Government, COSLA, Coalition of Care and Support Providers (CCPS), Scottish Care, the STUC and Integration Authorities.

Guidance to support real living wage commitment - Letter from Scottish Government COSLA October 2019 - final PDF
Guidance to Support Commitment of the Real Living Wage for Adult Social Care Workers October 2019 - final PDF copy

News release: Call for action as people with sight loss miss out on Self-directed Support

Research by Scotland’s biggest sight loss charity Royal Blind has revealed low awareness among blind and partially sighted people of the Scottish Government’s flagship social care policy.  The findings have prompted fears that people with sight loss who could benefit from Self-directed Support are missing out, and led to a joint call from Royal Blind and Scottish Care for Scottish Ministers to take action to ensure people living with visual impairment are aware of their right to benefit from the policy.

Royal Blind surveyed over 100 people with sight loss to get their views and experiences of Self-directed Support. The charity found that:

    • Almost two thirds of people with sight loss participating in the survey had not heard of Self-directed Support.
    • Only five respondents to the survey had a support plan funded through Self-directed Support.
    • Over 60% of respondents had never been informed of the budget available to them for their care and support.

The research follows previous findings published by Audit Scotland in 2017 which reported that at least 53,000 people were accessing Self-directed Support, but more people should benefit from the policy and more information should be available on how to apply.

Royal Blind and Scottish Care are now calling on the Scottish Government to take further action to raise awareness of Self-directed Support including through providing accessible information on the policy for people with visual impairment. The organisations are also urging local authorities to develop plans to increase access to Self-directed Support for people with visual impairment, including through providing more training to staff on supporting people with sight loss to have the information they need on the policy.

Mark O’Donnell, Chief Executive of Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded said:

“Self Directed Support is a great policy initiative by the Scottish Government which could benefit thousands of people living with sight loss. That is why it is so disappointing that there appears to be low awareness of the policy among blind and partially sighted people, and also why we are backing the call by Scottish Care for more action to raise awareness that it is available. With the numbers of people with sight loss in Scotland set to increase significantly, it is vital they can access the specialist care they need and have access to Self-directed Support which can help them live well with visual impairment.”

Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Care said:

“Self-directed Support is one of the most progressive pieces of law in Scotland. It gives people choice and control over their care and their lives. It is therefore hugely disappointing that five years on since it started this survey shows that hundreds perhaps thousands of older Scots with a visual impairment they are not benefiting from these rights. The excuses from local authorities and Integrated Joint Boards are running out and we are left with the conclusion that this human rights based policy is being consciously ignored, blocked and underfunded, or that only those who shout the loudest are being given choice and control.

There is little point in having fantastic legislation if there are is a collective failure to put it into practice. There is little point in having rights under the law if the obstacles to exercising those rights are growing every day.

Scotland needs to get serious about the denial of the human rights of our fellow citizens with visual impairment.”



Note to editors

1.Details of the survey by Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded:

    • The survey was promoted to people with sight loss using Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded services in August and September. Responses were from people with visual impairment or a carer or family member on their behalf. There were 110 respondents to the survey, although not all respondents answered all questions.
    • 109 people responded to the question “have you heard of Self-Directed Support.” 68 (62%) said they had not.
    • 81 people answered the question “Are you currently receiving care services” with almost half (39 people) stating that they were.
    • Only 5 respondents said they had a support plan funded through Self-Directed Support. Four of the five people who received care through Self-Directed Support said the system had worked well for them.
    • Around a fifth (19%) of respondents felt SDS was something they could benefit from, while 57% did not know whether they would.
    • Around a third (30%) of respondents said they had been given an explanation of SDS options, while 60% said they had not had the options explained to them.
    • A majority (63%) of respondents had never been informed of the budget available to them for their care and support.

2. Royal Blind is Scotland’s largest visual impairment organisation. We create life changing opportunities for visually impaired children and adults from across Scotland and the rest of the UK with the following services: The Royal Blind School and Learning Hub, Adult Services, Care for Older People, the Scottish Braille Press and Kidscene After School and Holiday

3. Royal Blind’s sister charity is Scottish War Blinded. Together, we operate as the Royal Blind Group. Each organisation has its own management, and both are overseen by the Royal Blind Board and Chief Executive.

Latest blog from our CEO: Time to raise awareness of Self-directed Support

Reform of our health and social care services cannot only be an ambition but is an urgent requirement. The recent annual report from the Auditor General on NHS Scotland made this extremely clear. If we are to meet the current and future health and care needs of our country, we have to change how we deliver care and treatment, with more services based in our communities, meeting individual care needs.

Audit Scotland’s annual report said the NHS was “seriously struggling to become financially sustainable” and the Auditor General Caroline Gardner said the integration of health and social care was too slow and staff were under intense pressure. The conclusion was that Scotland could face a £1.8bn shortfall in less than five years if it is not reformed.

Change is urgently needed but the pace of change is too slow. We have achieved a consensus on the need to integrate health and social care services and reform social care. Health and Social Care Partnerships have been established to bring about more effective collaboration, but progress is patchy. Yet by embracing rather than resisting reform of health and social care, we have the opportunity for transformational change which will benefit the thousands of people in our country who are supported by care services.

For me social care has always been profoundly about human rights. It is about giving the citizen control and choice, voice and agency, decision and empowerment. These principles underpin the Scottish Government’s flagship social policy of Self-directed Support, which seeks to give people more control over the care services they receive.  The policy means local authorities now have a legal duty to offer people eligible for social care four options on how to use their personal budget. The four options are direct payments; an Individual Service Fund held by the local authority and allocated to a provider of your choice; the local authority arranging support on your behalf; or a mix of these options.

Human rights and social care practice come together in our Self-directed Support legislation in Scotland which unapologetically grew out of the independent living movement of the learning and physical disabled communities in the 1970s. With the closure of large-scale institutions there was an emphasis on enabling individuals to live more independent lives. Policies and practice at the time and since emphasised the importance of building social care supports around the life of the individual rather than expecting the individual to fit into what services were available. A one size fits all approach was replaced by the urge to develop and offer bespoke individual services and supports.

A personalised approach has the potential to benefit and empower people with a range of conditions and care needs. This is why we have been keen to assess levels of awareness of Self-directed support among those groups of people who could potentially benefit most.

We have been working with Royal Blind to research awareness of Self-directed Support among people with visual impairment. People living with sight loss require care which meets their specific needs to enable them to flourish and foster their full contribution. Self-directed Support offers them the potential to ensure they are provided with specialist support, equipment and accessible information to help them live well with visual impairment.

There are around 188,000 people in Scotland living with significant sight loss, around three quarters of whom are over 65, and this number is projected to increase to over 200,000 by 2030. This means Scotland requires a social care system which can support an increasing number of people with sight loss.

Self-directed Support has the potential to benefit thousands of people with sight loss, enabling many to maintain their independence and live at home for longer. So it is disappointing to learn that there is low awareness of Self-directed Support among many people with sight loss. Over 100 people with sight loss were surveyed by Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded to learn their views and experiences of Self-directed Support. When asked the question “have you heard of Self-directed Support,” two thirds of respondents said they had not. Only five respondents said they had a support plan funded through Self-directed Support.  Over 60 percent of respondents had never been informed of the budget available to them for their care and support.

If I am living with a lifelong condition or need support in any way because of life circumstances or age then I most certainly do want to have more choice and control both over who is in my life as a carer and what the nature of that support and care might be.

The critical importance of legislation like Self-directed Support is all about embedding that control and choice, building those rights with the citizen including fiscal and budgetary control. This is why it so frustrating that for too many people, including people with sight loss, the promise of Self-directed Support is not being realised. The legislation is now in its fifth year – bedding down should have long since passed. The excuses are running out and we are left with the conclusion that this human rights-based policy is being consciously ignored, blocked and underfunded, or that only those who shout the loudest are being given choice and control.

We are still defaulting to models and a provision of assessment and care which too often do not meet individual need and are economically unsustainable.  This situation needs to change urgently if we are to secure sustainable models of care and the rights of people accessing care services to be fully included in our communities. There is little point in having fantastic legislation if there are is a collective failure to put it into practice. There is little point in having rights under the law if the obstacles to exercising those rights are growing every day.

Dr Donald Macaskill 



Exploring and Developing Palliative and End of Life Care

The Scottish Government vision is that by 2021 everyone in Scotland will have access to high quality palliative and end of life care no matter where they are cared for – at home, in the community, in residential care, in hospital or in a hospice. For this to happen there is a need for staff in all areas to become more confident in delivering end of life care that helps people to live well and die well and to meet individualised needs and wishes.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has developed a new continuing professional development award for health and social care workers that is designed to provide candidates with the  knowledge and skills base set out in the NHS Education for Scotland Palliative and End of Life Framework for staff who regularly provide care and support to people with palliative and end of life care needs, their families and carers. This is a SCQF Level 7 award (HNC/ first year undergraduate level) and has a nominal 200 hours of learning over 15 weeks, which equates to 20 credits. The award will be delivered online using the university virtual learning environment. Online learning may seem a little daunting, but candidates will be fully supported by an online tutor who will guide students through the content and assessments. Studying online allows students to study at a time and place that fits in with their work and family commitments.

The first presentation of the course will start in January 2020. We are pleased to advise that there will be a limited number of free places funded by the Scottish Funding Council for this first cohort of students.

If you are interested in undertaking this award, then please discuss this with your line manager. If you wish to know more about the award or need further details, please contact Jacqui Allison at Perth College UHI – [email protected].

Palliative Care A5 leaflet (003)

To Absent Friends festival

What is it?

To Absent Friends is a people’s festival of storytelling and remembrance. It aims to reignite traditions of remembering the dead as a way to support those who are experiencing grief and bereavement and to encourage greater openness about death and dying.

Why is it happening?

Everyone has a story to tell of someone who is dead who they miss – a grandparent who had a fascinating life; a friend with a unique sense of humour; a child who loved to dance.

A person’s death does not lessen the meaning of the relationship we have with them.

But our culture doesn’t really support active remembrance of dead people. Talking openly about someone who is dead can often cause discomfort or embarrassment.

In a culture where death is seen as being too morbid, too difficult or too disturbing to mention, how do we remember and pay our respects to the dead?

When is it?

It takes place from 1-7 November 2019

Where is it?

Public events are taking place across Scotland, but people can also get involved via the To Absent Friends website and on social media.

Who is organising it?

The festival forms part of a year round initiative called Good Life Good Death Good Grief, led by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.

What is happening?

Public events have been planned by various organisations and community groups across Scotland, beginning with a launch with an illuminated lilies garden at Dundee University on Thursday 31 October. Other events include cafes of reminiscence, poetry nights, concerts and craft workshops. For a full list see the event listings on the website.

How can I get involved?

If you’re doing anything for To Absent Friends, please share it on social media with the hashtag #ToAbsentFriends and copy us in. We’re also asking people to join in online in the following ways:

Profile Pictures – During the week, we’re asking people to change their profile pictures to someone who has died, and to update their status/tweet to say why.

Remembrance Playlist – Remember someone through a song. On the To Absent Friends website, we are collating a list of musical tributes to absent friends. Visit the website and send in your suggestions of a song.

Wall of Remembrance – For those who want to leave an anonymous tribute to someone they have lost, there is a place on the website for them to do so. 

Online Storytelling – We have an online space for people to share longer stories about those they love who have died.

Please encourage people to participate in these activities via social media using the links above. We have prepared graphics you can share alongside them which can be accessed via Dropbox:

How do I get in touch?


Twitter: @2absentfriends

Hashtag: #ToAbsentFriends

E-mail: [email protected]

The team at To Absent Friends would love to hear from you if you are holding an event or have an act of remembrance which you wish to share.

News Release: Trust Housing and Scottish Care launch new Care Cameo Report

“Keeping body and soul together’ reports on the challenges faced by Scotland’s ethnic minority older people

Trust Housing and Scottish Care, today (31st October, 2019) launch the 9th Care Cameo in the Care Cameo series, a programme of papers by care professionals, designed to foster debate on some of the most important issues associated with the delivery of care and support for older people across Scotland. It was launched at the Scottish Parliament event, sponsored by Bill Kidd MSP.

Today’s Care Cameo, entitled “Keeping body and soul together”, reviews the physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual care needs of ethnic minority older people in Scotland and has been researched and written by Rohini Sharma Joshi FICH, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager for Trust Housing.

Rohini has extensive experience of working and engaging with hundreds of ethnic minority older people to listen to their concerns about care and housing and to define what they needed to restore their dignity, self-esteem and independence. “Keeping body and soul together” draws together some of the key concerns that were reported directly by older people.

Rohini Sharma Joshi said:

“We are failing our ethnic minority older people in Scotland. Older people who have worked hard all their lives in this country are now finding themselves isolated, lonely and discouraged. They are often unable to access services, they are estranged from the wider community because of language barriers and can no longer depend on traditional family support networks. Many of these older people do not live in appropriate accommodation, yet there is no sheltered housing and care home accommodation available to meet their needs. Today’s Care Cameo gives Scotland’s ethnic minority older people a voice. It is imperative that we listen to them and take action.”

Dr Donald Macaskill, CEO Scottish Care, said:

“As an organisation our vision is to shape the environment in which care services can operate and thrive. One of the ways we can do this is by working co-operatively with care providers and most importantly, with the people who use the services. The ethnic minority older people who have contributed to today’s Care Cameo have articulated the challenges they face and the care and services they are unable to access with heartbreaking candour. We are very grateful for their contribution to both this care cameo and to the wider debate in Scotland.

If Scotland is serious about including all citizens regardless of race or ethnicity then we must adequately resource the already stretched care sector to develop services, train staff and work with people to create services which meet the needs of all our citizens. At the moment Scotland is failing to be racially inclusive.”


Consultation on practical fire safety guidance for care and housing support providers

The Scottish Government is currently gathering views on draft Fire Safety Guidance for Specialised Housing (and other supported domestic accommodation) and will use the responses to further develop and refine the guidance.  The consultation is open until 22 October 2019.

Scottish Care will be submitting a response on behalf of members and want to ensure this is grounded in the views and experiences of providers.  If you have comments you would like included in the response, please contact Swaran Rakhra by email or phone by Friday 18 October.  We also encourage members to submit their own responses where appropriate.

What is this consultation about?

This Fire Safety Guidance has been drafted to deliver on the sixth recommendation from the Review of the Fire Safety Regime for High Rise Domestic Buildings in Scotland. The Review’s other recommendations relate to fire safety in high rise domestic buildings and were agreed by the Scottish Government Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety that was set up following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower. The sixth recommendation “Introduction of Scottish guidance concerning fire safety in specialised housing” is not specific to high rise domestic buildings but also agreed by the Ministerial Working Group.

Why Specialised Housing and supported domestic accommodation?

The Scottish fire regime review found there are no major gaps in the Scottish legislation but it did identify a lack of guidance related to the consideration of the needs of vulnerable people. It advocated a “person-centred” approach to meet the needs of all individuals that may need additional help in terms of fire safety.

What is Specialised Housing and what else does the guidance apply to?

Most specialised housing is provided for older people, who, with advancing age, may require a degree of care and support. This includes sheltered and very sheltered or extra-care housing. Other forms of specialised housing have evolved for people with specific needs, including housing for adults with physical, sensory, mental health or cognitive impairments who live, to varying degrees, independently within the community in group home environments. In some cases, such residents may require significant care and support (known collectively as “supported housing”).
It is also recognised that some people will be receiving home care services in what might be referred to as “general needs” housing. Therefore, the guidance has been drafted with a “person-centred” approach and aims to meet the needs of all individuals that may need additional help in terms of fire safety in the home. The guidance is also applicable to very small, domestic care homes, akin to supported housing.

Who is this consultation for?

The Guidance is primarily to be used by people that provide the housing or care/support services, and those regulators who ensure resident and tenant safety is adequately addressed. However, everyone who lives in specialised housing (or other supported domestic accommodation) and those with fire safety responsibilities are encouraged to respond to the consultation. This includes:
• Residents / tenants
• Independent/private sector housing providers
• Housing associations
• Local authority housing providers
• Managing agents or facilities managers
• Care and support providers
• Local authority service commissioners
• Enforcement Officers in local housing authorities
• Enforcement Officers and Community Safety staff of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
• Advice agencies
• Consultants/contractors carrying out fire safety risk assessments
• Other people with responsibility for Fire Safety
• Anyone else with views including relatives of people who live in specialised housing

The consultation documents and questions can be accessed here: