Healthcare Improvement Scotland publish Pressure Ulcers Standards




Healthcare Improvement Scotland publication of final Standards for the Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers


Healthcare Improvement Scotland have just announced publication of the final Standards for the Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers. These are the first standards in Scotland to apply across all health and social care and are supported by the Care Inspectorate. Pressure ulcers can affect anyone regardless of age or care setting and everyone has a role to play in the prevention of pressure ulcers.


The aim of the standards is to ensure that anyone with a pressure ulcer, or at risk of developing one, receives high quality care and support no matter where the care is received for example, hospitals, care homes or being cared for at home.


The standards cover:

  • Risk assessment for pressure ulcers
  • Care planning for prevention and treatment
  • Education and training for health and social care professionals, and individuals receiving care.


The standards and consultation feedback report are available from the Healthcare Improvement Scotland website HERE.


If you would like to contact the standards team at Healthcare Improvement Scotland please find the project team details below:


Jen Layden – [email protected] or

Karen Grant – [email protected]


Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Delta House | 50 West Nile Street | Glasgow | G1 2NP

t: 0141 225 6897 ext 8596

Scottish Care Consultation on Mental Health in Scotland – A 10 Year Vision


Consultation on Mental Health in Scotland – A 10 Year Vision

September 2016


If you would like to download this Consultation you can do so here:


The new Mental Health Strategy will be published in late 2016. It follows a four-year strategy that ran from 2012 to 2015. The new Strategy will cover a 10 year period.

The Scottish Government sought views on their proposed framework and priorities to transform mental health in Scotland.

For more information about the consultation, see


  1. The table in Annex A sets out 8 priorities for a new Mental Health Strategy that we think will transform mental health in Scotland over 10 years. Are these the most important priorities?

Yes / No / Don’t know

            If no, what priorities do you think will deliver this transformation?

Scottish Care recognises the importance of the areas identifies as priorities for the new Mental Health Strategy.

We are particularly pleased to see human rights being given prominence in the new Strategy, given this is the direction of health and social care policy in Scotland.  The development of the new National Care Standards seeks to embed a human rights based approach in care service delivery and regulation, as well as commissioning and assessment processes.  The new standards will prioritise personal choice, control, equality and inclusiveness in all aspects of an individual’s life and care journey.

What’s more, the independent social care sector (who Scottish Care represents) increasingly values human rights approaches to the provision of high quality, personalised care.  This is evidenced through the creation, in 2015 and 2016, of Scottish Care’s Human Rights Conventions for both Care Homes and Care at Home and Housing Support services.  These Conventions were developed in partnership with those who access care services and detail what is important to them in the delivery of their care and support.  Since the launch of these Conventions, a large number of services and organisations have endorsed them and indicated their commitment to upholding these rights, raising awareness of them and strengthening accountability in relation to the protection and promotion of human rights in care.

Given these developments in health and social care and the increased awareness and embedding of human rights, it is positive to see the priority areas for the Mental Health Strategy equally reflecting this.  It is only if different areas of policy and practice are complementary and coherent in their articulation of priorities and approaches that we will see whole systems culture change and reformed practice towards the principles of human rights and improved support for all.

However, Scottish Care is disappointed to see little mention of older people’s mental health needs, particularly those receiving social care, reflected in the priority areas and believes this needs to be remedied.

Scotland’s population projections indicate that the number of people aged 75 and over will increase by 28 per cent from 420,000 in 2012 to 530,000 in 2022 and then continue rising steadily until it reaches 780,000 in 2037 – an increase of 86 per cent in just a quarter of a century and 360,000 more than today.  Inevitably, this will mean a higher proportion of those with mental health needs being over the age of 65 and also a higher proportion of these individuals requiring the support of elderly care services.

There are approximately 33,000 older people living in care homes in Scotland any night of the year, and nearly 1,000 other individuals living in care home services for adults with mental health issues.  Additionally, 61,500 individuals receive support through home care services, over 50,000 of whom are over the age of 65.  Given these figures, it is crucial that we ensure high quality mental health care and support is built into the provision of these services, which nearly 100,000 people across Scotland access.   To fail to adequately recognise, plan for and seek to improve the mental health needs and supports for this population through the Strategy would amount to an equalities issue.

Therefore more direction must be given on how we identify the current gaps in support for older people with mental health conditions including social care gaps, how we address these and how we support and train staff in care services to deliver positive outcomes for individuals with mental health conditions, and to promote their own positive mental health.

Scottish Care has identified six areas where we believe more specific attention needs to be paid to mental health priorities for both older people and individuals receiving and working in social care services:

  1. Recognising mental health conditions in older people as wider than dementia. Whilst dementia is an undoubtedly crucial element of mental health that requires specific planning, it is important to recognise that the spectrum of mental health conditions that an older person may be living with is much wider and these conditions may even be undiagnosed.  By narrowing our lens to dementia support only, we risk failing to improve the availability, appropriateness and quality of support for older people living with other conditions, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia.  The fact that people are living longer does not diminish the range of conditions they may be living with nor the requirement for tailored, effective support to be available to those over 65.  Scottish Care and independent sector social care providers are committed to supporting the development and implementation of the next Dementia Strategy, but the Mental Health Strategy offers a complementary yet unique opportunity to better recognise the wide-ranging mental health needs of older people.


  1. Ensuring appropriate support for those living with enduring mental health conditions who access social care services

One of the current shortcomings of mental health care and support is the way in which both formal and informal support is available to individuals when they start receiving social care services, particularly within a care home setting.  For instance, despite the overall success of the commitment to one year post-diagnostic support for individuals with dementia, very few people living in care homes have received this support or even had a formal diagnosis.  The current infrastructure and professional relationships between care services, GP services, pharmacy services, Allied Health Professionals and primary care mean, at best, multi-disciplinary support to individuals in care homes settings is a postcode lottery.  This has real implications for individuals living with mental health conditions who are likely to require a range of professional supports and particular expertise to enable them to live well in a care home.  Additionally, more effective planning needs to be in place to ensure those who have moved into a care home setting can have continuation of community support available to them before they entered the care home.  Finally, care home staff do a fantastic job in promoting personalised care to deliver positive outcomes for residents, but there may be additional support and training they need to ensure they fully understand how best to support individuals living with different mental health conditions.  The integration of health and social care certainly presents opportunities to improve shared learning, multi-disciplinary and cross-sector working, better professional dialogue and person-centred rather than location-centred care, but this will require culture change which could be progressed more effectively by recognising it through the Strategy.


  1. Awareness of the risk of developing mental health conditions in periods of transition, change and trauma, particularly in older age

As well as the current challenges around effectively supporting older people with enduring mental health conditions, it is important to recognise the particular factors relating to older people and social care which may prompt or exacerbate mental health conditions.  For instance, older people are more likely to experience bereavement through the loss of friends, spouses and relations which can require mental health support.   Additionally, individuals who go through transitions such as moving into a care home or another care setting may experience difficulties in adjusting to a loss of home or a perceived loss of identity.  It is therefore crucial that we recognise the risk factors and pressure points for older people, where they may require additional expert support in order to maintain or restore positive mental health.


  1. Transitions between adult services and older peoples services

As articulated in the above two points, there are risks to positive mental health associated with transitional phases and it is recognised that transition phases can lead to a breakdown in communication and quality of care and support, leading to further uncertainty and anxiety for individuals at the centre of that support.  In addition to the issues associated with transitions in care settings, there are also challenges where individuals cease to be part of adult services and move to older people’s services.  Scottish Care believes that, as a society, we still have an inherent inequity in older people’s care and support compared to other types of care and support and unfortunately, discriminatory practice can still prevail.  For instance, we are much more likely to support a younger person in an assets-based, outcomes-focused way which enables them to achieve their goals and ambitions than we are for older people, who are more likely to be identified by their conditions and disabilities rather than their many abilities.  Whilst positive progress is being made around outcomes and personalisation, and human rights-based approaches can support this, there remain challenges for how we support older people with mental health needs to live well and what resources (including funding) are available within older people’s services to do this effectively.   Attention must therefore be paid to how we support people with mental health needs through care transitions effectively so that they do not experience a diminishing of quality support based on their age or location.


  1. Capacity of care staff to effectively support people living with mental health conditions

As the population ages and people access care and support services later due to the success of community and informal support, care staff are increasingly supporting individuals at advanced stages of life with more complex and wide-ranging needs.  This increasingly includes those living with mental health conditions.  Whether individuals are supported in their own homes or in care home settings, care staff need to have the right values, skills, training, awareness and support to enable them to delivery high quality, personalised care that meets the needs and outcomes of the individuals they support.  The current funding, recruitment and retention challenges in the care sector make this especially challenging but of even more critical importance, particularly in relation to mental health whereby staff must have the time and resources to deliver sensitive, appropriate support.  This can range from recognising subtle changes in an individual’s mood or health through to supporting someone with behaviour that challenges.  Often a care worker is the key link to other individuals involved in a person’s life and care, and the quality of relationships built mean they are often best placed to assess the health and wellbeing of the person they support.  If we don’t invest in ensuring we understand what care staff need in order to deliver high quality mental health care and support and build this into the Strategy, we will not achieve positive outcomes for individuals.


  1. Protecting and promoting the positive mental health of those working in social care

A crucial element of the Mental Health Strategy is how we protect and promote the wellbeing of the workforce, particularly those who support others and whose own mental and physical health is often most detrimentally impacted.  To understand how best to do this, it is important that we understand the factors and circumstances which can negatively impact on a worker’s mental health.  For those working in social care, these elements are wide-ranging and include the impact of dealing with challenging, stressful and emotionally charged situations on a daily basis, long hours and poor pay, delivering palliative and end of life care to individuals with whom relationships and bonds have been formed and subsequently dealing with bereavement, and lone working practices for those in homecare services.  Scottish Care recognises the importance of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of care staff and has held events focused on this issue.  The feedback we often receive from front line care staff includes feelings of exhaustion and being close to ‘breaking point’.  If further steps are not taken at a national level to embed a focus on workforce wellbeing, we risk a mental health crisis in the social care sector and Scottish Care would therefore want this to be better recognised in the Strategy.



  1. The table in Annex A sets out a number of early actions that we think will support improvements for mental health. Are there any other actions that you think we need to take to improve mental health in Scotland?

It is positive to see some focus being given to the mental and physical health of workforce through ‘All of Me’.  However, steps should be taken to ensure that the workplaces this programme supports includes social care workplaces, and that there is sufficient understanding of the particular challenges for that employers and employees in this sector in relation to mental health as outlined above.

Scottish Care would want to see more explicit actions relating to older people and social care to ensure that real progress is made through the strategy in addressing their mental health care and support provision challenges.  Scottish Care would welcome further engagement with the Scottish Government in order that we can support further exploration of what these specific actions may be.

Scottish Care will be commencing a piece of work in early 2017 exploring the unmet mental health needs of older people in receipt of social care services.  This work will explore both what these unmet needs are and what needs to be in place to address these gaps, whether they relate to awareness and understanding, care and support availability and appropriateness, or staff capacity, skill mix and training.  We would be happy to share the outcome of this work to inform the ongoing development and implementation of the Strategy, but feel that actions specifically around older people and social care need to be built into the initial Strategy to facilitate work, shared learning and improvement support in these vital areas.


  1. The table in Annex A sets out some of the results we expect to see. What do you want mental health services in Scotland to look like in 10 years’ time?

There are a number of positive outcomes Scottish Care wants to see as a result of the new Mental Health Strategy.  These are:

  • Equity of access to mental health care and support, regardless of age or mental health condition.
  • Recognition of the particular needs of older people living with mental health conditions and an understanding of how best to support these individuals.
  • A skilled and valued care workforce who feel confident and competent in effectively supporting people with a range of mental health conditions.
  • A culture within health and social care, and wider society, which promotes & protects human rights and recognises mental health and wellbeing as a vital component of overall health and wellbeing.

By ensuring the Strategy is as comprehensive and fit for purpose as it can be (including by using responses to this consultation to refine and improve the Strategy) and by working in partnership with a number of organisations, individuals and sectors throughout its 10 year delivery, we are confident that these results can be achieved.


Becca Gatherum

Policy & Research Manager

The time has come…

The time has come…


Many of you who read my blogs will be by now familiar with one of my contentions that there is in existence a systemic age discrimination, which results in unfair and unequal treatment of older people in modern society. This is so endemic that it has become part and parcel of the wallpaper of our realities – so subtle, so pervasive that it is not even noticed; it is just accepted as a given, as a state of unalterable being. It’s almost the same position that racism was in the 1950s and early 1960s – so unconsciously accepted as a social norm in the UK that it went unnoticed – except by its victims.


I was therefore delighted that after a robust and serious examination that the UN Independent Expert Rosa Kornfeld-Matte presented a comprehensive report on the rights of older people to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 15th September. Her report states that current international provisions are not sufficient to fully protect older people’s rights, and calls on states to consider a new convention. She also concluded that, despite some good or promising practices, the implementation of existing law does not adequately ensure older people’s rights are upheld either.


As one delegate stated:


“A new convention would provide comprehensive protection of older people’s rights in law, a system through which to hold governments to account and a powerful advocacy tool for older people to claim their rights,”

“It would help bring about a shift away from the stigmatising and dehumanising ageist attitudes that currently dominate the way older people are seen and treated, moving instead towards recognition of older people as active rights holders.”


The creation of a new convention for older people would help embed some existing good practice and ensure, especially in the area of social care, equal treatment for older citizens, not least by demanding adequate financial provision for that group of the population.


I am delighted that Scottish Care has over the last year continued our work of putting the human rights of older people in Scotland at the centre of our care and support. We have launched two conventions and have a dedicated human rights project. See


The time has come for us in Scotland to join the campaign to create a framework of rights which recognises the distinctive discriminatory experience, both at societal and personal levels, which all too many older citizens endure and experience.


This coming Saturday the 1st October is the UN International Day of Older Persons and the theme is “Take a stand against ageism”. I hope you can spread the message and join any activities that might be happening near you.



Dr Donald Macaskill  

Scottish Care

Parkinson’s 2016 – Your Life, Your Services Survey



Your answers can help improve care and quality of life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.

In 2015 Parkinson’s UK carried out the Your Life, Your Services Survey to build a picture of the state of Parkinson’s health and social care services and to better understand the needs of individuals affected by Parkinson’s across the UK.

The survey is being carried out again this year to enable Parkinson’s UK to compare results and keep on focusing on the areas for improvement.

The organisation are keen to know if people affected by Parkinson’s are getting the right health and support services in order to improve services where needed cross the country.

Parkinson’s UK are keen to hear from as many people as possible the complete the Parkinson’s 2016 – Your Life, Your Services Survey about different aspects of life with Parkinson’s.

The questions are directed at people who have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s themselves. But feel free to ask someone to help you complete the survey if you wish to.
Completing all parts of the survey can help make sure everyone gets the right services and support.

Your responses are confidential and will only be used anonymously by Parkinson’s UK to present an overall picture of services.

Please complete the survey by Friday 28 October 2016. The survey should take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete.

If you have any questions about this survey, please email [email protected]


Scottish Care responds to Mental Health Strategy consultation

The Scottish Government recently consulted on their proposed framework and priorities to transform mental health in Scotland.

The new Mental Health Strategy will be published in late 2016. It follows a four-year strategy that ran from 2012 to 2015. The new Strategy will cover a 10 year period.

The proposals can be accessed here.

Views were sought on:

  1. Scottish Government priorities for transforming mental health in Scotland;
  2. The early actions proposed to take to deliver this transformation; and
  3. How success should be measured in 10 years.

In our response, Scottish Care emphasised the unmet mental health needs of individuals supported in social care, the difficulties experienced in transitions between services and the mental health needs of the social care workforce, both in terms of training and support and their own mental health.

To view Scottish Care’s response, click here.

Statement on Scottish Living Wage

As a result of growing concern from Care at Home and Housing Support providers Scottish Care has issued the following Press Statement.


The introduction of the Scottish Living Wage to staff working in homecare services for the elderly is in danger of not being achieved in a sustainable manner by October 1 or thereafter.

Details of the crisis in the sector have been revealed by Scottish Care, the representative body for the country’s independent social care services.

Chief Executive Dr Donald Macaskill has revealed that crucial talks with local health and social care partnerships over the allocation of funding to meet SLW commitments have run into major difficulties.

He said that of the 28 local authority areas where his members currently provide important care services, 13 have either not tabled an offer to providers or had made an offer which was substantially unsustainable.

A further 8 tabled offers which needed further work to ensure services can remain viable, and only 7 had worked with providers to reach mutually acceptable funding agreements.

Dr Macaskill said this inability to recognise the value of the care sector raises huge concerns for providers, their staff and the individuals and families they support.

He continued: “We are pleased that in some parts of Scotland there has been positive partnership work which will enable the payment of the Scottish Living Wage to workers from the 1st October. However, in a significant number of areas there has been either no offer made or one which will make businesses, whether charities or private providers, unsustainable. We are particularly concerned ton the impact of small, often family run businesses, which do not have reserves to draw on to make up the gap between what they are being offered and the cost of paying staff the SLW.

We have less than two weeks to go to achieve this real step forward for the people who do the hard, dedicated work of care in Scotland. I am calling on our partners in the Integrated Joint Boards and local authorities to get around the table, to work with us, so that we can still make this work by the 1st October.

He added, “I have this weekend informed our membership that they should not accept any offer that risks putting them out of business. Were they to accept some of the rate on offer in effect what would happen would be that they would within weeks be out of business resulting in thousands of workers losing their jobs and countless numbers of our older citizens having their care and support badly affected. We cannot allow that to happen. We have to pay reasonable, fair and a right rate for the care and support of our citizens. We cannot get care on the cheap.”

It is a matter of deep concern for providers that achieving the rightful payment of the SLW to their staff risks eroding other Fair Work practices because of a lack of engagement with local providers by some local authorities.

“In addition, providers in some areas will have to eat into budgets for training, learning and development at a time when it is essential to grow the skills base and capacity of the workforce to meet the changing and complex needs of the people they support.”

Dr Macaskill stressed the need to develop a national funding model for homecare services to address the inequity of funding between independent care services on behalf of the public sector, and those operated by public bodies directly.

Dr Macaskill added:

“Scottish Care is extremely disappointed at the lack of transparent partnership working in some partnership areas.

“As a result, Scottish Care does not believe that the intention of this policy, namely to advance the status of frontline care workers and to improve the reward and recognition of a critical workforce, is currently likely to be achieved.

“We remain committed to ensuring the SLW is implemented, recognising as we do that it could have a positive impact on the sector’s ability to attract and retain a committed workforce with the right values and skills to meet the increasing demands on care services.

“But there needs to be recognition that extra funding is needed to achieve this. Local Partnerships tell us they are struggling to pay enough from what they have been given. If this is the case then we are calling on Scottish Government to support their own policy with additional resource where necessary.

‘If we are going to build a workforce which today and tomorrow will be skilled and equipped to support our citizens in their own homes, then we need to reward them with equitable baseline pay, terms and conditions. That requires Partnerships to work with us to achieve the Scottish Living Wage.”

Scottish Care Consultation on the Scottish Government Response to the Introduction of the UK Apprenticeship Levy


Consultation on the Scottish Government Response to the Introduction of the UK Apprenticeship Levy – August 2016


If you would like to download this Consultation you can do so here:


In July 2015 the UK Government announced its plans to introduce a UK wide Apprenticeship Levy from April 2017. Employers will pay 0.5% of their annual pay bill in excess of £3m through the PAYE system. Those with an annual paybill of £3m or less will be exempt. The Levy will apply to employers in the public, private and third sectors.


This consultation sought views on options for the use of Apprenticeship Levy funding being transferred to the Scottish Government.


For more information about the consultation, see


  • Should the Government’s commitment to 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships starts a year by 2020 a) be maintained or b) be increased?

Before any commitment to increasing Modern Apprenticeship starts is considered, Scottish Care believes an analysis of current placement practice should be undertaken and consideration be given to what support may need to be in place to facilitate the most effective use of existing Apprenticeship starts and any future placements.  It would be important to ascertain where Modern Apprenticeship placements are required, and what infrastructure needs to be in place to accommodate these placements.

The social care sector is experiencing significant recruitment and retention challenges, and the nature (or perceived nature) of the work means it isn’t seen as an attractive career path for many young people.  However, careful consideration would need to be given to how Modern Apprenticeships could support the sector and how in turn, the sector can support more people into employment.  For instance, the Care at Home sector in particular would likely need investment in place to create a foundation for effective implementation.  The nature of this would not necessarily be known without an analysis of existing Apprenticeship practice, barriers and required infrastructure and without direct engagement with employers in this sector.

Therefore more thought needs to be given to how the current commitment can be meaningfully met, before increases are considered.

Additionally, consideration needs to be given to what pathways are available in different sectors after an individual completes an Apprenticeship.

  • Should Apprenticeship Levy funding support growth in the number of Graduate Level Apprenticeships in Scotland?

Any initiative to promote careers in care through the use of Apprenticeships would need to be carefully thought through with providers, regulatory bodies and higher education facilities.

Graduate Level Apprenticeships in particular need to be very carefully considered.  In nursing for example, we have seen a move away from college based learning to degree qualifications with specialisms.   We would therefore be interested as to what effect a Graduate Level Apprenticeship would have on the perception of particular roles in the care sector, either positively or negatively, or whether it would encourage more people to enter the sector.

There may be an opportunity for Graduate Level Apprenticeships to be used to develop advanced skills for particular roles.  As the social care sector increasingly supports individuals with complex needs, and there is closer alignment of job roles from health and social care,  there is a need to ensure we have the right skill mix and number of appropriately skilled people working in an integrated health and social care setting to deliver the care required.  This is likely to mean a degree of upskilling, which these Apprenticeships may be able to support.

However, if these are work based learning opportunities for existing employees, consideration must be given to how employers are supported financially to enable these Apprenticeships to be undertaken in a sector already experiencing sustainability issues in relation to workforce costs and where any releases from work for learning would need to be backfilled by another employee.

  • Should Apprenticeship Levy funding be used to establish a flexible skills fund to support wider workforce development?

Scottish Care believes there would be real value in the establishment of a flexible skills fund.  A flexible skills fund would be compatible with the changing nature of the social care sector, given the implementation of Health & Social Care Integration and how this has the potential to create new job roles with different skill requirements.  What this might look like in practice is largely unknown at present, so a flexible fund that could support workforce development across the health and social care sector would be beneficial.

What’s more, the social care sector has an ageing workforce.  If the monies could be available for use for all ages of employees, social care services could benefit more.  Older, experienced people bring a great deal of value and experience to this sector, so an opportunity to support workforce development outwith an Apprenticeship programme targeted at younger people would be welcome.

Consideration should also be given to how the Apprenticeship programme could support job redesign.

Flexibility in the use of the fund would be critical to its success, providing opportunities to target different workforce development needs in different sectors.


  • Should Apprenticeship Levy funding be used to support the expansion of Foundation Apprenticeships?

Whilst potentially very useful, for social care this requires a wider joined up approach between employers, regulatory bodies and education services in relation to how we educate and inform young people about potential career options.  It is important to encourage more young people to consider a career in care and to articulate the positive opportunities such a career offers.

However, it is important that those who undertake Apprenticeships in care do so with an informed expectation of what this entails and that they have the right values.  After all, social care services often support the most vulnerable people in society so must be about more than providing work experience.  There are also additional factors such as maturity and responsibility levels, PVG requirements and practicality issues (for instance Care at Home Foundation Apprenticeships would potentially be very difficult for care at home providers because care drivers are often stipulated as a requirement), which raise particular challenges in the care sector.

However this opportunity may be shaped positively through the Apprenticeship Levy with the right engagement and planning.


  • Should Apprenticeship Levy funding be used to help unemployed people move into employment, and to help meet the workforce needs of employers?

Again, this would require analysis of what employers’ needs are in order that they can be matched effectively with those seeking employment.  Significant engagement with different sectors would be required in order to understand and therefore plan this effectively. The care sector experiences particular challenges with retaining employees in the first weeks and months of employment, with significant wasted resource in relation to money, training and time as a result.  Therefore the Scottish Government would need to work with the sector to understand why this is and how to reduce this through effective employment support services.



  • Are there any additional suggestions on how Apprenticeship Levy funding might be used?

It is important to note the concerns from social care providers in relation to the Apprenticeship Levy, particularly in the current climate.

The sector is experiencing severe recruitment challenges in Care Homes and Care at Home services and is going through significant reform processes in relation to the ways these services are commissioned, funded and delivered, as well as how they support their workforce. Whilst the Levy will only apply to a proportion of employers, additional financial burdens on providers are likely to prove counterproductive and de-stabilising.  The Levy would have to be factored into the new cost of care calculations (currently underway) for both Care Homes and Care at Home.

The true cost of creating an Apprenticeship model has to be factored in.  The real cost sits behind pay given to apprentices.  Considerable outlay is required in creating the support mechanism for the individual to learn.  This outlay relates to support for day release for study (where positions may need to be backfilled) but also one-to-one guidance, support and supervision.  It is important to note that in the care sector, even those at Apprenticeship level are likely to be faced with significant responsibility and challenging situations, so support and supervision is absolutely crucial in a way that it may not be in some other sectors.  Mentoring would be required, which brings another duty to an already overburdened workforce.  Those providing this supportive role should be rewarded, but this has cost implications and would especially be difficult for smaller providers and care at home services where lone working practices are often in place.

Apprenticeships must also factor in the risks for an employer, especially small businesses for whom managing apprenticeship programmes can be challenging.  Appropriate support and infrastructure must therefore be understood and be in place.  Otherwise we risk the potential benefits of Apprenticeship placements, both for individuals and employers, not reaching particular sectors.

Expectation in relation to the scope and potential of the Levy must also be factored in, particularly in the care sector where clearly defined, progressive career structures can be challenging. For instance, will the Apprenticeship Levy support individuals to develop additional skills such as clinical or managerial skills?  Or, can Apprenticeship opportunities be redesigned to offer more creative solutions where there are challenges in recruiting and retaining staff?  These questions and others relating to scope and potential can only be sufficiently answered through further meaningful engagement with employers in the care sector, in order that the Scottish Government can fully understand what the Apprenticeship Levy can or cannot achieve in this sector.

Scottish Care feels that the Levy should be used to assist the workforce in identified areas of shortage across all age groups, but it must be recognised that support for Apprentices will have to be offered or factored in for all businesses.  Otherwise small social services providers, who make up a very significant part of this important sector, will not see any benefits of the Levy.


In summary, Scottish Care believes use of the Apprenticeship Levy can offer some benefits to individuals and employers in the social care sector, and are supportive of means of encouraging more people to join and remain in the sector.   However, to ensure the Levy is implemented effectively at an already seriously challenging time for many employers in relation to workforce costs and viability, the Scottish Government needs to ensure it has engaged fully with employers in different sectors, particularly social care, to understand what support and infrastructure needs to be in place.







Palliative and end of life care workforce survey NES SSSC

Palliative and end of life care workforce survey NES SSSC 

Dear colleagues

As part of the Strategic Framework for Action for Palliative and End of Life Care, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) were asked to develop an education and development framework.

With the integration of health and social care we have a shared commitment to the learning and development of the diverse workforce across the public, third and independent sector. This survey is one part of a learning needs assessment across the workforce. We are also gathering valuable information through focus groups and staff engagement about existing skills and knowledge in the workforce, the extent and value of current learning opportunities and the opportunities for collaborative working and learning.

We would be grateful if you could disseminate this survey widely across your organisation and networks to all workers in health and social care, including specialist and generalist, clinical and non-clinical, who may be involved or come in contact with people with palliative care needs, their families and carers.

The survey can be accessed by following this link

Alternative ways to access the survey are provided in the attached poster which can be displayed on staff notice boards, newsletters and in your staff communications.

This survey will be open until the 19th October 2016.

Thank you for your support.

Katharine Ross

National Workforce Development Lead

[email protected]

Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 – how will this affect your way of working?

Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 – how will this affect your way of working?

The Scottish Government want to hear your views.


28 September 2016 – 10:00 – 15:30

Trades Hall Of Glasgow, 85 Glassford St, Glasgow, G1 1UH


The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 9 March 2016 and will commence on 1 April 2018.  Carers, key stakeholders and national organisations are now contributing their knowledge and experience to help shape the Act’s implementation, as they did the Act’s content, and the Scottish Government want to hear the views of front line practitioners who are working to support carers and the people they care for in shaping implementation of the Act.


At this interactive session you will hear more about the Carers(Scotland) Act 2016 and how it might operate. It will provide you with the opportunity to ask questions and clarify your understanding about provisions in the Carers Act 2016, hear more about implementation and approach to commencement, regulations and guidance; and participate in the development of Act regulations and guidance and other work streams, through facilitated discussion groups on specific topics.


To register, please follow this link:


We are now just a month away from the implementation of the Living Wage for frontline care staff in care at home and housing support services.

This general meeting will consider the progress or lack of progress in some parts of Scotland in achieving the outcomes we all desire.

It will be an opportunity to reflect on what is working well and what still needs to be done.

All CAH and HS members are requested, if possible, to attend. The event will take place at the Renfield Centre, Glasgow at 1.00 on the 2nd September.

Please confirm your willingness and ability to attend to [email protected]