New Chair of Scottish Care announced

For the last eight years Iain Buchan has acted as Chair of Scottish Care. Iain stood down at the AGM on the 13th June. Scottish Care owes a huge debt of gratitude to Iain for his firm yet gentle style which has brought the organisation through a considerable period of change. Under him the reach and influence of Scottish Care has grown and the importance of the voice of providers in social care has been enhanced.

The Executive is delighted to announce the appointment of Mary Preston as the new Chair of Scottish Care.


Mary has been an active member of Scottish Care since joining the Meallmore Group in 2011. She has extensive care industry knowledge and detailed understanding of the required outcomes for service users gained through her nursing background, combined with extensive strategic, quality and operational management experience over many years in both care homes and care at home services.

Scottish Care Chief Executive, Dr Donald Macaskill said:

“I want to record my personal appreciation for the work, energy and commitment shown by Iain Buchan over many years as the Chair of Scottish Care.

“I am also delighted to be able to welcome Mary Preston as our new Chair. Mary brings immense experience and skill to this role and I am sure under her guidance Scottish Care will continue to go from strength to strength. We are very grateful not only to Mary but to all our Directors who volunteer their time and skills so freely.”

Rights Made Real in Care Homes: find out more about this exciting project

Scottish Care is thrilled to introduce this innovative human rights project, 'Rights Made Real in Care Homes', which has been kindly funded by Life Changes Trust, working in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland and care home providers throughout Scotland.

Working in seven care home groups, the aim is to make human rights a reality for those living with dementia in a care home.

Through our new dedicated web pages, we will be posting human rights reflections and a blog on a bi-monthly basis from our Policy and Human Rights Project worker, Verity Monaghan.  We will also share useful human rights information and resources to help you to make rights real in your own work.

We look forward to keeping you up to date on their journey and engaging with you around how we can spread and share the human rights learning to more care services.

You can also follow the care homes' journey on Twitter: @rightsrealscot 

Let’s talk human rights.

A new blog from our CEO for World Elder Abuse Day

Open our eyes and ears…

Jean to all intents and purposes was a confident, articulate and outgoing individual. She put a good face to the world with a close group of friends whom she had known for years and who all still kept in touch with each other even if less frequently. Jean was in her late 80s and lived a quiet suburban life with her son and daughter-in-law. As her health declined over the years and particularly following a stroke she needed more and more support to manage the ordinariness of living. But she got there and often with a humour beyond her conviction and a positivity which was the object of much admiring comment. She went out as much as she could, attending a local lunch club for older people and was also consistent in her attendance at her local church.

That was the Jean that the outside world saw.

The real Jean was a woman whose life had been turned upside down since her son lost his job and came to stay with his mother, bringing along with him his wife who Jean had never really seen eye to eye with. After a brief honeymoon where everyone danced on the eggshells of shared living, being polite and sensitive to accommodating the rhythms and routines of others, things began to get first moody and then heated and angry. It started with small verbal barbs and putdowns and soon escalated into loud arguments and verbal challenges; open and subtle domination on the part of her son and snide, belittling asides from her daughter-in-law.

Jean began to retreat into her own world, using silence as a weapon to create absence in her own home. She watched her words so much that she stopped conversing and just watched the television when she was at home. The domination reached a new level when her son, on the pretext that he thought Jean was developing dementia, persuaded her to allow him to be her Power of Attorney, and then took charge of her pension card. Jean was given pocket money whilst her son’s taste in fine wine developed literally at her expense.

Jean is the victim of abuse and harm. She is hidden, in part by her own sense of shame and embarrassment, in part by the inability of people around her to think the unthinkable and to see the signs of abuse.

Today (Sat 16thJune)  is the United Nations World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – a day when we reflect on the harm which countless millions of older people experience across the world.

Scotland has some fantastic legislation which protects and supports the victims of harm and abuse. But of course, legislation is not what ultimately safeguards individuals who for whatever reason might be vulnerable. What protects is a community which recognises the small signs that things might not be right.

It is relatively easy to recognise the victims of physical harm, albeit that bruises and marks are often hidden. It is much harder to recognise the countless older women and men who are the victims of sexual abuse, psychological and financial harm or are the objects of hatred. But sadly they live in every community of Scotland. They live in homes with threadbare carpets and lace curtains, they live in streets of Georgian townhouses and Victorian tenements , behind quaint scenic village doors and in newly built housing estates.

Abuse knows every village and town, every social standing and occupational group, every ethnic heritage and every sexual identity.

Today look around you. Listen for the dropped remark and quiet word. Hear the fear in a trembling voice or a shed tear. Spot the furtive anxiety and desire to be invisible and small.

Don’t dismiss your intuitive concerns but take a moment to think about whether you need to ask, to speak, to do. Jean and countless like her depend on our eyes, our voices and our actions. Thankfully in Jean’s case her home care worker spotted the signs and now Jean is free.

Dr Donald Macaskill



Celebrating John’s Campaign as part of Carers Week

Caregivers across Edinburgh came together on Wednesday 12 June to celebrate Johns Campaign and highlight the work undertaken over the last year.

John’s Campaign was founded in November 2014 by writers Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones and endorsed by the NHS in 2016. It was established in memory of Nicci’s father John Gerrard who had Alzheimer’s. After being hospitalised with leg ulcers, caregiver access was restricted which left John and his carers distressed and he sadly passed away while in hospital.

John’s Campaign recognises the important role of those family members who care for people who are living with dementia. Behind its simple statement of purpose lies the belief that carers should not just be allowed but should be welcomed, and that a collaboration between the person living with dementia and all connected with them is crucial to their health and their well-being.

Currently within Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, 65 care homes (statutory, independent and voluntary) pan Edinburgh promote and support Johns Campaign.

The pledge made by all Edinburgh care homes states:

‘Care homes in Edinburgh welcome and support carers of people living with dementia, or other life limiting conditions. We understand that as a carer your knowledge and expertise can make a huge difference to how people become comfortable and contented within our care homes. If you wish we would encourage you to be involved in aspects of planning and delivering effective person centred care for the person as you know them best’.


One care home highlights a small but significant change in line with Johns Campaign:

‘We have had some excellent interactions with family members. One entire family moved in for the week leading up to a Residents death – we gave them a lounge ( which was conveniently next to their mothers room) and they stayed here with us using staff showers, being fed by the kitchen and spending very special time together.  Another gentleman comes to see his wife and have his meals with her. Another visitor comes every Wednesday to have breakfast with his friend. Our door is never closed and visitors know they can come and see their loved one/ friends whenever they would like to.’


Scottish Care, as the representative body for independent sector social care services, supports and encourages the adoption of the Johns Campaign.

This carers’ week we want people to know that we will support and encourage them if they would like to be involved in providing care. The role and experience of families, friends, and carers have supporting and comforting people through any illness, but critically dementia, is absolutely invaluable.

Home Care Conference Resources

Scottish Care’s 13th Annual Care at Home & Housing Support Conference, Exhibition and Awards took place on Friday 17th May 2019 at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow.

Over 200 day delegates attended the conference including care providers, local authority, NHS, Scottish Government and regulatory colleagues.  We also welcomed 30 sector suppliers and partners who created a vibrant exhibition space at the conference.

The title of this year’s conference was ‘Redressing the balance: the potential of home care” and was kindly sponsored by Quality Compliance systems.

The conference aimed to address the issues impacting on Scottish Care members and the wider care sector. Delegates heard challenging, inspiring and thought-provoking contributions relating to the following crucial topics:

  • How do we shift the balance from time and task to a human rights-based approach to commissioning?
  • How do we push towards fairer funding for providers and the workforce?
  • How do we gain recognition for the important role of home care within an integrated context?
  • How do we embrace technology without compromising on compassion?
  • What learning can we revisit to really achieve positive change?

We are extremely grateful to all conference contributors and are delighted to be able to share slides from our esteemed speakers and insight session leaders.

If you would like any more information about the event or future Scottish Care Conferences, please email [email protected]


Keynote speakers:

Professor Peter Gore - ADL Smartcare & Newcastle Institute for Ageing

Dr Donald Macaskill - Scottish Care CEO

Insight sessions:

Resources launched at conference:

Herbert Protocol launched in Edinburgh

Launch of the Herbert Protocol in Edinburgh

The Herbert Protocol is an information gathering tool to assist the police to find a person living with dementia who has been reported missing as quickly as possible.

The Herbert Protocol was launched in Edinburgh on 4 June and we are encouraging people to find out more about the Herbert Protocol and pass the information on to anyone that it may be helpful for.

Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, Police Scotland, Scottish Care and Alzheimer Scotland have been working in partnership to increase awareness and promote use of the Herbert Protocol in Edinburgh.

The Herbert Protocol is a nationally recognised scheme supported and endorsed by Police Scotland.  The initiative was first developed by Norfolk Police. It is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia. George Herbert died whilst ‘missing’, trying to find his childhood home.


Who is it for?

The Protocol can be used for anyone who has a dementia diagnosis and may be at risk of going missing. People living with dementia often have loss of short term memory but can easily recall memories from decades earlier. Sometimes those who are reported missing are attempting to make their way to a place of previous significance to them.


What is it and how does it work?

The Herbert Protocol is an information gathering tool that encourages carers and families to record vital information on a form. This can be handed to police in the event of someone going missing.

It helps police to quickly access important information, avoiding unnecessary delays in gathering information at a time of crisis. The form records vital information such as where the person grew up, favourite places, former or current hobbies, GP contact details, medication, daily routine, a picture of the person with consent to share this on social media should it be required.

Once complete, the form can be retained by carers, or placed within the home or care setting in a safe but prominent position, so the information is easily available to police when required.


The Herbert Protocol form can be found on the Police Scotland Edinburgh webpage along with other information

Please pass on information on the Herbert Protocol to anyone it may be of use to. This can include colleagues, friends and family affected by dementia in Edinburgh. The completed form can be stored electronically as well as in paper form, but it is important that the family and friends of the person with dementia are the ones who keep the form.


If you require a large quantity of printed forms or wish to arrange for someone to come a speak to staff about this initiative, please contact Rachel Howe on [email protected] to arrange.  You can also send her any questions you may have.


SSSC continuous learning consultation

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) has launched a consultation about proposed changes to the way SSSC registered workers record and submit their post registration training and learning (PRTL).

The consultation is open until 21 July 2019 and is particularly looking for responses from SSSC registered workers and supervisors/managers.

To find out more about the consultation, click this link:

New Care Inspectorate surveys for care homes

The Care Inspectorate have developed new care surveys for care homes for older people that link to the new quality framework for inspecting care homes for older people.

These new care surveys have a stronger emphasis on hearing about people’s experiences and outcomes.

These new surveys replace the old care standards questionnaires. They have fewer questions and include packs of sentiment and response cards to support people to express their views more easily and simply, if they need to.

The Care Inspectorate have also produced guidance on how services can support people to give their views using the new surveys and card packs. If you have already received the older style care standards questionnaire, please continue to use them.

You will receive the new surveys and card packs in much the same way you used to receive care standards questionnaires.

Click here to find out more, see the new materials and get guidance on how you can use them.

Dementia Inclusive Choirs Network: have your say on what’s needed

Luminate has been awarded funding by the Life Changes Trust and the Baring Foundation to set up a dementia inclusive choirs network for the whole of Scotland.  Supported by partners Age Scotland, Scottish Care and Making Music, the nation-wide network aims to ensure that people living with dementia and their carers have the opportunity to sing in a choir in their local area.

We need your help to make sure that our plans for the new dementia inclusive choirs network meet the needs of choirs across Scotland, and the needs and wishes of people living with dementia and their carers.

We would therefore be most grateful if you could complete this short survey:

There is the option to provide a paper copy of the survey if this is preferred.  You can request this by phoning the Luminate office on 0131 668 8066.

The closing date for the survey is Monday 17th June at midday.

To find out more about the Dementia Inclusive Choirs Network, visit: