Congratulations Ranald Mair OBE

Scottish Care is delighted to join with the countless others who today have congratulated our former Chief Executive Officer, Ranald Mair on being awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours list.

This recognition of decades of work in social work and social care speaks volumes of the dedication, commitment and principles which Ranald embodies. His leadership of Scottish Care for nearly a decade has helped to put the voice of the independent sector at the heart of all debate about social care in Scotland.

His passionate desire to advance the cause of older people’s care and support has never wavered nor has his commitment to the thousands of women and men who work every day to care for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

We are therefore absolutely delighted that all his work and energy has been recognised and we extend our gratitude and thanks to Ranald.




Redesigning Sleepovers Workshop – Save the Date – 1st February 2017

The Improvement Hub (ihub), part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, has been asked by COSLA to facilitate a session to help Health and Social Care Partnerships (H&SCPs); as a collective group, to generate ideas around alternatives to sleepovers.

 The free workshop will be a whole day event held on Wednesday 1st of February 2017 at COSLA Building Verity House, 19 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh EH12 5BH.

Event flyer

Redesigning Sleepovers:

Sleepovers are a form of overnight support where the worker is sleeping/resting at their place of work ( the supported person’s home) but must be available to respond to the person’s needs during their shift.

 Workshop aim:

This is an opportunity for participants to contribute to the development and redesign of the current approach to sleepovers, whilst maintaining safe, quality overnight support for the people who need it and making best use of the funding available.

Who should attend?

The event is open to Health & Social Care Partnership staff; social care providers and relevant intermediaries. It will be of most relevance to staff with experience of commissioning and delivering sleepovers and other forms of overnight support.

Please disseminate this as widely as possible within your organisation with these groups of staff and others who you feel it is of relevance to.

The learning from the event will be disseminated and shared with attendees, other partners and across H&SCPs.

To find out more and reserve your place:

Places are limited so please respond no later than the 20th of January to reserve your place.

Contact:  [email protected]


Report on Scottish Care National Care Home Conference 2016

“Care Homes at the Heart”

Report on Scottish Care National Care Home Conference 2016

Dr Donald Macaskill
CEO of Scottish Care, Dr Donald Macaskill

Friday 18th November saw Scottish Care’s Annual Care Home Conference take place at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow, attracting a record 480 delegates and over 80 exhibitors.

The theme for this year’s Conference was “Care Homes at the Heart”, with speakers exploring the place of care homes at the heart of their communities.

The Care Home Conference is the biggest and best attended event of its kind in Scotland, attracting a wide range of stakeholders including independent care sector organisations, Scottish Government, health and social care partnerships, regulatory bodies and private businesses.

You can listen to audio from Conference this year on our Soundcloud app below.


Conference began with a warm welcome from morning Chair Lord Sutherland, highlighting the sincere dedication and professionalism of those who work in the sector.

We then had a welcome from Conference Sponsor the Clydesdale Bank, represented by Derek Breingan, the head of Health and Social Care Sector UK. Mr Breingan told Conference:

“The care sector is incredibly important to the Scottish economy and plays a valuable role in communities across the country. Despite the challenges, care providers are investing, innovating and enhancing the services they provide to continue delivering excellent levels of care. Clydesdale Bank is delighted to be partnering with Scottish Care.”


Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison
Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison


The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing & Sport Shona Robison addressed delegates, praising dedicated front line nursing staff as well as innovative practices and high quality care taking place across the sector in Scotland.

The Cabinet Secretary praised Scottish Care for the Voices from the Front Line Nursing Report and highlighted that she was committed to listening to the voices and views of the front line workforce.

Scottish Care CEO Dr Donald Macaskill officially launched the Voices from the Front Line Nursing Report along with front line nurse Nancyanne Smith. The report is based on interviews with 28 nurses working in the independent sector, and shares their joys, frustrations and aspirations in their roles through their own voices.  It sets out 10 recommendations which Scottish Care hopes to progress in partnership with other organisations.


Nancyanne Smith & Dr Donald Macaskill launch Nursing from the Front Line Report
Nancyanne Smith & Dr Donald Macaskill launch Nursing from the Front Line Report


Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie gave an impassioned and moving speech about care homes at the heart of Primary Care, the need to work together in the sector and the need to ensure we are open to working together as well as moving forwards as a sector together. Sir Lewis Ritchie highlighted the “importance of good leadership and innovation within the social care sector”.

Christina West, Chief Officer of the Argyll & Bute Health and Social Care Partnership spoke about the need to contribute towards making high level integrated care a reality in addition to the importance of developing relationships in the sector based on shared ambition, values and culture.

You can listen to more audio from Conference this year on our Soundcloud app below.


Brand new for Conference were the Insight Sessions, a series of workshops which gave delegates the opportunity to attend a session of their choice. Insight Sessions were delivered by organisations including Alzheimer Scotland, Luminate which looked at the use of arts in care and NHS Education for Scotland looking at Infection Prevention. Scottish Care delivered two of the insight sessions, with Katharine Ross and Becca Gatherum leading the Workforce Matters session and Margaret McKeith delivering the Partners for Integration session.

Conference was treated to a public premiere and world first public viewing of a film created by the BAFTA award winning Scottish documentary maker, Duncan Cowles. ‘Directed by North Merchiston’ is series of five short films commissioned by Scottish Care which were made with residents at North Merchiston Care Home.   You can watch previews of Duncan’s films at

Dr Martin Wilson from Raigmore Hospital then gave a moving and engaging presentation on care homes at the heart of Palliative Care. Dr Wilson talked about assets in delivering palliative care as well as changing attitudes and perceptions through education about the need to prepare for requiring palliative care.


Rami Okasha and Kevin Mitchell of the Care Inspectorate
Rami Okasha and Kevin Mitchell of the Care Inspectorate


An interview with Rami Okasha and Kevin Mitchell from the Care Inspectorate saw Scottish Care’s Carlyn Miller lead with a series of questions to the panel regarding care homes at the heart of Human Rights based regulation in addition to the new National Care Standards.

Sally Loudon, Chief Executive of COSLA gave a presentation titled Care Homes at the Heart of Reform in which she told delegates that “we are all at a time of transformation and change” whilst also taking the opportunity to praise the long standing relationship between COSLA and Scottish Care.

Award winning poet Ken Cockburn presented an original poem to Conference entitled ‘Shared Stakes’ which he had written inspired by events of the day, taking inspiration from the themes, speakers and delegates of the day. You can read Ken’s poem here.

Final comments were given by Dr Donald Macaskill, who told Conference: “Sometimes change is not always welcome and reform is seen as uncomfortable but we have a real opportunity to shape the way we reform for the people who matter the most, which is not only those who provide services but those who use services.”

Ending on a note of togetherness and collaboration Dr Macaskill praised Conference by saying: “Today has been creative, it’s been about change and it’s been about challenge, that we all face together and will endure together. Thank you to everyone who has facilitated and led our insight sessions today, thank you to our delegates and exhibitors, thank you Conference.”


Links to Conference slides below:

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Reminder: January 10th – National Care Standards Consultation Event for Scottish Care members

National Care Standards Consultation Event for Scottish Care members

January 10, 2017 @ 10:30 am – 1:00 pm

Venue: Renfield St Stephens Centre, 260 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JP


Please register your interest if you would like to attend this upcoming event which will provide an interactive opportunity to hear about the new National Care Standards from the Care Inspectorate, and to share your views on their development.   Your comments will be used to inform Scottish Care’s response to this important consultation, which will shape what the final Care Standards look like when they are launched in 2017.

Henry Mathias from the Care Inspectorate will be in attendance to give a run-through of the Standards and there will be an opportunity to discuss the consultation on the day with Scottish Care.


If you are interested in this event or to book places, visit the Scottish Care website or contact [email protected]

Reminder to take part in the Scottish Care Palliative Care Survey

Palliative Care Research


Over Winter 2016, Scottish Care is undertaking a significant piece of research around palliative and end of life care.   Through this, we will seek to:

•    Gain an understanding of the level and range of palliative and end of life care support being delivered throughout the independent care sector, and any challenges associated with this delivery

•    Identify the current skills, plus the training needs, of the front line care workforce in the independent sector
•    Explore the emotional, psychological and spiritual impact on front line staff of delivering palliative and end of life care
•    Identify any recommendations which would better support palliative and end of life care delivery within an integrated workforce environment
•    Identify innovative and best practice around palliative and end of life care provision within the independent sector


This research will be undertaken in four ways:

•    Focus groups with care home and care at home staff in four different geographical locations
•    A survey for managers and organisations exploring approaches to palliative
and end of life care
•    A collation of information around current projects, partnerships and initiatives
•    An invitation for those working in palliative and end of life to make
“This Speaks to Me” submissions (see sheet below)


Survey for managers and organisations: 
We are requesting that those with managerial responsibility within organisations
(owners, managers and supervisors) undertake a short survey issued by Scottish Care. This survey focuses on areas around palliative and end of life care such as:

•    Resourcing & commissioning
•    Training
•    Challenges & obstacles
•    Staff support
•    Organisational needs


To complete the survey, please go to: 
For more information on any aspect of this research, please contact: [email protected]                             [email protected]



New Scottish Social Services Awards 2017

The new Scottish Social Services Awards are being launched to recognise and celebrate the work of the social services sector in Scotland and those that work in it.

It is run by the Social Work Services Strategic Forum, which launched a new shared vision and strategy for social services 2015-2020. The awards aim to highlight best practice and those individuals who are helping make a difference to the lives of the people they help and support.

Shortlisted entrants will be required to create a 1-2 minute promotional film of their story using smart phones.  Help and support will be provided.

There will be ten award categories, reflecting the four work stands of the social services strategy. They are new, distinctive and aim to highlight work which creates a positive impact on the lives of others. You can enter as an individual, a team or an organisation, or you can nominate others.

The work strands and the categories are:

Supporting the workforce

  • Living the codes: to recognise success in bringing the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) codes of practice to life
  • Bright spark: for an individual who is new to social services but is already making a real difference to someone’s life
  • An enlightened approach: to recognise the importance of learning and development within the workforce

Understanding service quality and performance

  • Silo buster: to recognise joined up thinking, working and delivering during a time of integration and change
  • The courage to take a risk: for those who have taken a risk and stood up to make change with a positive outcome

Improving use of evidence

  • Making research real: to highlight good use of research in social services practice to challenge current thinking and explore new options
  • Thought leadership: for those who have influenced thinking in a team, organisation or more widely by learning, discussing or trying new things

Promoting public understanding

  • The untold story: to celebrate the unsung hero or inspiring individual who think they are just doing their job
  • Head above the parapet: for those who have spoken up about an issue, promoting social justice and championing the rights of the vulnerable

Policy Focus * special annual award

  • Carers champion: in recognition of the Carers Act to honour those who champion the rights and interests of carers

Full details of the awards will be launched on 16 January 2017 and will be open for six weeks, so start thinking now about work you might want to enter.  Any individual, team, service or organisation across social care services can enter.

In the meantime, please register for updates at and follow @SSSawards on Twitter #sssa17.

Market study into care homes gets underway

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) would like to hear from providers as part of a market study into care and nursing homes for the elderly.

The CMA has recently launched this study to review how well the UK market for care and nursing homes works, and it wants to hear from providers about the services they offer and any challenges they face.

CEO Dr Macaskill said:

“Scottish Care welcomes the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) upcoming market study of UK care homes, including the Scottish care home sector.

 “It is important that the process of purchasing care home places, both for residents and in relation to how local authorities commission, are fair, transparent and outcomes-focused. It is therefore positive that the CMA will be exploring this.

 “It will be critical that the study has a comprehensive a picture of the care home sector and looks at the areas of interest it has identified in sufficient detail.

 “For Scotland, an exploration of the care home market must include the National Care Home Contract and its reform, the impact of health and social care integration and workforce challenges being faced by the sector such as the Scottish Living Wage and the recruitment and retention of nurses.

 “Scottish Care therefore intends to be supportive to the study through the sharing of information and through the fostering of positive dialogue between the independent care home sector and the CMA throughout the study’s duration.”

For more details of the study and how to contribute, see:

Scottish Care response to the Draft Budget Statement

Following the Draft Budget Statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance the attached letter has been received from senior officials within the Scottish Government and COSLA.

Scottish Care warmly welcomes the commitment in the Statement and in this letter to the funding of £100million to finance the Scottish Living Wage to £8.45 and the decision that there will be no expected provider contribution, as well as the acceptance of the additional on costs which employers face and the recognition of the need for funding to ensure the sustainability of the sector as a whole.

Scottish Care is committed to working with our statutory partners to ensure that the next round of implementation builds on good practice, where providers have been fully engaged, involved and consulted and where there has been a real sense of partnership to achieve positive outcomes for those who receive support.

Scottish Care has long campaigned for the true valuing and recognition of our front line care workers, who give so much to some of our most vulnerable citizens.  We acknowledge that this announcement is a significant step in achieving this aim.


Dr Donald Macaskill

Chief Executive

Scottish Care