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]

National Care Home Contract Reform : Results of Independent Sector Provider Survey July 2016

National Care Home Contract Reform : Results of Independent Sector Provider Survey July 2016


The input of providers to the Reform of the National Care Home Contract is of crucial importance, as whatever new arrangements are arrived at will underpin the commissioning, procurement, funding and delivery of publicly purchased care for the foreseeable future.

We therefore felt it was important to gather people’s views at the outset of the strengths and weaknesses of the current NCHC, and what they would most want any new framework to deliver. We will of course consult fully on the detail of what is proposed as this emerges.

The response to the survey in the time available was very gratifying, and has already allowed us to highlight to the other parties – Government, Councils, Health Boards, Care Inspectorate etc, the range of provider opinion. 


Please read the report, let us know if you think there are any key areas which have been missed, and keep involved with the process as it gathers momentum. 

We will ensure providers are kept up to date as the Reform process continues towards October and next April.


If you have any comments, feedback or questions, please contact Becca or Ranald.


Becca Gatherum

Policy & Research Manager


01292 270240

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 07584 659995



Back to the Future ; staying where we are is not an option.



Any night of the week, there are 33000 older people in Care Homes in Scotland, and  approximately 22000 of these are publicly funded. For the past 10 years these placements have been made under the National Care Home Contract.

I joined Scottish Care as CEO when the first annual settlement was being negotiated, and now as an Associate I’m working on the Reform of the Contract, to put in place the framework by which Care Home provision will be commissioned, funding levels determined and placements made for the next 10 years or longer.

Get it right and hopefully it will deliver improvement in both service quality and business viability. Get it wrong, and an already stetched and fragile sector, could be severely impaired. Whatsmore, the reform of the Care Home contract is likely to have a knock on impact on the reform of Care at Home.

But staying where we are is not an option: change has to happen. The local planning and commissioning environment has altered significantly with the advent of the new Integrated Health and Social Care Partnerships. The needs and dependency levels of residents have shifted over time.

The role of Care Homes, the services on offer, and the expectations of service users and their families have grown and developed, together with the demands of Regulation and Inspection. Partly as a response, the business models underpinning the sector have also adapted, with much tighter margins and pressure on investment. And, as if this wasn’t enough, we are going through the most challenging period in terms of the public finances for a generation.

Any new set of arrangements has to respond to all these factors, and find a way of combining the protection and efficiency of national benchmarking and negotiation with a new emphasis on local planning and flexibility. Moreover, we have to have at least the bones of this teased out and agreed by the end of the autumn. A tall order, yes, but potentially achievable, providing we have the continued support and commitment of all parties.

Watch out for updates and make sure you are fully connected to Scottish Care: The Bulletin, the Website, Branch Meetings, and of course, Yammer.

For me, retirement can wait, it’s time to power up the De Lorean and get back in there!


Ranald Mair

Associate, Scottish Care

Scottish Care Awards

The Care Home Awards have now officially been launched by Scottish Care.



Scottish Care’s Annual Care Home Awards is an opportunity to recognise the tremendous work undertaken by organisations and staff who work in residential care and nursing home services. This is a chance to highlight the skills, dedication and abilities of the many talented individuals and organisations who are dedicated to making life better for people and in supporting them achieve their fullest potential.

The Awards take place on Friday 18th November at the Hilton Hotel Glasgow following on from the Scottish Care Care Home Conference and Exhibition during the day at the same venue.

This is your chance whether as an organisation, individual or family member to tell us and others about the work you value.  We want to acknowledge what can be achieved when people work together to improve the lives of those who access care and support services in care homes.

Scottish Care CEO Dr Donald Macaskill :

“It is often the little things and the willingness of staff to go the extra mile that makes the real difference to the quality of life of residents and it is important for us to highlight how much of this goes on throughout the country.”

“The media often focus on negative publicity regarding our sector.  The Conference and Care Awards event is a major opportunity for us to showcase the positive.  I hope everyone will give it their full support and participation.”

There are thirteen categories to enter in 2016 and we can’t wait to hear about your projects and partnerships. Please make sure you have read the Awards Guidelines before entering.


You will find the Entry Form right here at


The deadline for entries is Friday 16 September 2016.


If you find it difficult to enter an online submission please contact: [email protected] for advice.

Book your table at the awards by emailing [email protected] or by phoning head office on 01292 270240


Book now for Care Home Conference 2016

View the conference programme now

Scottish Care Annual Care Home Conference 2016
In association with the Clydesdale Bank

18th November 2016
Hilton Hotel, Glasgow

“Care Homes at the Heart”

Scottish Care is a membership organisation and the representative body for independent social care services in Scotland.

The Scottish independent social care sector contributes to:
• The employment of nearly 100,000 people
• The employment of over 5,000 nurses
• The provision of 83% of care home places in Scotland

Scottish Care’s 17th Annual Care Home, Conference and Exhibition takes place on Friday 18 November 2016 at the Hilton Hotel, William St, Glasgow.

Over 450 day delegates are expected to attend the conference including care providers, local authority, Care Inspectorate, 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 title of this year’s conference is “Care Homes at the Heart”.

Book your places now at:

10% early bird discount until 2nd September 2016.

Care homes are premised on providing compassionate care and support to those who require it. For those that live there, care homes are not a care setting but people’s own homes; places filled with love, laughter and kindness.

What’s more, the integration of health and social care means the role of care homes is changing but of no less importance to the future of care provision in Scotland. They are at the centre of communities, local planning, innovative practice and the whole health and care spectrum of support, and need to be recognised as such.

The conference will reflect all of these themes and offer an opportunity to learn, share, network and challenge.

We are doing things slightly differently this year, with best practice insight sessions planned for the morning to give a more varied and participative feel to the day. Delegates will have the opportunity to select one insight session to attend on the day.

We look forward to seeing you there.

The conference hashtag is #carehome16