Leadership sessions for senior/strategic leaders in social care

Please see below for fliers from SSSC for two separate workshops for senior/strategic leaders in social care and social work.

The first is an informal two-hour Peer Support and Reflective Practice session which is designed to bring people together to reflect on, and share, their leadership experiences and learning from the past two years, thinking about how this learning can be used to support themselves and others going forward.  We are delivering eight of these sessions between now and the end of March 2022 and will limit group sizes to eight to allow for meaningful discussion.  Participants would only need to attend one session.

The second session is a more focussed Leading in a Crisis workshop where participants will be supported to consider in a bit more depth what’s needed to successfully lead with compassion during a crisis and to reflect on personal leadership capability, including strengths and areas for leadership development.  These will be three-hour sessions and they will be delivered in March 2022.  Again group sizes will be limited to eight and people would only need to attend one session.

The sessions are being delivered by Kinharvie, have been funded and commissioned by the Scottish Government, and are being supported by the SSSC.  If you’re interested in attending any of the sessions, please note interest using the email address noted in the fliers and they willl get back in touch to confirm your place and with further details.  The sessions will be delivered online via Zoom.

Staff joining social care to have fees waived

SSSC registration and PVG checks to be funded.

New staff joining the social care workforce are to have entry costs paid by the Scottish Government until the end of March.

Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) checks and Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registration will now be funded to help encourage more staff into the profession and address winter staffing pressures.

The scheme starts today and will include staff taking up direct care posts in adult social care, along with comparable roles in children’s social care services and the justice sector.

It has been introduced following discussions with COSLA and will cover local authority, private and third sectors.

Social care minister Kevin Stewart said:

“Care workers have been absolutely critical to our pandemic response, giving vulnerable people the care they need and avoiding further pressure falling on the NHS.

“This trial aims to assist easing winter pressures in this sector by removing any financial barriers that may stop people from applying for a rewarding career in care.

“There are  significant pressures in social care due to high vacancy levels and increased demand. I hope this support will encourage those considering joining this vital workforce to go ahead and do so.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners to identify all possible ways we can assist the social care sector to aid recruitment and retention within the workforce at this critical time.”

COSLA ‘This is Local Government’ Campaign – Josh’s Story

COSLA has launched a ‘This Is Local Government’ campaign which  aims to increase awareness and appreciation of the essential service provided by Councils.

This campaign kicks off with Josh Morris, who works in the South Lanarkshire Council-run David Walker Gardens care home in Rutherglen.

The 22-year-old was previously employed as a lifeguard at Strathaven Swimming Pool, before moving into the care home setting to help at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can watch Josh talk about his transition to social care here.

COSLA President, Councillor Alison Evison, said:

“Josh’s story is wonderful – in terms of his age, his former career – it shows the diversity we would love to see more of in the social care workforce and across the whole Local Government workforce.”

Employer information session – Introduction to a Career in Social Care

Employer information session: New online course from the college sector, Introduction to a Career in Social Care

24 November 2021, 3pm-4.30pm

Event sign up page: https://eu.eventscloud.com/website/6395/

This event will bring Social Care providers and Colleges together to explore the opportunities the new college sector online course Introduction to a Career in Social Care brings to the Social Care Sector in Scotland.

Social Care providers will learn more about the ways this engaging and inspirational course thoroughly prepares participants for entry to the social care workforce and understand the ways they could engage with their local college to provide information about the services they provide and vacancies they are seeking to fill.

Colleges will understand the ways they could engage with employers in their area to help course participants transition into relevant employment.

All delegates will learn about national and local employability supports and funding to improve the participant/learner experience.

Find out more about the new online course ‘Introduction to a Career in Social Care’ here.

Modern Apprenticeship Funding – City of Glasgow College

The City of Glasgow College has funding from the Development Scotland Modern Apprenticeship Fund. This is now assessable to over 25’s to provide SVQ’s.

This provides Social Care staff with the opportunity to complete their SSSC registerable qualifications at no cost to them or their employer. As well as allowing staff members the chance to upskill and go for promoted roles.  This also allows those service providers to use their training budgets on other things and is allowing smaller providers with no training budgets to access these qualifications at no cost.

Information on this Apprenticeship Funding can be found in the leaflet below.

Social Care Funded Places_A5_flyer_Nov19

The Complete Guide to Insomnia – and How You Can Manage It

The Complete Guide to Insomnia – and How You Can Manage It is available on:


You can read a lot of valuable information such as:

  • An in-depth look at insomnia: what causes it, the different kinds of insomnia, and its effects on health and wellbeing.

  • Advice for managing insomnia effectively with stress management and relaxation techniques, proper diet and exercise, a good sleeping environment, CBT, and mindfulness meditation.

  • How certain medications and treatments can affect sleep, the importance of routine for good sleep hygiene, and why you should keep a sleep journal.

  • Links to other useful resources and websites to better understand and develop good sleeping habits.

Latest Covid-19 Blog from our Workforce Lead

It has been said that during times of crisis it can bring out the best and worst in us and we have seen a great deal of that in real time with COVID-19. We have witnessed the support for NHS and social care workers on Thursday evenings, the realisation of the commitment these individuals give to their work often to their own personal detriment. We have also seen the judging of others and the way our society seems to place people on a scale of worth, this has been particularly highlighted in the comparison between NHS health staff and social care workers. Not by the staff themselves, I hasten to add, but by the general public, at times the media and by companies including supermarkets who initially deemed social care staff as a lower priority (apart from Sainsburys where I will be shopping from now on).  There has also been at times the feeling that social care is not as deserving of the same level of support and compassionate treatment their health counterparts have received.  This historical lack of value and respect has a profound impact on the social care sector and workforce and can be evidenced in the high level of staff absence that has been generally seen within the sector and which has been rising over the last 5 years.  But is it any wonder that staff who give so much of themselves to care for others experience high levels of burn out and sickness when they are low paid, lack decent work structure and security of work and are treated as an afterthought by most other professionals including those who commission their services and work.

The thing about the social care workforce is that despite this lack of respect, in times of crisis we see them again and again get their heads down and get on with things. You just have to look at Twitter and other social media sites to see the amazing work that is being carried out by care workers within care homes and in communities across the country. This is not new, COVID-19 may be something that thankfully we have never experienced before, however there have been other occasions notably during extreme adverse weather that we have seen these workers, at a time when others are staying safe at home, getting out and battling the elements to provide much needed care to those who are vulnerable.  When it is over it is back to business for the “just a care worker”, gone are the thank you’ s across social media, gone is the focus on the work they do and gone is the brief increase in value and respect.

During COVID-19 we have seen care home staff move in with their residents to ensure that they can limit the possible contact with the infection as much as possible to protect those they care for, this is obviously at a huge personal sacrifice.  Care workers, managers and care home owners have been and are currently away from their own families and homes for weeks while they have prioritised their work and residents. Surely these are the same levels of commitment and values that we see within the NHS and for which we give praise to the doctors and nurses who are working within hospitals. The same call to provide care, compassion, and assistance to those in our society who most need it. I would never try to take away from the amazing work saving lives that doctors and nurses and other practitioners across NHS do daily, it can also be seen time and time again. Doctors and nurses sleeping on floors, exhausted but willing to get up and start all over again. I am asking why this is reserved only for these individuals and why care and support workers and care home nurses are deemed not to be as worthy or deserving the same level of respect? I am also asking that the work of social care be recognised as lifesaving as without the highly skilled level of care they provide, individuals would be unable to stay safely at home and within their communities. Staff who prevent hospital admissions due to their knowledge and understanding of those they care for and their individual health needs, this is also lifesaving work!

Social care providers and the workforce give true person-centred care and that is more than just knowing someone’s likes and dislikes.  It is about understanding that person, knowing about how their health conditions including pain can impact their lives and the challenges that many people face and overcome every day.  We hear about it and see it in the stories that appear particularly right now when families have been unable to be with their loved ones, about the care workers and nurses who sit with people and hold their hands to the very end.  Staff who provide the type of care that often is intuitive, is highly skilled and can be honed through years of experience.  Palliative and end of life care that is given freely but comes at cost to the worker although it is an aspect of their role they find rewarding.   Giving piece of mind and comfort when it is most needed in the last days of a person’s life, how can this work be misinterpreted or not be recognised as being highly skilled and something that certainly most people find extremely challenging to do?

If there is any doubt about the lens that social care and it’s workforce is viewed through it can be clearly evidenced in the recent approach to supplying vital personal protective equipment and the initial lack of staff testing out with the acute sector. We know, despite the denials, that companies providing PPE were instructed to supply to the NHS as a priority to the point that many of our care providers were unable to source their normal day to day requirement of gloves and aprons. We have spoken with many of our Scottish Care members who were struggling to obtain necessary PPE to keep those using services safe and to keep vitally important staff delivering care safe. We also know from these individuals who were experiencing real panic and distress that the majority of their concern was for their service users and residents understanding how vulnerable they are in this current situation. This in itself has been traumatic; managers and owners have done everything within their power to source the needed equipment from paying much higher costs to travelling great distances to obtain PPE when needed. Bearing in mind of course these are the “greedy private providers that do not care about anything but making money” and yes that was sarcasm.

Can you imagine working for an organisation you trust and respect, knowing they invest a great deal in their staff and services. Working with and for people who are committed to long hours managing service delivery and ensuring peoples safety.  Doing a job that you love because of the reward of helping others and then being told you are greedy and only doing this for a profit.  This is while being the lowest paid section of the care sector, the most ignored and the last to receive financial assistance or support in times of need or crisis.  Independent and third sector providers and their workforce are the best of us, they do this extremely hard and challenging work with little support or financial assistance while in a climate of being told they expect too much and are not deserving of the same respect and value others receive.

During COVID-19 social care providers and their networks are constantly being told we are in this together whilst receiving little assistance. Guidance has been issued around support that providers may require due to the current changing nature of care, increasing workload pressures in some areas and decreasing pressures in others as some services have been cancelled due to family being available or because they are shielding. Increased costs surround PPE are a huge factor as prices have soared and there is a large amount of additional PPE that is now required to effectively protect services users and staff from the virus. To date this support is still to be seen by care providers some of whom are actually being expected to use forms of electronic call monitoring to deliver their services and in order to receive payment.

PPE is paramount in social care because when providing support such as assistance with personal care, going to the toilet and assisting people to eat, social distancing is just not possible. Moving and assisting equipment may be in place where people are hoisted out of bed or may receive the vast majority of care in their bed. Keeping 2 meters away from each other and the resident is not going to work in these situations so PPE must be available to keep them safe. Lack of testing for staff has resulted in time off being taken when COVID-19 is suspected but not known for sure.  It also results in staff having to be placed in vulnerable situations themselves, caring for others while not knowing if they are carrying the virus or are effectively protecting their services users due to lack of necessary equipment such as face masks.  For care at home travelling to services has been an additional issue and care staff have been fined for doing so even though they literally had no other choice due to lack of transport in some areas.  All of this contributes to care staff feeling undervalued and underappreciated and that is before they have been turned away from shops and told they are not real key workers.

Once this initial crisis has passed there must be real authentic conversations taking place to ensure that our social care workers are no longer treated as second class citizens. Our lives have changed dramatically and when things will go back to the way they were remains to be seen. We do know that social care will continue to be a huge part of peoples’ lives, caring for others with disabilities, in ill health and in older age must continue to be a priority as must the workforce that provide this care. Giving social care workers and nurses the respect they deserve and the recognition of the work they do will ensure we have a workforce who can remain healthy, both physically and mentally and are rewarded for the work they do with decent pay and terms and conditions.  Surely this is the very least that we can do to thank them and show how much they are valued and appreciated for all that they do.  If not who were you really applauding on a Thursday evening at 8pm?

Caroline Deane

Workforce Policy & Practice Lead


Care Inspectorate update on registration fees during Covid-19

Deferment of continuation of Registration Fees

The Care Inspectorate and Scottish Government recognise the financial and other pressures that providers of care services are currently under.  To support service providers and assist with alleviating cash flow problems service providers are encountering at this difficult time the Care Inspectorate will delay the collection of continuation of registration fees due by care services until July 2020. We will review this position again in June 2020 before any fee collections are made.

This will mean care service providers need not pay any balance of the fees due for the 2019/20 financial year until July 2020.

Service providers normally due to receive fee invoices in April 2020 will not receive an invoice for the 2020/21 financial year until July 2020 (position subject to review in June 2020).

We are happy to make arrangements with service providers that would prefer not to defer the balance of 2019/20 fees.  We are issuing more detailed guidance directly to care service providers.

Fee for Applying to Register a Care Service

We have an emergency truncated registration process in place to ensure a care service set up on a temporary basis as a response to the coronavirus crisis can operate legally.  We are not charging an application to register or any other fees to these temporary services.

Individuals or organisations applying to register a permanent care service will follow our normal registration process and be liable to pay an application to register fee.

Tell Us Once service

Care services may find, in cases where there is no next of kin, that the responsibility for registering a death of someone in their care falls to them. Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go. The service is available in all councils across England, Scotland and Wales.

Tell Us Once can notify organisations including:

  • DWP State Pension, Universal Credit, Attendance Allowance Carers and so on
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • HM Passport Office
  • Council services such as adult social services, libraries, Blue Badge, concessionary travel, electoral services
  • Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)
  • Public sector pensions: NHS, teachers, armed forces and so on.

If you are registering a death with a registrar in your capacity as a care home manager, official informant, next of kin or relative:

  1. the registrar will issue you with a unique Tell Us Once service reference number
  2. you can use this reference number to access Tell Us Once online at  www.gov.uk/tell-us-once or through a dedicated telephony team
  3. a list of what you will need to complete the service to notify central and local government departments to stop services, notify Pensions and Benefits, cancel passports and so on is held on www.gov.uk/tell-us-once
  4. the system is easy to use and once completed, departments are notified instantly, with no need for you to contact them separately by telephone or in writing.