SSSC Information Events for Scottish Care Members – Update with latest dates

The SSSC Register for Care at Home and Housing Support opened on 2nd October 2017.

As registration will be a new process for many workers employed in our member organisations, we have been working alongside SSSC colleagues to set up a series of information events across the country. The purpose of these events is to advise providers and individual staff members of their responsibilities with regards to registration. Support will also be provided along with advice on where to find resources to help make the registration process as straightforward as possible for new registrants and the organisations they work for.

Following the events for Care at Home/Housing Support services, secondary events will be arranged to explore the challenges of Post Registration Training & Learning (PRTL). These will be open to all providers – Care Homes as well as Care at Home/Housing Support.

To register to attend these free events please contact the relevant Local Integration Lead via email. Their details are contained within the events section of our website and you can click through to this below:


Scottish Care comments on Care Inspectorate Report on Workforce Shortages

The Care Inspectorate has published a report ‘Staff Vacancies in Care Services 2016’

This report highlights that over 80% of care services in Scotland are judged to be good, very good or excellent in respect of the quality of care they provide. Inspectors regularly identify that stable and consistent staff teams are an important component of high quality social care which supports people well.

However more than a third of social care services across Scotland have reported unfilled staff vacancies in the past year. Some key figures from the report revealed:

  • At 31 December 2016, 41% of services with vacancies reported having problems filling them; up 2 percentage points from the previous year.
  • Particularly high proportions of the following types of services reported problems filling vacancies: care at home services (64%), care homes for older people (57%), care homes for adults (49%) and housing support services (48%).
  • Aberdeen (57%), Perth and Kinross (52%) and Fife (51% of services) had the highest proportion of services reporting that vacancies were hard to fill.
  • Too few applicants with experience (58%), too few applicants in general (58%) and too few qualified applicants (50%) were the most common themes within most service types reported for why vacancies were hard to fill.

Karen Reid, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said:

“Most people in Scotland experience high quality care which is down to the dedication, professionalism and commitment of the social care workforce. Our evidence shows that people benefit from an effective and stable staff team which allows people experiencing care to build trusting relationships with the people supporting them.”

These findings completely mirror the research which has been conducted by Scottish Care in the last year. They highlight a real crisis in recruitment and retention, not least in older people’s care.

Dr Donald Macaskill, CEO of Scottish Care, in responding to the report said:

“Social care in Scotland faces a fundamental crisis. The Care Inspectorate report together with our own work at Scottish Care states quite clearly that we are at the point of services becoming unsustainable and unable to deliver given the current recruitment and workforce crisis. The entire fabric of social care will begin to disintegrate without serious intervention and this will have a profound effect on the sustainability of wider health and social care supports.

Scottish Care has been warning about the workforce crisis for some time. We have spoken out about the unsustainable levels of contracts for care at home and housing support provision which are forcing many organisations to turn down work or leave the sector completely. Care homes are equally faced with the combined challenges of new regulation, workforce vacancies, increased use of agencies, Brexit and levels of fee income that are simply not sufficient.

The average social care worker earns the Scottish Living wage [£8.45 an hour. Given that you can earn a few pounds more stacking shelves in a supermarket. It’s not really surprising that individuals are choosing less demanding jobs that offer more money.

We’ve reached a point where we need to undertake an urgent review of how we give value to those who work in the sector. We need to offer them a proper sense of worth and the feeling that they are contributing to the greater good of society. Ultimately, we need to improve pay. When you have bills to pay, you’re going to go to a job that pays you more, no matter how rewarding you find social care.

Social care needs to become a priority for the whole of Scotland and not just a party political issue. We cannot continue to deliver quality care on the inadequate resources the public purse is contributing. Given the equal realities of austerity and the choices that that has led to it is time for all of us to start talking not about what we can afford but what the true cost of care is. Care with dignity should not be at the cost of a stretched and dedicated workforce. It is time to care about care.”


Palliative Care training for front line staff – 6th December, Edinburgh

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) are looking for front line workers involved in the palliative and end of life care of people with dementia to attend their training in Edinburgh.

This free, one-day course is aimed at health and social care staff from care homes and care at home services who are working at the Dementia Skilled Level of Promoting Excellence.

Recent Scottish Care focus on palliative and end of life care has shown that our workforce are keen to develop their knowledge and understanding in this area, and we would encourage as many of you as possible to attend.

For more information, see the attached flyer.

Care in Mind – Event Report

On Tuesday 26th September Scottish Care held Care in Mind, a workshop designed to explore how we can manage and promote good mental health and wellbeing for those working in care homes and care at home organisations.

The physical and mental wellbeing of our workforce is critical if high quality health and social care services are to be delivered to the most vulnerable in our society. Recent research by Scottish Care has indicated that the pressure and demands facing the social care workforce are creating significant recruitment and retention challenges for employers.

The day began with Scottish Care’s National Workforce Lead, Katharine Ross, opening proceedings with a warm welcome and introducing the themes for the day. Louise Wilson and Anne Connor of Outside the Box then presented the outcomes of their research exploring the mental health and wellbeing of older people in receipt of care and support.

Louise explained how conversations with older people across the country has shown that loss of personal independence, loneliness, transitions as well as grieving for loved ones, has the biggest impact on the mental health and wellbeing of those we are caring for. In order to feel positive and well, older people have said that structure, meaningful activity, relationships – maintaining existing ones as well as building new ones – communication and freedom are among the most significant factors. The full report from Outside the Box’s research can be found here.

Following this Becca Gatherum, Policy and Research Manager at Scottish Care, discussed Scottish Care’s mental health research project. As we headed to the interval Becca encouraged all present to let us know their own thoughts, comments and experiences of mental wellbeing and the workplace by writing them down and attaching them to the different themed parts of the room. The response to this request was incredibly well taken up, with the walls being covered in a thick coat of post-it notes that will inform our Mental Health report – which will launch at Scottish Care’s Annual Care Home Conference on 17th November.

Between refreshment and lunch breaks saw our own Chief Executive Officer, Dr Donald Macaskill, exploring How well is our frontline workforce? Having conversations about mental health within your organisations. In this informative and thought provoking session Donald advised that, in 2015, 15.3% of the total UK workforce had identified themselves as being affected by a common mental health illness such as stress, depression or anxiety – meaning the actual figure is likely to be far higher. With this number representing an estimated 12.1% of overall GDP, workers living with mental health problems are making a significant contribution to the economy.

This being the case, Donald challenged employers to develop robust mental health policies for their organisations with a culture of compassion and positive communication embedded throughout to support the workforce, and provided helpful tips as to how this can be progressed.

As it can be with day-long events, some of those in attendance perhaps felt a little sluggish as they returned to their seats from lunch. Luckily we had Dr Tara French from the Digital Health and Care Institute, Glasgow School of Art, to lead us in her session of full-audience participation.

Entitled How can you look after yourself? Exploring music, creativity and wellness, Tara’s presentation focussed on the positive impact of music and singing to our mental wellbeing. With the use of a keyboard Tara moulded those congregated into what is believed to be Scotland’s first ever social care choir. More than this, it actually sounded really good as you can see for yourself by watching the video here!

Rounding off the event Lyn Ryden of Carr Gomm, with Mindfulness: a tool to promote workforce health and wellbeing, explained how each of us individually can help ourselves to be both healthier and happier. As her presentation was drawing the day to a close, Lyn lead the group in a few moments of quiet contemplation in which no sound could be heard other than her calming words. A perfect and relaxing way to complete the day.

Scottish Care would like to thank everyone involved with Care in Mind – colleagues assisting with the development of the idea and the logistics on the day, each of the contributors at the event, and everyone in attendance – for helping produce what we feel was a very interesting, entertaining and thought provoking milestone and call to action in our research into the mental health and wellbeing of the social care workforce.

If you would like to see more content from the day, and you are a Twitter user, please search using the hashtag #careinmind for quotes, comments and reflections from those attending on the day.

SSSC – Register Opens

Please see the below news release from SSSC:


Social service workforce Register opens for 45,000 workers in care at home and housing support


The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) today (2 October 2017) opened the Register to 45,000 people working in care at home and housing support services across Scotland, the biggest single group of workers to register with the SSSC. They will join the 100,000 people already on the Register, including their managers and supervisors and people working in social work, adult care, children’s day and residential services.


Registration of this workforce is similar to nurses, doctors and teachers and provides public confidence that people working in these services have the right skills and are safe to do the job.


Anna Fowlie, SSSC Chief Executive said:


‘Opening this part of the Register is a landmark for social services. People working in care at home and housing support services work with thousands of people with very different and complex needs, generally in their own homes. Registration with the SSSC is a step towards making sure we have the right people with the right skills and values for the job. Too often we hear about times when things have gone wrong, so it’s important to highlight that most people working in these services do an excellent job and should be valued and recognised for the challenging and life-changing work they do.


‘People on our Register must meet a number of criteria including having a qualification, working to the SSSC’s Codes of Practice and a commitment to continuing to learn and improve their skills and practice throughout their career. All of these things work together to improve standards of practice and the quality of care, increasing public confidence in this essential workforce.’

Registration Support events

In October, the SSSC will deliver two registration support events in partnership with Scottish Care. 

These are free events for employers and workers in housing support and care at home services. They will be held at the Renfield Centre, Bath Street, Glasgow, on the following dates:

  • Monday 9 October
  • Tuesday 17 October

If you are interested in attending please contact [email protected] 

Fort further details please see below:

Final programme confirmed for Supporting Solace event – 12 October

‘Supporting Solace’

Exploring palliative and end of life care within the independent social care sector

Thursday 12 October 2017

9:30am – 3:30pm

The Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP

Following the publication of Trees that bend in the wind: Exploring the experiences of front line support workers delivering palliative and end of life carein February this year, Scottish Care has been actively progressing the twelve recommendations made in the report.

‘Supporting Solace’ is a practical workshop designed to explore the realities of delivering palliative and end of life care in care homes and care at home organisations in more detail, and to also learn about new national and local developments in this area.  We will also be launching our latest Scottish Care PEOLC resources.

To view the event programme, click here.

Book your place here.

There is no charge to attend this event.   However for operational reasons we may charge those who have booked and do not attend a fee of £20.00.  If after you have booked you are unable to attend please inform us as soon as possible.

Over the coming weeks we will be sharing updates and information on our Scottish Care website and Twitter @scottishcare using the hashtag #supportsolace

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like additional information.