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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Last Updated on 23rd December 2016 by Scottish Care

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