We are the trees that bend in the wind: watch our animation

This week, we published our new report on the role of social care staff in palliative and end of life care.

This animation “We are the trees that bend in the wind”, pulls together what we learned from the 50 people we interviewed.

People told us that the role is challenging and often undervalued, but that it can be immensely rewarding to be with someone at the end of their life. We have made recommendations  a series of recommendations on how front line social care staff can be better supported to deliver this role.

You can learn more by reading the full report. 



Scottish Care Front Line Support Worker Strategy Forum

Scottish Care is committed to progressing front line workforce engagement and involvement in local and national discussions and consultations.

Following on from the launch of ‘Voices from the Front Line’ in February, we have been identifying how we can progress the recommendations made in this report.

Over the coming months we are progressing the following:

  • Front Line representation in ALL Scottish Care consultation groups and forums, including the new Care at Home/Housing Support Reform Group and the Care Home Reform Group
  • Reviewing the critical role of the front line support worker and promote their contribution in an integrated health and social care setting
  • Involve front line support workers in Scottish Government forums
  • Exploring successful career pathways and design to support recruitment and retention
  • Undertake a study designed to promote the image of social care as a career

We also want to grow our learning network and are currently inviting more organisations and stakeholders to get involved in this important group.  Please contact [email protected] for more information.

We have also planned two engagement events this year.  The first will be taking place on Wednesday 21st September 12.15pm – 4.30pm at the Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP.

The event is entitled ‘Exploring the Wellbeing, Skills and Ambitions of the Front Line Workforce in Scotland’.

More information about how to book your place at this event will be coming out over the coming weeks.  We would very much encourage you to send members of your front line support workforce to this important event.

Scottish Care / SSSC Promoting Excellence in Dementia Group

Scottish Care works in partnership with the SSSC and CI to share the learning opportunities involved in ‘Promoting Excellence’. This programme is designed to facilitate greater understanding of, and skill development in the delivery of care to people living with dementia.

We always welcome new members to this established group. The next meeting is taking place on Wednesday 24th August, 10.00am – 1.00pm in Compass House, Dundee.

If you would like to join this group please contact [email protected] for more information.


Leadership Reference Group

The established Leadership Reference Group is a Scottish Care/CCPS/SSSC discussion forum that discusses and shares everything and anything leadership related!  This group meets four times a year and supports organisations promote leadership skills throughout their organisation.

The next Leadership Reference Group is meeting on Tuesday 23rd August – 10.00am – 2.00pm in Glasgow.  We are keen to involve more Scottish Care member organisations and front line support workers to this group.

To find out more about getting involved please contact [email protected]

Voices from the front line of nursing in social care

Over the next few months, the Workforce Matters team will be working closely with colleagues in Scottish Care on a piece of research exploring the experiences of front line nursing in social care settings.  We are acutely aware of the challenges providers face recruiting nurses, and the damaging implications of long term reliance on agencies.

We anticipate that this research will start in August, with a report and key findings launched at Scottish Care’s Care Home Conference on 18 November.

More information will be shared with our members over the coming weeks where we will be looking for organisations to express interest in getting involved in interviews and discussions.

For more information please contact [email protected]

Joint working between Local Integration Leads, Development Officers & Workforce Leads

Workforce Matters has been working closely with Scottish Care Local Integration Leads and Development Officers to identify, and develop, workforce solutions appropriate to different localities across Scotland.

This approach will shape the way we communicate and share local workforce activities and training opportunities.

If you are a provider, and would like to know who your Local Integration Lead is, please go to Local Partnership Information for more details.

Scottish Government recruitment and retention survey

We are acutely aware that there continues to be challenges recruiting and retaining staff – be it front line support workers, service managers or nurses.

The Office of the Chief Social Work Advisor (OCSWA) Scottish Government has commissioned a study to provide an in-depth view of the issues and challenges that the social care sector is facing with recruitment, retention and workforce planning. The study is on behalf of the Social Work Services Strategic Forum.

We are supporting the Office of the Chief Social Work advisor promote a survey which will explore the recruitment challenges in more detail.  This will build on the research Scottish Care undertook in 2015.   Findings are due out later this summer and will be shared with Scottish Care members.

Recruitment and retention will form a significant part of the next Support Worker Strategy Forum and Workforce Development Strategy Group.