Have you got good news to share?

We are looking for good news stories and photos that we can use on this blog and social media to keep spirits up and share with people what an amazing job you are doing.

Our care homes are already doing brilliantly by sharing photos and updates about what their residents are doing during lockdown. Families are finding this really reassuring and it cheers up our other team followers too.

If you’ve got anything good, please share. Email it to me at elhscp@eastlothian.gov.uk or post it on ELHSCP Facebook.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Jane (ELHSCP Communications Manager)

Childhood immunisation clinics

Childhood Immunisation Clinics are continuing across Lothian. It remains important for your child to be immunised at this time and you are encouraged to attend if you and your child are well and showing no signs of Coronavirus, which are a new cough or a fever. Please ensure only one parent/carer attends with the child at the appointed time. If you or your child do have symptoms of a new cough or a fever you should not attend the immunisation appointment.

If you or your child have these symptoms or you are unable to attend the appointment for any reason, please telephone the number on your child’s appointment letter. The appointment will be rescheduled.

Violence against Women and Girls update from East and Midlothian Public Protection Office

This March edition mainly focuses on the current difficult situation, particularly as it is widely recognised that with families having to stay at home with limited access to support networks and services the levels of domestic abuse, particularly coercive control, and other forms of gender based violence are likely to be much higher, so that survivors and children will be at greater risk.

Please note that if you can’t use the control click on the hyperlinks you can right click and open hyperlink. As ever please share on through your teams and networks.  Please let me know if you find this useful – yes or no – and improvements you’d like to see.  


Our East Lothian and Midlothian services for domestic abuse and sexual abuse continue to operate with virtual / phone contact, refuges are in operation. Our MARACs continue to operate via phone-conferencing / interim guidance will be out shortly.  

The EMPPC website is live again (had been down for some weeks): the VAWG page will have a summary of services and contacts during this critical time – within the next couple of days.

The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre list of support available for women experiencing abuse during COVID-19: useful helplines and sources of support for all aspects of VAWG including for women with no recourse to public funds …

SafeLives advice – includes a useful podcast from a survivor about what she might have done – survivors might do now / briefing for MPs with this list of policy recommendations

Safe & Together Model COVID-19 Quick Guide – Specific practice strategies related to understanding domestic violence perpetration in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic including a checklist to be used in combination with Safe & Together training and mapping tool. This is a useful summary of the risks so worth downloading.  Keep an eye on their website for more information. There is a virtual academy which will be open to people who have completed Core Training and above.

Engender Briefing Women and Covid-19:  the ways in which gender impacts on COVID-19, and critical issues for decision-makers to consider. The recommendations are useful for local policy

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Violence against Women and Girls, VAWG Helpdesk Research Report 284, UK AID – Research question: What is the evidence of how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic might impact on violence against women and girls (VAWG)?  Please draw on any emerging global evidence from the current outbreak in corona virus, as well as other similar epidemics? (e.g. Ebola)

Centre for Women’s Global Leadership / Feminist Alliance for Rights – Call for a Feminist Covid-19 policy: Statement of Feminists and Women’s Rights Organizations from the Global South and marginalized communities in the Global North – this is still in development but an interesting read on the far-reaching impact of the pandemic on  sex/gender/equalities and many of the policy recommendations are useful. You can support the call on a personal or organisational basis.


Scottish Government Equally Safe Bulletin Issue 117 – full of interesting updates on the delivery of Equally Safe. unfortunately there is no weblink so attached above.

Click service newsletter  – for more information please contact Githa Overton, Click Women’s Worker, Tel: 0131 622 7500, Email: Goverton@sacro.org.uk

CLiCK is a partnership of women’s organisations working together to provide  online and face-to-face support to any woman who sells or exchanges sex online in Scotland (e.g. advertising escorting services on sites like AdultWork, webcamming, or using private galleries). CLiCK was established in response to the changing nature of the sex industry in Scotland, as it continues to shift from onstreet to indoors and online. In addition, support services for women tend to be concentrated to the major cities with provisions for women who sell or exchange sex on-street – meaning that there was significant gaps in service provision in rural areas.

A Woman’s Place: Gender, Housing and Homelessness in Scotland , Engender March 2020: the report explores the way in which women are almost entirely invisible in policies and strategies for realising housing rights and preventing homelessness. Home is something many of us take for granted, but for many women a safe and secure home is out of reach, with systems failing to consider their needs.  The report highlights that while women in Scotland make up the majority of lone parents and carers, are far more likely to be living in poverty, and spend a far higher proportion of their income on accommodation than men, they are not represented in the discourse around housing. Homelessness, too, is repeatedly seen as a problem predominantly affecting men, despite the fact women’s homelessness simply looks different to men’s – rough-sleeping in less busy areas for safety, hiding their homelessness for fear of losing children, and (re)entering abusive housing situations.  Linking in with other issues of women’s inequality, such as violence against women, social security, and the intersections between sexism, racism and disability, the report calls for the gendering of Scotland’s housing frameworks to create systems which work for women.

On International Women’s Day, Engender asked women across Scotland to share their days with us to highlighting the unpaid, undervalued, and invisible work done by women in Scotland. Check out our round-up here  for some of the tweets and blogs which were shared with us.

UPSTREAM  Stop It Now! Scotland with funding from the Scottish Government has developed an online resource for the general public about the prevention of child sexual abuse in Scotland, launched 4th December 2019. The ‘Upstream’  website has practical information and resources that adults such as parents and carers can use to identify potential risk as early as possible and take steps to prevent sexual abuse from occurring. It has an engaging communities  section designed for professionals, safeguarding leads, or anyone in a public facing role who may want to use the resources in public engagement contexts.  The website’s tools and information aim to enable you to:

  • recognise the signs or behaviours that might indicate that sexual abuse might be about to happen
  • take action if they are worried about the behaviour of an adult or a child, and
  • have accurate information to help them to speak to others about this subject

Contact:   Willie Manson I Project Manager, The Lucy Faithfull Foundation | Stop It Now! Scotland, +44 (0)131 556 3535 / scotland@stopitnow.org.uk

Help your colleagues by updating your email signatures

Just a little reminder – could you please make sure that your email signature includes:

  • Your name
  • Your job title
  • Where you are based (e.g., Randall House, East Lothian Community Hospital etc)
  • Your email address
  • Your work telephone numbers – landline and mobile

This will really help when we are trying to get hold of people in a hurry.

Many thanks for your cooperation in this matter.

A word from the East Lothian Welfare Rights Team

The Welfare Rights team can provide advice and support to anyone in need.

Welfare Rights Officers work with many local residents to provide specialist welfare- related advice.  They can establish if there is an underlying entitlement to a wide range of benefits and other forms of financial assistance, including grants and hardship payments.  We can also help customers to apply. 

We also have a Macmillan Welfare Rights Officer who works with people and their families affected by cancer to make sure they are claiming all financial assistance available.  We already have links in place with the NHS and the Social Care Partnership.

Although we have suspended all face-to-face contact, our team is working from home and providing advice over the phone or by email. 

We have also developed some new resources to help people fill in forms, primarily around disability benefits.

You can find out more about what we do at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/welfarerights  

Fiona O’Donnell lauds the work of social care workers

IJB Chair Councillor Fiona O’Donnell has issued this statement to the East Lothian Courier

‘We have seen the benefits in East Lothian of the integration of health and social care. That joining up of services will also be vital as we brace for the challenges of Covid-19. Social care workers are caring for our most vulnerable citizens in their homes and in our care homes. The work they do is vital, to keep people safe and well, and to try and prevent admissions to hospital. For some people requiring care, the social care worker will be the only person who enters their home. The social care workforce will also be key to getting people back home when they have recovered from Covid-19.

‘It was deeply moving to take part in the applause for NHS staff and carers on Thursday at 8pm. It is so important that those who are working so selflessly for the greater good know how much we appreciate them.

‘Here in East Lothian we have also seen local shops and other businesses showing their appreciation with initiatives such as free coffees and priority in accessing shops. That appreciation has to include social care workers too. I ask every shop in East Lothian to make sure that is happening here. Health and social care workers are all deserving of that.’

Message from Julie Huggan at Eastspace

New page on Eastspace needs your help

Hello everyone

I hope you are keeping well during this difficult time.

Due to the disruption caused by the current outbreak of Covid-19, we have started a new page on Eastspace for Covid-19 service updates. It also includes a list of helplines and online resources.

If you haven’t already, please send me your service updates for this page. Additionally, please share the page with your network – https://eastspace.org.uk/east-lothians-online-source-of-online-mental-health-and-wellbeing-information/covid-19-service-updates/

Thank you for your support during this difficult time.


Julie Huggan
Online Information Development Worker – Health in Mind
a: 40 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh EH2 4RT
e: julie.huggan@health-in-mind.org.uk
t: 0131 225 8508
w: health-in-mind.org.uk

Weekly update from Alison

Week ending 27 March 2020

I want to update you on what the Partnership has achieved this week and to thank you for everything you are doing to make this happen.

The Tactical Team, coordinating our response, has been set up in East Lothian Community Hospital (ELCH) in the Mental Health Tribunal Suite and there will be soon be a central phone number to call – watch this space! We are setting up an on-call rota for Senior Managers so there are decision-makes available 24/7.

Social workers are now locality-based at Bleachingfield, Randall and the Brunton. The Duty Team is doing a great job in managing referrals and enquiries.

The Mental Health Team are working at home reaching out to clients in the community by phone. 

Our TEC Team is working with service-users to look at how TEC can support service-users and help them to avoid feeling isolated.

Day Centres, Lunch Clubs and Adult Resource Centres are closed, and we are now supporting service-users differently. Our Meals at Home service continues.

Teams at ELCH are focusing on getting services delivered into the community.

The Community Rehab Team has closed its MSK clinics, but is continuing to work with patients by phone and looking at how they can support other workstreams.

In primary care, we are working on the development of a local COVID Hub at Musselburgh Primary Care Centre and working on a Practice buddying scheme to share the workload between practices, if necessary.

We are liaising with community pharmacies and practices where there are shortages of delivery drivers. 

What you have raised with us

I know that there are issues across Scotland with PPE and I am working with the Scottish Government to address this for East Lothian staff.

Key Worker status

All frontline staff in the Partnership are key workers and I know that social care staff have been having difficulties in getting local supermarkets to recognise this. This is not on, so we have raised the matter with Health and Social Care Scotland and the Scottish Government.  In the meantime, please email myvoice@eastlothian.gov.uk with any individual instances of being turned away and I will take it up for you.

Thank you for all your work this week, have as good a weekend as you can, and keep safe.


Media contact

One of our care workers was approached for comments and photographs this morning by a national newspaper.

There are lots of freelance journalists looking for stories just now, so if someone approaches you, please ask them to contact me instead of giving an interview yourself.

Jane Ogden-Smith
Communications and Engagement Manager
East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership
Direct Line 01620 827 755
Mobile 07703 191 218

It’s really important that all media enquiries come to me and I can establish whether they are genuine and whether the Partnership wants to engage with them or not. I can also find out if you actually want to be interviewed, photographed etc and if not, find a work-around.

It’s very naughty of them to take advantage of you when you are working and unprepared (and in this case without the opportunity to freshen up make-up and run a comb through their hair!) So, let me know if you are approached and I’ll take it from there.

Many thanks


Carers of East Lothian Community Resilience Contacts

Andrew Tweedy, director of CoEL writes

Dear All

My colleague Kirsteen has been collating information about local resilience resources in East Lothian which CoEL is using to connect carers to local support as necessary.  While there our focus is on support that would be relevant for carers, we wanted to share this with others as it will be of relevance to all of us.  It is also a live document so please do let my colleague Kirsteen know if there are other groups who should be included or any other issues and if you have your own listing please let us know and we will try to collate them all.  It is worth flagging that groups noted in Red are “official” groups covered operating under cover of East Lothian Council insurance – others are informal groups who have come together in response to Coronavirus.

CoEL Community Resilience Contacts

FYI – CoEL is continuing to support carers locally but we are working from home and not doing visits.  Our contact details remain unchanged as all phones are forwarded onto staff mobiles etc.

Let us know if there is anything more CoEL can do to support and we will send updated versions of this document as appropriate.


Andrew Tweedy
CEO – Carers of East Lothian (CoEL) Directline:  0131 653 1056
Mobile:  07842 827362