Justice Social Work Routemap

The Scottish Government released the COVID-19 Routemap at the end of May 2020.  The Routemap sets out four phases between lockdown and the resumption of life without restrictions linked to the pandemic.   

The Routemap refers to the justice system in terms of the resumption of court business and “greater contact for social work and support services with at risk groups and families with physical distancing and hygiene measures” in Phase 1.  Social Work Scotland has identified a need to flesh out the implications of the Routemap for Justice Social Work (JSW) in Scotland.  HM Prison and Probation Service has published their Probation Roadmap to Recovery 2 which offers high level principles and guidance to their staff. 

This paper: 

  • defines the elements of JSW in Scotland impacted by the pandemic 
  • indicates how capacity to deliver these services is reduced by physical distancing and other pandemic related health requirements  
  • shares practice that may help to increase capacity 
  • explores more generally the issues around trying to improve capacity in justice social work services both locally and nationally 
  • recognises that different local authority areas will experience the Phases differently due to characteristics such as size, rurality, etc. 
  • may be revised and re-published as we move through the Phases and gain knowledge and experience. 

Download a copy of this document (Word)

East Lothian Integration Joint Board

The IJB has returned from the recess imposed during the first months of the COVID outbreak and met today via Microsoft Teams. The business covered included:

Minutes of the Meeting of the East Lothian Integration Joint Board of 26th March
2020 (for approval) (pages 1 – 6)

  • Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Meeting on 26th March
  • Chair’s Report
  • COVID-related HSCP Service Changes – Report by the Chief Officer of the IJB
    2020-21 Directions – Report by the Chief Officer of the IJB
  • NHS Lothian COVID-19 Remobilisation Plan – Report by the Chief Officer of
    the IJB
  • Annual Internal Audit Opinion and Report – Report by the Chief Internal Auditor
    2019/20 Draft Unaudited Annual Accounts – Report by the Chief Officer of the
  • Internal Audit of East Lothian IJB Strategic Change Priorities and Delivery –
    Report by the Chief Officer of the IJB
  • Update on Shifting the Balance of Care in North Berwick, Dunbar and
    Musselburgh (verbal)
  • Update on the review of the Integration Scheme
  • Update on the Delayed IJB Annual Performance Report.

Papers were approved without amendments.

You can see all the papers here.

Police Scotland and place of safety follow up – Scottish health boards’ psychiatric emergency plans

In 2018, the Mental Welfare Commission completed a report on Police Scotland’s use and recording of Place of Safety orders – powers used by the police to detain a mentally distressed person for up to 24 hours so they can be assessed by a doctor.

The Commission consulted Police Scotland, people who had been mentally distressed and subject to a Place of Safety order, and families/carers, and collected their experiences of how mental health crises are managed. 

The report found high levels of care and compassion from the police officers involved, but variations in health board responses to the crises.

In follow-up to this work, the Commission contacted every health board in Scotland to request a copy of their Psychiatric Emergency Plan (PEP), a key part of planning how health boards respond to people in these situations. The Commission undertook to review the content of all PEPs in detail. 

Today, the Commission published a report of how and why it undertook this work including a summary of how PEPs from every health board in Scotland matched against key themes and issued this to all health boards across Scotland, along with a new template outlining what the Commission believes would be helpful to include in all Psychiatric Emergency Plans. 

Dr Moira Connolly, executive project advisor, Mental Welfare Commission, said:

“In creating the template, we have covered subjects that were important to people who have been distressed and in crisis, and their family or carers. We also worked with representatives from Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Government directorate for mental health, and practitioners from a variety of clinical backgrounds. 

“We hope that by using the template when updating their PEPs, health boards across Scotland will offer the same high quality level of service to people in these crisis situations, no matter which part of the country they are in.”

Dr Connolly added:

“We are mindful that due to the coronavirus pandemic mental health services have had to be temporarily reconfigured. 

“But we hope that, for the longer term, the documents published today will add to the positive work already demonstrated by Police Scotland by ensuring health boards across the country have equally robust plans for responding to these situations.”

The recently expanded Distress Brief Intervention programme is another service that might help people in distress.

Read the report here

View the template here

Review of Police Scotland’s use of new temporary police powers to tackle Coronavirus

From Fiona Miller, Community Accountability Coordinator , Scottish Police Authority

On 9 April 2020, it was announced that an Independent Advisor Group (IAG) would be set up to review Police Scotland’s use of new temporary police powers to tackle coronavirus, chaired by John Scott QC,  the group reports directly to the SPA.

Understanding and listening to the views and experiences of those impacted by use of the powers is central to the work of the IAG, and the Group is committed to seeking to involve the voices of community and grassroots representatives and any groups that may be most impacted or disadvantaged by the use of these temporary powers. 

A number of feedback and information gathering routes have been set up to support the work of the Independent Advisory Group.

I would be grateful if you could forward this information to your colleagues and to community networks that you consider would be interested in providing feedback.

Here is a link to to our online portal.

Kind regards


Fiona Miller
Community Accountability Coordinator
Scottish Police Authority
1 Pacific Quay
G51 1DZ
Tel: 01786  896966
Email: Fiona.Miller@spa.pnn.police.uk
Website: www.spa.police.uk

Enriched model of psychological needs

Over the last few weeks, we have heard how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the mental health of people who use care services, relatives and staff.

By isolating or shielding in order to protect ourselves and others, we limit our opportunities to engage with people or activities that are important to us. This can undermine our psychological wellbeing and quality of life.We have produced a poster which outlines the key elements of the ‘Enriched Model of Psychological Needs’. 

This can be used within care services to help staff consider what actions they could take to help promote better psychological outcomes for the people who use services, relatives, staff and themselves.  

Further information

Contact the Care Inspectorate at enquiries@careinspectorate.gov.scot or visit https://www.careinspectorate.com/

Changes at AbilityNet

From Chris Grant, Community Relationship Officer

Good Evening, Hope you’re doing well and staying safe during this tough time.

We’ve been creating a few changes here at AbilityNet and with immediate effect my role changes. I started employment with AbilityNet as of Monday 1st June as the Community Relationship Officer which I’m really enjoying and with that change I’ve decided that we’ve needed to appoint a coordinator for South East Scotland and I’m delighted to introduce you to Chris Reid.

Chris’s role will cover from the Scottish Borders to Glasgow so I would kindly ask if you have any enquiry or request for support that it is sent directly to Chris and his email is v.sescotland@abilitynet.org.uk

Please do remember if you have any questions or queries to please still get in touch! Would love to hear from you.

Thanks again for all your support.

Kind Regards,


Chris Grant
Community Relationship Officer
T: 0131 376 1657

E: chris.grant@abilitynet.org.uk
W: www.abilitynet.org.uk