Local Government will work to build an equitable health and social care system that is sustainable for the future and focused on outcomes

From David J Kennedy, Head of Communications, COSLA

Local Government has a central role, along with our communities and partners, in reforming how our health and social care services are delivered Councillor Stuart Currie COSLA’s Health and Social Care Spokesperson said today (Monday).  

Councillor Currie said: 

“As the recently published COSLA Blueprint highlights, Local Government reaches into all aspects of our lives and is central to leading and delivering improvements across the social determinants of health, including housing, education, environment, employment, social support and access to health and care services.

“The acceleration of the integration of health and social care – with local democratic oversight and community engagement strengthened is critical to achieve this vision.  This includes ensuring vulnerable populations such as migrants and BAME groups whose differential public health outcomes have been starkly highlighted by the pandemic.

“Reform of public health is a central tenet of our recovery and renewal ambitions and a strong and effective relationship between Public Health Scotland and Local Government will be vital to improving and protecting community wellbeing.”

Councillor Currie then went on to talk about the issue of fair work in relation to Social Care adding: 

“COSLA and Local Government are committed to addressing the issue of fair work in social care and values the vital contribution of the social care workforce both during the pandemic and prior. 

“This includes ensuring that additional public funding made available by Scottish Government is directed towards sustaining the social care sector meeting reasonable additional costs and working on transitional arrangements for this support to ensure ongoing costs will be met.

“This has also included supporting fair work through the payment of the living wage and making payments for the Scottish Government’s social care support fund to prevent social care workers from experiencing financial hardship when they are off sick or self-isolating.”

Staff views on wheelchair accessible housing in East Lothian – still time to respond

Image result for wheelchair accessible

From Rebecca Pringle, Senior Strategy Officer, East Lothian Council

In 2019, the Scottish Government brought in a requirement for all local authorities to deliver a target number of wheelchair accessible properties and to report annually on progress. As part of the work to identify a suitable target in East Lothian, a Housing Need and Demand Assessment is being carried out to identify the following;

  • A target for the development of wheelchair accessible housing across all tenures
  • A process which will set out how the target will be applied and how need and demand will continue to be monitored.
  • The need and projected demand for housing related services for individuals who use a wheelchair i.e. information and advice or housing support.

This survey is open to all East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership staff (NHS and Council, despite what it says on the introduction to the consultation) who work with individuals who are in a wheelchair whether this is at an operational or strategic level. The survey will take no more than 15 minutes of your time. If you’d like to share more information, statistics or discuss anything specific, please feel free to contact me.

Please email rpringle@eastlothian.gov.uk or phone me on 01620 827 913.

AlzheimerScotland Virtual Brick Appeal

From Michael Huddleston, Dementia Adviser, Alzheimer Scotland, Edinburgh & Lothians

Dear All

I hope you have enjoyed finding out about the series of Alzheimer Scotland innovations I have shared with you over the past few days. Thank you to all who replied and gave their feedback on the new resources.

I sign off our 40th birthday week with news of our Virtual Brick Appeal – a fundraising campaign to help build a “Virtual Resource Centre”, the first of its kind in the UK.

The Virtual Resource Centre will be an online space where people will be able to benefit from all of the offerings of a Dementia Resource Centre in the comfort of their own home. There will be access to our groups and activities – such as Music Memories – a zone specifically for carers, the ability to chat to a Dementia Advisor or Allied Health Professional and, most of all, the advantage of knowing you’re in a safe space.

By buying a brick, you will be part of something special; you will be making a difference; you will be the virtual bricks that hold our centre together.

To find out more, please visit: https://www.alzscot.org/virtualbrick

Take care

Michael Huddleston
Dementia Advisor
Edinburgh & Lothians
0131 654 1114
07831 859490 
Alzheimer Scotland
3 Edinburgh Road
Dalkeith, EH22 1LA

We are looking for a Care Support Organiser

To be responsible for overseeing the day to day delivery of a Home Care Service Provision within the Home Care Services Team for a specified area in accordance with statutory obligations and Council policies and procedures. 6 month contract, full-time

How to wear a mask

Residents at #CrookstonCareHome are asking everyone to make sure they wear their #facemasks correctly. Their quick guide gives you the dos and don’ts.

Please follow the guidance about where, when and how to wear a mask.

Wearing a face mask properly protects you, them and everyone else.

Thank you for doing your bit to keep East Lothian safe and healthy.

Community engagement

From Susan Austin, Community Engagement Officer, Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Our website has a new section on Engaging Differently, to share tips, information and case study examples on how to meaningfully engage with communities at a distance. In addition to digital, we’re also interested in re-purposing and adapting existing tools and approaches. Here’s a link to the site:

Susan Austin

Community Engagement Officer
Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Community Engagement
St Roque
Astley Ainslie Hospital
133 Grange Loan
t: 0131 446 4322
m: 07929026574

New guidance on repurposing medicines during COVID-19

The Care Inspectorate and NHS Scotland have produced updated guidance for care homes and hospices on repurposing prescription medicines during the pandemic.

Our fortnightly report to the Scottish Parliament

Under the duties placed on us by the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act, we report to the Scottish Parliament fortnightly on our inspections activity. 

In order to robustly assess the arrangements put in place by care services to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic, our inspections place a particular focus on infection prevention and control, personal protective equipment and staffing in care settings.  This enables us to focus on these areas while also considering the overall quality of care and people’s wellbeing.  The reports we lay before Parliament are in addition to our normal process of publishing full inspection reports, which we will publish in due course. 

The report laid before the Scottish Parliament on 16 September is here. 

Keep East Lothian safe and healthy

From Alex McCrorie, Depute Chief Executive, East Lothian Council

Ahead of the September holiday weekend I would like to thank all staff for your continued commitment to making a difference in these unprecedented and challenging times.

Our priority has been to keep the people of East Lothian safe and informed and ensure that we continue to deliver the essential services. This we have managed to do and our collective efforts have been, and continue to be, appreciated by local communities and businesses.

Last week, the First Minister made it quite clear that the country continues to be in Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s Route Map, and we all need to continue to follow health guidelines to help prevent the further spread of Covid-19. This is particularly important as we move towards winter when the NHS has to manage the usual seasonal rise in hospital admissions and increased need for GP care.

Last week also saw the launch of the new Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland. Test and Protect is a free mobile phone app, easy to download and is designed to help us protect each other, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdown. 

In East Lothian we have seen some localised positive Covid-19 cases and by working closely with health colleagues we have put into place the appropriate measures and support for those most vulnerable. The Council Management Team will continue to provide updates to staff as appropriate and we recognise and hugely appreciate that many members of staff are working in different ways or taking on new roles to provide continuity of services. That is why it’s so important that you all take some time off when you can.

To those staff off this weekend I hope you have a restful time and can switch off work pressures. Some of our colleagues of course will continue to work or be on call over this holiday period. In addition to my thanks to these colleagues I would also like to reiterate the importance of taking time off when suitable.

However you choose to enjoy your weekend please remain vigilant and follow current health guidelines around the importance of regular hand washing, avoiding crowded spaces, wearing face coverings where appropriate, physical distancing and seeking medical advice if you or a family member develop symptoms including a fever, loss of taste or smell or new continuous cough.