Independent Review of Adult Social Care

On 1 September 2020 the First Minister announced that there would be an Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland as part of the Programme for Government. The Review was chaired by Derek Feeley, a former Scottish Government Director General for Health and Social Care and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland. Mr Feeley was supported by an Advisory Panel of Scottish and international experts.

The principal aim of the review was to recommend improvements to adult social care in Scotland, primarily in terms of the outcomes achieved by and with people who use services, their carers and families, and the experience of people who work in adult social care. The review took a human-rights based approach.

The Independent Review concluded at the end of January 2021 and its report, together with an accompanying short film, was published on 3 February 2021.

New Support for Volunteering in East Lothian

East Lothian Council and Volunteer Centre East Lothian (VCEL) are delighted to announce a new initiative to support volunteering and assist the people and communities of East Lothian.

VCEL, through the Community Taskforce Initiative will support the fantastic work already undertaken by our local Community Councils, Community Resilience Groups, and many other local Third Sector Organisations, in response to recent COVID19 challenges.

Maureen Allan, VCEL Chief Officer said:

“From lessons learned during the first wave in the spring/summer last year, we recognised the need to better support local organisations with volunteer training, recruitment, policies, Disclosure services and Volunteer Insurance.

“The lasting legacy from the Resilience Groups will be an opportunity for everyone to become involved within their local community across a wide range of volunteering opportunities county-wide, no matter what time they have to spare.

“Covid has provided us all with an opportunity to build on the fantastic community spirit which exists within our communities across East Lothian. I look forward to hearing from anyone interested in volunteering through the Community Taskforce initiative which is being supported throughout the Lothians by the NHS Foundation and our statutory partners. The Community Taskforce will be open for volunteers to sign up from Monday  8th February.”

Sharon Saunders, Head of Communities with East Lothian Council said:

“In the past year we’ve seen the vital the role of local community volunteers in helping people feel less isolated and more supported, through a range of local initiatives including delivering essential food, dog-walking and general ‘good neighbour’ activities. We welcome the new Community Taskforce and VCEL’s role in supporting future volunteering and helping people feel more connected in support of the great work undertaken by the many community and third sector organisations across East Lothian – who always need new volunteers to come forward.”     

To find out more, please contact VCEL at or call 01875 615 423

COSLA Elected Members’ Briefing


More at COSLA Elected Members Briefing – February 3, 2021 (

Corporate parenting and you

Who Cares? Scotland will be holding two Corporate Parenting events taking place on Microsoft Teams on Thursday 18th of February 2021 and Friday 12th of March 2021 all at 10 am. The sessions will conclude by 1pm at the latest.

There will be an interactive session exploring how to be the best Corporate Parents
they can be and you will be able to explore:

  • the current landscape and outcomes for Care Experienced people
  • what this journey can look and feel like; discuss a variety of Corporate Parenting plans
  • how you can play a key part in realising Scotland’s ambition for young people.
  • how they all grow up loved, safe, and respected in order to realise their potential.


  • To listen to the voice/s of Care Experienced people and what they need from your Corporate Parenting leadership
  • Identify key areas to improve Corporate Parenting and collaboration with Care Experienced People
  • Discuss how you can implement The Promise within in your organisation.

How to book

Sessions are 2.30 hours long. Click on one of the links below to book your ticket.

East Lothian Corporate Parenting Training Tickets, Thu 18 Feb 2021 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

East Lothian Corporate Parenting Training Tickets, Friday 12th March at 10.00 | Eventbrite

Gillian Neil is appointed General Manager, Adult Community

Gillian says:

‘Although we are working in really challenging times, I have had excellent support from staff across our Learning Disability and Mental Health service areas in a particular and I am really happy to be confirmed in the General Manager post.

We have a great opportunity to develop our services in which we will continue to improve outcomes for the people who use our services. I feel lucky to be leading such a great staff team, who are constantly rising to the current challenge and are always looking at creative ways to develop our services.

Violence Against Women and Girls/Gender-Based Violence Services during Covid-19

The Covid pandemic conditions may be causing additional stress and risk for survivors of
gender based violence and their families. We want to reassure you that you are not alone
and you can get help.

Here is information on our local services and national helplines. Most of our services are still taking referrals and providing support. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help.

Download our leaflet How frontline services can support survivors of gender-based violence.

COSLA response to Scottish Budget

COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson, Councillor Gail Macgregor, said: “Given the context this year, perhaps it is not overly surprising that the Budget is very much a mixed bag for Local Government –the main issue is that the overall allocation adds very little into our core financial settlement which has been eroded over the years.

“The Cabinet Secretary, in her speech, recognised Councils’ role as deliverers of vital services and yes on the face of it there is more money but that is predominantly for Government priorities.

“The addition of £259 million flexible funding for 2021/22 will help councils address Covid related costs next year, including providing the support that the most vulnerable in our communities will require but we need solid assurances that if this figure falls short, as is expected, that further funding will be forthcoming.

“To deal with pressures this year, the announcement of an additional £110 million to help compensate Councils for loss of income, which when added to the money we have already had, makes £200 million, is to be welcomed. However, for many councils this won’t be enough – income loss will leave a very large hole in their finances for years to come.  We welcome that the Cabinet Secretary for Finance has listened to Leaders requests for further funding to cover loss of income but there is still work to do where there is a shortfall.

“We welcome elements of today’s announcement but overall this budget falls short of what we would consider a fair settlement for Local Government.

“We would anticipate further constructive discussions with the Cabinet Secretary in the next few weeks.”

The COSLA Budget Reality document can be downloaded here.(PDF, 237.84 KB) (Updated 1st February, 2021)