Gullane Day Centre’s Kelly Hamilton is Proud to Care!

Scotland urgently needs more people to work in health and social care. Under the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, the Integrated Employer Engagement team have launched the ‘Proud to Care’ campaign (, in which care workers talk about what drew them to a career in health and social care and how what they do makes a difference. They say it can be hard work and demanding but also rewarding, challenging and diverse. In the words of one of the carers taking part, ‘It may be one of the best things you will ever do!’  

One of the videos features Kelly Hamilton, a carer at Gullane Day Centre. Kelly said:

‘It all started when I was approached by one of the other mums in the playground when I was dropping off my daughter at school. She said she knew I was in the care industry and asked if I would like to help promote care jobs for the Proud to Care campaign.

‘I was keen to help straight away as I knew that the care industry was struggling and the lack of carers was hitting crisis point. I was hearing about it on a daily basis at my work and I wanted to do something to help. It was nice to be approached and recognised for the work that I did.

‘I have worked in care on and off since I left school at 16 when I started off in a care home in North Berwick. When I was 18, I decided to go to college to do Beauty Therapy. After I completed my four-year HND, I worked in a spa and then started out on my own. I took on some home-help jobs at the same time, and then I decided that I wanted working in care as my main job as I enjoyed it that much. That’s where my heart lay.

‘I started working in Gullane Day Centre in 2017 and I have never looked back. It is honestly the most enjoyable and rewarding job I have ever had. I passed my SVQ3 in Social services and Healthcare last year and plan to work my way up the ladder in my work. My work colleagues, the service-users, the committee and my manager just make the job so pleasant. I know they really value me as an employee and they look after me so well. I look forward to returning the favour when I am caring for them when they use the service in the future! Haha!

‘I really hope the Proud to Care campaign encourages the younger generation to think about a career in care when they leave school. It’s well worth it because it’s a great feeling to think you have made such a difference to people’s lives when you finish work at the end of the day. There’s nothing like it.’

Margaret Mack, Manager, Gullane Day Centre, added:

‘We are so proud of Kelly for taking part in this campaign. Gullane Day Centre is a key service for older people in Gullane, Aberlady, Dirleton and the surrounding areas and their families and carers too. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without people like Kelly and all our other wonderful carers.

‘I hope that lots of people feel inspired by Kelly’s video – careers in care offer so much and make such a difference to so many people. It would be great if seeing the video gives people the encouragement they need to get started on their caring career.’

About the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal

The Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal (ESES CRD) is a £1.3 billion Scottish and UK Government investment to accelerate growth, create new economic opportunities and meaningful new jobs that will help to reduce inequalities.

ESESCRD covers Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and Fife.

Update on Edington Hospital Review

Following a review on Thursday 24th February, NHS Lothian said staff shortages and high demand for healthcare services across East Lothian mean it is not yet possible to reopen inpatient beds at Edington Hospital in North Berwick.

Staff at North Berwick’s cottage hospital were temporarily relocated three months ago in a move to consolidate staffing at the East Lothian Community Hospital (ELCH). 

Alison MacDonald, Chief Officer of East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said that staffing challenge has not diminished. 

She added: “We continue to face significant staffing challenges in East Lothian. Around half (48%) of our registered nursing staff have left their posts since September to work in other roles in the NHS. We have been successful in recruiting less experienced members of staff into the team, but we still have many vacancies (27) to fill to provide the necessary experience and leadership.”

Ms MacDonald explained that grouping more staff in one location allowed more beds to be open overall.  

She added: “Transferring the staff means we can keep more beds open overall and look after more people while preserving safe staffing levels. We have been able to open 16 beds at the East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington, a net increase of 10 beds.  We can only do that by having more staff in one place. It allows greater flexibility in how staff are deployed day to day.”

She also acknowledged the decision would disappoint campaigners but she said everything possible is being done to improve the position.

Ms MacDonald said: “As well as our recruitment campaign we are up-skilling existing staff, investing in training and looking at new ways to deploy Associate Nurse Practitioners. We are also working with staff representatives to review shift patterns to help ease pressure.  However, despite all of this, we are not yet in a position to transfer staff back to the Edington. We understand this will be disappointing for the local community but hope they will understand we must make best use of our workforce for the whole population of East Lothian.”

Why the decision was taken

  • The decision to temporarily relocate staff from the Edington to East Lothian Community Hospital was taken by NHS Lothian Gold Command. This is an operational group which forms part of a recognised resilience structure. It prioritises and manages the response of essential services in an emergency.  In NHS Lothian’s case Gold Command is accountable for safeguarding staff, patients and the public and working towards creating patient flow across the whole system including acute, primary care and GP services.
  • The decision was taken using scoring criteria, which was agreed with the senior nursing team and staff representatives. The criteria assess the impact on staffing of reopening beds at Edington Hospital and considers the overall bed position in East Lothian and the wider NHS Lothian area.
 123 ScoreRationale for score
Will the return of the bed capacity to Edington hospital at this time help tomaximisemaintainreducethe available bed base to NHS Lothian?3Opening 7 beds at this time would provide a net reduction of 10 beds available to NHS Lothian. Staffing resource and nursing leadership, and experience registered nursing skills would require to be transferred from ELCH to Edington with no ability to staff or backfill the beds in ELCH. This would impact on the bed capacity within the acute care services in NHSL, a restriction to the flow of patients coming out of the RIE/WGH and potentially exacerbate the current level of delayed discharges across the Lothian system. This would impact on the capacity for NHSL to manage their overall acute bed capacity and subsequently impact upon Edinburgh, West Lothian and Midlothian HSCPs. 
Will the return of the bed capacity to Edington hospital at this timemaximisemaintainreducethe available bed base for East Lothian?3Opening 7 beds at this time would provide a net reduction of beds available to East Lothian thereby reducing overall bed complement available to East Lothian and restricting the ability to return East Lothian patients back home to East Lothian.
Will the return of the bed capacity to Edington hospital at this timepositivelymaintainnegativelyaffect the core staffing position across East Lothian3Staff capacity would require to be removed from ELCH and at this point in time there are no additional staff resource to back-fill. We are managing to maintain the availability of all wards in the ELCH. We have vacancies and sick leave which has meant a reliance on bank shifts, overtime and extra hours are also explored as a matter of course to sustain safe staffing that supports current beds in ELCH.
    Total score9 

Combining the criteria and rationale descriptor is intended to help Gold Command consider the potential options for returning bed capacity to the Edington hospital. A score in and of itself will not determine the outcome of any decision. A score of 7- 9 is likely to indicate no change to the current position, a score of 3-6 will mean a judgement call may have to be made and a low score of 3 is likely to indicate a return of bed capacity to the Edington hospital.

Volunteer Centre East Lothian TSI Survey – a message from Maureen Allan

Dear Colleague,

I hope this finds you in good health and may I take this opportunity to wish you, your family and your team a Happy New Year.

As you may be aware, part of Volunteer Centre East Lothian’s remit from the Scottish Government is to represent the views of local charities and Third Sector Organisations in East Lothian. As a member of a network of Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) covering every local authority area in Scotland it is important that we have a strong understanding of our and your impact on local communities, groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

We are keen to continue our journey of improvement so can I ask you to complete our annual survey. This information will help us provide better support to you and enable us to make the right asks of government and funders on your behalf. Before you begin you should know:

• It would be helpful if the survey was completed by a senior person in your organisation. Some of the questions are about the leadership and strategic challenges currently.

• The survey contains 22 questions and will take about 20 minutes to complete. Most of the questions are multiple choice.

• The survey is confidential and no individual organisation information will be published.

Closing date: 28th February, 5pm

You can complete the survey by clicking here;

Kind regards ,

Maureen Allan | Chief Officer
Volunteer Centre East Lothian

Self-Directed Support – letter from Kevin Stewart, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care

Kevin Stewart has asked all health and social care partnerships to be aware that Scottish Government have published an update to the SDS Guidance for the Pandemic, which was first published in May 2020. This guidance is published in partnership with COSLA and Social Work Scotland, and takes effect immediately.

This guidance reflects the principles and flexibility as described within the SDS Framework of Standards, which are also available on the Scottish Government website at

The guidance is available on the Scottish Government website at

Carers’ Big Day Out II

We have 30 spaces available for unpaid carers at our Carers’ Big Day Out event on the 18th March.  Tickets are at a premium and we can only offer one place per carer family, so early booking is advised. We can provide transport to and from the event as before. 

We chose this activity because, at the last Big Day Out, carers told us this was something they would really enjoy as a way of de-stressing and getting a bit of exercise.

There are two mini-trek sessions on offer at 11.3am and 12 noon, followed by light refreshments.

If you can be there at 11 for 11.30 and 11.30 for 12 noon, that would be ideal.

We have been given the use of a tepee for catering, as we would love you to stay for a light lunch afterwards.

The East Lothian Council Education Young Carers Team is taking care of recruiting young carers for an afternoon session.

If you want more information about the adult or young carers’ events, or to book your place on the adult carer event, please email

Improving the Cancer Journey East Lothian

Being diagnosed with cancer can be overwhelming and many people don’t know where to go for support. East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership and Macmillan Cancer Support want to offer everyone affected by cancer (including families and carers) time with a Link Worker to think about what matters to them, and access to the support they need.

This service is for anyone over 16 affected by cancer at any point on their cancer journey.

Find out more at

The Exceptional Gift

Living kidney donation remains an important part of the package of measures to increase donation and transplantation rates since the introduction of opt out legislation in Scotland.

Over 1,500 people in Scotland have helped others by donating a kidney, since the first pioneering surgery took place in Edinburgh over 60 years ago. A kidney from a living donor generally offers the best outcomes for patients living with kidney failure who need a transplant. However, with over 400 people in Scotland waiting for a kidney transplant at any one time, continued awareness is needed. There are two types of living kidney donation:

  • Directed donation – from a person who is close to the person in need of a kidney, such as a family member, partner or a good friend.
  • Non-directed altruistic donation – from people who don’t know the person needing a transplant, but who wish to give one of their kidneys (anonymously) to someone on the kidney transplant waiting list in order to help improve their life.

Find out more at

Engaging with Gypsy/Traveller communities

From Susan Austin, Engagement Officer, HIS Scotland Communities

The next HIS Community Engagement webinar takes place on Wednesday 9 February at 2.00pm where presenters will talk about ‘Engaging with Gypsy/Traveller communities’.

In the webinar we will look at meaningfully engaging with Gypsy/Traveller communities – the barriers that have been overcome; the learning and the relationships made. An insight into the people, the culture and real life stories from an Engagement Officer’s perspective.


The event will take place on MS Teams. You will be able to access the event using the link even if you are not registered with MS Teams.

  • You will be able to contribute verbally and / or by writing in a text box. 
  • Live captioning is available as a feature of Teams.
  • Points and questions put in the text box will be read aloud by the facilitator for those who do not follow text chat and verbal conversation at the same time.
  • If you or a colleague has specific access requirements you need us to take account of, please let us know as soon as possible.

Please share this event with your networks.

External participants can sign up using the Eventbrite link: