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 –

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
t: 0131 225 8508

Briefing 20 March 2020

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership COVID-19 Response

IJB meeting arrangements

We cannot convene East Lothian Integration Joint Board and Audit and Risk Committee meetings because of current public health restrictions. Therefore, in line with current guidance that we should have procedures for a decision-making process in place, we will:

  • Hold a virtual IJB meeting on 26 March 2020 by Skype – details to follow
  • Thereafter, update members with a weekly briefing.

Current position

All ELHSCP decisions follow advice from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and NHS Lothian Public Health. We are also consulting with all other Health and Social Care Partnerships, COSLA, NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government. Guidance changes regularly in response to the developing situation and may contradict/supersede current standards or legislative requirements. We have to be equally responsive.

ELHSCP cannot guarantee that service expectations and conditions will be satisfied always but we will strive to do the best for the people who use our services and our staff.  We will also ensure that our providers are not financially compromised during this difficult time. 

Key actions taken by ELHSCP services

Whole-system ELHSCP actions

  • Self-isolating staff are using appropriate technology to continue adjusted working where able.
  • We are moving towards cluster working, prioritising early discharges, prevention of admissions, and community crisis intervention.
  • We are reviewing staffing across all sites. Staff hours are being increased, where possible, and staff are being brought in from non-essential areas to carry out any required roles within their professional capabilities.
  • We are assessing availability of stocks to ensure adequate supplies for use in essential clinical areas.
  • We are focusing on critical response and, where possible, reviewing and priority-rating health and social care requirements. 
  • Workers will mainly be contacting service-users by phone and making home visits only where absolutely essential.

Adult Services Practice Teams

  • The Duty Team are the first point of contact but locality crisis teams will deal with emerging demands. We are setting up three (east, central and west) locality crisis teams, staffed by Occupational Therapists, Social Workers and Community Care Workers.
  • The Support Plan Broker Team (responsible for sourcing and purchasing care) is being augmented with Community Care Workers and administration staff.
  • The Care Home Assessment and Review Team will continue to be based at East Lothian Community Hospital.

Primary Care

  • ELHSCP will agree coordinated activity and share resources with Practice Managers as need arises.
  • ELHSCP teams are mobilising to create multi-disciplinary support in primary care.
  • Work is underway to increase use of on-line prescription requests.
  • All practices will have received personal protective equipment (PPE) by 18 March 2020.

Mental Health and Substance Misuse Services

  • We will focus on those clients needing a critical response. 
  • Contact will mainly be by phone, with high risk provision available at home or in Outpatient Department 2 at East Lothian Community Hospital.
  • The Monday afternoon Substance Misuse Service (SMS) drop-in clinic at East Lothian Community Hospital will continue to support our most chaotic and vulnerable service-users.
  • We are accepting referrals as normal, with teams screening/triaging on a daily basis.

Adult Resource Centres and Day Provision

  • We are suspending the provision of day facilities temporarily. This covers ‘day care’, ‘day hospitals’, the Adult Resource Centres and commissioned day services run by the Third Sector.
  • We have arranged with day centre staff and others to provide support to and monitor service-users to offset the effects of closure.
  • We intend to phase the withdrawal of day services so by Monday 23 March 2020, all day care opportunities will be suspended, apart from those for very high risk service users, whom we will support in our facilities.

East Lothian Integrated Rehabilitation Service (ELIRS)

  • All community Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy patients have been priority-rated and non-urgent cases cancelled. 
  • Only urgent MSK patients will be seen in the MSK departments by a reduced staff. 
  • All other staff (including administrative posts) will be deployed to ward or community work.
  • We are providing appropriate training to support staff redeployed into community and ward areas. 
  • All staff are being directed to produce personal resilience plans and risk-assess where needed.

East Lothian Community Hospital (ELCH)

ELHSCP has been instructed to provide extra capacity for acute-sector patients.

  • 44 beds are being established in Ward 6.  Equipment is being sourced for these.
  • Belhaven Ward 3 and Edington will also be cleared to provide additional bed spaces.

NHS Lothian, at the instruction of the Scottish Government, are cancelling all non–urgent outpatients’ clinics. This applies to (non-cancer) endoscopy activity as well.

Helping the East Lothian Foodbank

East Lothian Foodbank is running extremely low on the following items and need donations:

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Tinned potatoes
  • Mashed potato
  • Fruit juice
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, etc)
  • Baby food
  • Nappies
  • Baby wipes
  • Toilet rolls

There is also a shortage of volunteers due to many being elderly and self-isolating.

If anyone would be interested in helping out please contact:

East Lothian Council Employee Assistance Programme

Worrying about something or just need to talk?

Remember help is on hand 24/7, 365 days a year by calling East Lothian Council’s free, confidential employee assistance programme.

PAM Assist can be reached by calling free phone 0800 882 4102 or visiting

You can obtain further information on EAP including the council’s user name and password via East Lothian Council’s intranet – search ’employee assistance programme’.

Someone appreciates us!

This gift was given to a member of the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership Homecare Team in Haddington this morning. The staff member was leaving Tesco when a little girl approached her and gave her the gift.

News from East Lothian Council Education Team

ELC will be providing free school meals from Monday and we are actively planning how we provide childcare for key workers. Please bear with us as we put these plans in place. Thank you to everyone working round the clock to support us.