The on-line consultation on the Draft East Lothian Poverty Plan 2021-2023 is now live

From Paolo Vestri, Service Manager – Improvement, Policy & Communications, Communities & Partnerships, East Lothian Council

Tackling the causes and effects of poverty in East Lothian is one of the, if not the, most important priorities for East Lothian Council as we begin to recover from the COVID pandemic.

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.”      Nelson Mandela

Following publication of the East Lothian Poverty Commission report in 2017 much has been done over the last few years to reduce poverty and inequalities, but much more still needs to be done.

The pandemic and lockdowns have increased poverty in East Lothian. (Read the leaflet, ‘Poverty in East Lothian’ for more information.) So it is vital that we put in place a new Plan to reduce poverty and improve the economic and life chances of all our citizens.

A Draft Poverty Plan for 2021 – 2023 has been prepared for the Council by a working group including representatives from key council services, NHS Lothian and community and voluntary groups. 

The Draft Plan sets out objectives and actions that should be prioritised over the next two years.

It can be accessed using the following link.

NHS Recovery Plan published today

From Cat McMeeken, Deputy Director, Leadership, Wellbeing and Culture Division, Directorate of Health Workforce, Scottish Government

Today the Scottish Government has published its NHS Recovery Plan, committing more than £1 billion to the recovery and renewal of Scotland’s health service as we emerge from coronavirus.

NHS Recovery Plan – (

Throughout, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care identifies that support for staff wellbeing is an essential and vital component. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the time and effort you have dedicated to working with us to co-design the proposals in the plan and ensure that they will deliver the maximum impact across our health and social care organisations.

Publishing the recovery plan today is a key milestone in achieving our ambitions for the wellbeing of the workforce, but I also know that there is further work to do in this space to ensure ongoing sustainability of these proposals. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you in the future.

Run your own Recovery Conversation Café toolkit launched!

The Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart MSP has officially launched a new engagement toolkit for organisations and services.

Developed by the Scottish Recovery Network the Run your own Recovery Conversation Café toolkit provides a guide and resources to help you engage people in meaningful discussions about what is important to them and their communities.

Providing a different approach to engagement a recovery conversation café moves away from traditional consultation. It creates a welcoming environment where people are not just passive responders but active participants, listening to each other and building on ideas. Using the approach organisations and services are providing the opportunity for people to participate in:

  • The design, delivery and evaluation of support
  • Influencing local and national planning and strategies
  • Events that bring people together to connect and share ideas on mental health and wellbeing

You can order free Run your own Recovery Conversation Café toolkit(s) from the Scottish Recovery Network (Scotland only) by calling  0300 323 9956 or emailing

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact us directly by using contactSCOTLAND-BSL

The toolkit can also be download from

Chair appointed to Public Health Scotland board

The Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, Maree Todd MSP and COSLA, Health and Social Care Spokesperson, Councillor Stuart Currie today announced the appointment of Angiolina Foster CBE as Chair of the Public Health Scotland Board.

Maree Todd, Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport said:

“As Chair of Public Health Scotland, Angiolina will bring considerable experience and insight that will be invaluable as the organisation continues to innovate, adapt and transform.

“She will play a significant role in ensuring Public Health Scotland strengthens and supports a whole system, partnership approach to understanding and tackling our public health challenges, making best use of our considerable public health assets to realise the vision of a Scotland where everybody thrives.

“I look forward to working with her as Public Health Scotland continues to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the nation.”

Councillor Stuart Currie, COSLA’s Health and Social Care Spokesperson said:

“I am delighted with the appointment of Angiolina as Chair of Public Health Scotland. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from a number of high profile positions.

She has exactly the skill set required for this exciting role and will play a key role in bringing the organisation’s vision of a Scotland where everyone thrives.

From a personal point of view I look forward to working alongside her and the fantastic team we have in place at PHS.’

Angiolina Foster CBE is a respected public service leader whose work has spanned local government, national government and the third sector. She most recently held a Chief Executive position within Scotland’s NHS. In all her roles, she has aimed to put people at the heart of service design and delivery. This has afforded her rich learning in system leadership, strategy and service transformation, all of which she will bring to her role as Chair of Public Health Scotland. She was awarded a CBE in 2011 for her contribution to Scotland’s public services.

This appointment will be for four years and will run from 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2025.

This appointment is regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Timescales for preparation of adult carer support plans and young carer statements

Consultation on the draft carer's charter of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016  - Scottish Government - Citizen Space

From Joanne Pierce, Policy Officer, Carers Policy, Social Care Policy and Delivery Division , Mental Health and Social Care Directorate, Scottish Government

Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care,  would like to highlight the new legal duties in relation to unpaid carers who support people with terminal illness in his attached letter. These duties are in The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 (Adult Carers and Young Carers of Terminally Ill Persons: Timescales for Adult Carer Support Plans and Young Carer Statements etc.) Regulations 2021(SSI 133/2021) (the Regulations) and in the Directions attached to this letter. Both which came into force on 31 July 2021.

The Regulations set timescales for preparation of adult carer support plans and young carer statements. They were approved by the Scottish Parliament in March this year and come into force on 31July 2021. The Directions set timescales for offering carers an adult carer support plan or young carer statement. They are attached to this letter and can also be accessed through these links : Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 – Directions (Integration Authorities) and Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 – Directions (Local Authorities).

In order to support implementation of the Regulations and Directions, we have also updated the  Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, Statutory Guidance.

Once again, thank you for everything you do to support individuals and their unpaid carers.

Kind Regards

Joanne Pierce

First steps towards a National Care Service

‘Real life experts’ to help focus on what really matters to people receiving social care.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and Minister for Social Care Kevin Stewart have welcomed the first meeting of a Social Covenant Steering Group, set up to help guide the development of a National Care Service.

Establishing the group, made up of people with day-to-day experience of social care, was a key recommendation of Derek Feeley’s Independent Review of Adult Social Care and marks the fulfilment of one of the commitments for the first 100 days of this government.

Find out more at the link below.

First steps towards a National Care Service – (