Amendments to Coronavirus (Scotland) Act come into force

The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act has now come into force, amending the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act and other legislation. This intorduces enhanced powers for some agencies and further duties for the Care Inspectorate, all in relation to care services.

You can view the full Act here.

Mental Health Act Review – Mental Welfare Commission response

 Mental Health Act Review – Mental Welfare Commission response

‘A great opportunity; a chance to re-frame Scotland’s legislation in such a way that the human rights of people with serious mental illness are clearly at the centre.’

The Mental Health Act in Scotland is currently under review, and the Commission has just published its response to the Independent Review of Scottish Mental Health Law consultation.

The Commission has a statutory duty to monitor the use of the Act, and a duty to provide advice on the use of the Act. 

This response is informed by the Commission’s own experience of meeting those duties and responsibilities. It is also informed by people with mental illness and relatives/carers who have shared their experiences with the Commission.

Key points

Key points from the Commission’s response to the consultation include:

  • Scotland’s health and social care systems are substantially different from those that were in place in 2003 when the current Mental Health Act was passed by parliament. The new Act needs to take account of these changes.
  • People are more likely to be treated in the community, rather than in hospital, and the resources, support and care available in the community should be reviewed. We raise specific points in our response for those who are detained under the Act and also for those who are not detained but may need specific care such as children and young people, people with a diagnosis of personality disorder and perinatal mental health services.
  • The number of people being detained under the current Act rises every year. In order to make the right decisions for the future, the review needs to analyse, at an early stage, why this is happening.
  • The lengths of time people are detained, and the safeguards in place when they are detained, should be examined. We find that many detentions run for the maximum length of time allowed by the law, and those lengths of time have not changed for decades. We believe they could be shortened. 
  • The review should take account of developments in international law to ensure we can learn from other nations and should incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
  • While reviewing the Act is vital, it will only be effective if mental health services are adequately resourced. We ask that resources are considered at all key stages of the review.

From a lived experience and relative/carer’s perspective, issues include:

  • The current Act is clear about professionals’ roles, and detained patients’ rights; it provides safeguards and guidelines. However it does not work for everyone who has mental health issues but who is not subject to the law; those people do not have the protections the Act offers.
  • Resources are scarce, the lack of community support often leaves families trying to support the individual with limited knowledge and resources of their own.
  • Children and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) are stretched to the limit. While much work is being done in education services related to mental health and well-being, the systems for supporting a young person with a serious mental illness are unwieldy and inefficient, if present at all.
  • GPs sometimes struggle to get help for individuals with mental health issues often because of the lack of resource available to community mental health teams. Better communication between primary and secondary care and more seamless access to assessment would greatly improve the management of these individuals in the community.
  • This legislation is complex, and our response addresses many more issues. We encourage audiences to read it in full and ask us for further clarity or information.

Dr Arun Chopra, medical director, Mental Welfare Commission, said:

“We had been calling for a substantive review of this legislation for some time, and we very much welcome the Review’s aim to improve the rights and protections of people who may be subject to the law when receiving care and treatment.  

“Mental health legislation can restrict and deprive a person of their liberty and can impose treatment that they do not want or cannot consent to. Traditionally one purpose of legislation was to ensure that people who are unwell are treated to restore them to health and reduce any risks that their altered state of health might pose to their safety and that of others. A further purpose was to ensure that when someone is made subject to detention or treatment that they cannot or do not consent to, that there is a mechanism for this detention to be reviewed, and safeguards are in place to ensure that people are treated in accordance with their human rights. 
“Developments in International law would suggest that a Mental Health Act ought to go further and focus on the restoration of other rights that are impinged on by the presence of disability (such as serious mental illness). 

“The Review of Scotland’s Mental Health Act gives us a great opportunity to fully consider those developments, alongside the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which came into force after our current Act. 

“Scotland’s legislation can be re-framed in such a way that the human rights of people with serious mental illness are clearly are the centre.’

‘While reviewing the Act is vital, it will only be effective if it is adequately resourced. We ask that resources are considered at all key stages of the Review.”

The full Commission response to the consultation can be read here.

The Commission will be seeking opportunities to discuss and share this response with others over the coming months.

Dr Chopra added: ‘The Commission would like the review to consider how a new Act might give emphasis so that any action taken under Act must be proportionate and that there is a duty of reciprocity to ensure that people who are subject to the Act or who have been, are able to receive the support and services they need for their recovery.’

Listen to Dr Chopra’s summary here (4 mins, audio)

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Thistle House
91 Haymarket Terrace
Edinburgh EH12 5HE

Boosting service-user confidence

By Carol Sinclair, Community Care Worker, ELHSCP

This really cheered me up this morning. I am a CCW in the Duty Social Work Team and concentrate on following up on people who have fallen at home. After using their Community Alarm or phoning the Ambulance service for help, I am then referred the client to complete a Falls Assessment.

After a lengthy discussion on the phone , I issued a three-wheeled walker to a gentleman last week who had been unable to get outside and was finding getting around his home very difficult only using his 2 sticks.  

On telephoning this morning to follow up on the equipment being delivered, his wife informed me that I had no idea how much of a difference this had made to her husband, and he even managed to get outside to the end of the garden, where three neighbours began clapping at him as they had not seen him in a long time.  

My client’s wife said this had really boosted his confidence and cheered him up so she wanted to say thank you.  

I know this is a bit of a story, but you get the jist! 

Carol Sinclair

Delivering services differently

From Maureen Allan, STRiVE/East Lothian Volunteer Development

As we start to move from the immediate crisis of Covid 19 you may be thinking about how to start the process of delivering your service differently, how will it work for you and your staff. In the ‘Further Reading’ section below is a suggested framework that will assist you to examine the implications and future actions we need to take. If you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact me directly or if you would like discuss this as a group/sector I will set up an online “chat” for next Thursday as a starting point, please send me an email at saying that you would like to be included.

Many thanks,


Further reading

Violence against Women and Girls – Covid-19 May update

From Veronica Campanile…Dear East Lothian and Midlothian VAWG local network

Once again the main focus is on VAWG within the context of Covid-19.


  1. Midlothian MYPAS: Young Men’s Therapeutic project is now able to take referrals for online support.  We are offering online support via Zoom meeting, computer gaming or through telephone for young men in Midlothian age 12-21. These forms of engagement would involve taking the time to talk confidentially with a young men’s therapeutic worker. We are able to start working with these referrals immediately (currently no waiting list).  MORE INFORMATION  /  REFERRAL FORM
  • Information for the public on OUR local VAWG services at  – contact Veronica for  How frontline services can support survivors (not on website)
  •  Supplementary VAW Guidance, Scottish Government, CoSLA, Public Health Scotland, Improvement Service – The COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures now in place to control the spread of the coronavirus, are no excuse for the perpetration of violence against women and girls (VAWG). However, they may create an environment whereby the risks to women, children and young people suffering or recovering from domestic abuse and other forms of VAWG are heightened in local communities across Scotland – the aim of the supplementary guidance is to ensure that a sustainable, joined-up approach to safeguarding the needs of women, children and young people experiencing VAWG during COVID-19 is embedded at a local strategic level. Specifically, it aims to: 

– Ensure local decision-makers are aware of the suite of COVID-19 guidance that has been developed nationally that will be relevant to supporting women, children and young people affected by VAWG, and tackling perpetrators of that abuse;4 

– Highlight risks to women, children and young people affected by VAWG in the: Short term (during periods of lockdown and other social restrictions);  Medium term (as restrictions are lifted and we move towards recovery); and Long term (as partners transition to a ‘new normal’);

– Support local decision-makers to identify short-, medium- and long-terms actions to mitigate risks to women, children and young people as a result of COVID-19 and begin to support early planning for the post-pandemic period in order to ensure women, children and young people’s recovery needs are recognised and addressed at a strategic level.

Full Document  /   Executive Summary Document

  • Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline has an excellent range of leaflets with advice for survivors during Covid-19  on:
  • Safety planning – whether you are planning on staying in your home, thinking of leaving, or looking for ways to get help
  • Accommodation options – if you are thinking about staying somewhere else
  • Reporting to the police – including how to do this, and what should happen if you do
  • Child contact – how the coronavirus rules might affect any arrangements that you have in place
  • Finding a Solicitor – if you have questions about how to find a solicitor
  • Stalking and harassment – things that you can think about if this is escalating during the lockdown
  • Mental health – where to find information and support with your mental health and wellbeing
  • CLiCK Helpline – CLiCK has launched a new helpline that women who sell/exchange sex or images online can use to get in touch with a CLiCK Women’s Worker.

The Helpline number is 0300 124 5564 and is available during the following times:  Tuesday: 3pm-5pm  / Wednesday: 11am-7pm / Thursday: 6pm-9pm  / Saturday: 12pm-2pm.  Please share this launch on social media: The Twitter announcement is available here and the attached graphic can be shared. Find CLiCK on:  Twitter: @click_scotland  / Facebook: / Instagram: @click_scotland

  • Covid-19 Home fire safety checklist, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, highlighting risks with people spending more time at home – attached
  • Psychological First Aid – the link to the infographic wasn’t right last month  and I can’t find the source – however, here is a link to the a brief presentation which incorporates it
  • Edinburgh University’s Generation Scotland team and network are urgently researching the effect the Covid-19 situation – and the government’s policies regarding it – are having on the lives of people in the U.K., and, importantly, who is being affected. It is a major survey of which interim results are already beginning to have an impact at national policy level in Scotland.  The Health Equity Network have circulated this request as a further boost  by helping to distribute the survey and encouraging completion of it across all diverse adult groups in the UK – this will be much appreciated and will hopefully also have a significant impact on informing improved policy making for the benefit of all groups. The survey can be found here. –
  •  Covid-19: Gathering and using data to ensure that the response integrates women’s equality and rights, Engender Scotland – In this short briefing we set out the key features of gender-sensitive sex-disaggregated data and what we think this should mean for the data gathered and analysed by Scottish Government and other public bodies at this critical time.


  1.  Jurisdictional approaches to Child Contact where there are issues of Domestic Abuse,  Scottish Government Justice Analytical Services Covid Research and Intelligence– attached
  2.  Safe and Together COVID-19 specific blogs:
  3. Using a perpetrator pattern assessment in this context
  4. Custody and access issues related to COVID-19
  5. Now is not the time for child welfare to lose focus on domestic violence
  6. How the pandemic gives us new opportunities to reach out to men
  7. Specific episodes of our Partnered with a Survivor Podcast 
  1.  COVID-19 and domestic violence: Caring States?, ESID, 30 April 2020 – ESID’s expert Sohela Nasneen, on the politics of domestic violence sets out vital ways that states can address domestic violence during the Covid-19 lockdown. This brief article looking mainly at domestic abuse in developing countries, however, the policy recommendations are useful here also.
  1.  COVID 19 and the Impact on Gender and Sexuality 21 May 20, Susie Joly, IDS: interesting international perspective covering also the impact on equalities,  has useful links.

VAWG Resources

  1.  Why Violence Against Women and Girls is Public Health Issue Conference 25/11/19  – Conference Learning Report

The Improvement Service, COSLA and NHS Health Scotland held this national conference with support from the Public Health Reform team and the National Violence Against Women Network to highlight why violence against women (VAW) is a public health issue. It brought together a wide range of delegates from across the VAW and public health sectors to explore opportunities to adopt a public health approach to tackling VAW and gender inequality in Scotland and the leadership needed at a local and national level to support this shift. We had excellent speakers from both the VAW and public health sectors who set the context for the day. The workshops focused on developing a theory of change for each Public Health priority to embed VAWG going forward.

  1.  Safe and Together –
  2. New page for Resources for Family and Friends. It includes our ground-breaking Family and Friends Ally Guide, which was created out of the direct experiences of survivors of domestic violence, coercive control and child abuse. It outlines what survivors wish their friends and family had known or done to assist them to safety and healing. It’s also useful for practitioners who are working with families. This page has links to resources, including social media image posts you can download and use on your own platform.   
  3. Partnered with a Survivor Podcast on the Safe & Together Institute’s Family and Friends Ally Guide. David Mandel interviews Ruth Stearns Mandel about this new resource for friends and family. They discuss the ideas behind the guide including how to behaviorally identify coercive control and domestic violence in the life of their loved one. 
  4. Virtual Practice Support Group Tips developed from conversations with over 100 practitioners from across the globe. These innovative tips have been compiled from the experience of front line multi-agency practitioners in response to the challenges of supporting families during the pandemic.
  5. Partnered with a Survivor Podcast with Luke and Ryan Hart whose mother and sister were killed by their father following many years of coercive control. Luke and Ryan explore the specific parallels between their story and the current context of the pandemic and share some of the ways they resisted their father’s control and maintained their sanity through small rituals of connection.
  6. David Mandel White paper: Assessing perpetrator behavior change and why Perpetrator Intervention Program Completion Certificates are Dangerous
  7.   Zero Suicide Alliance , free on-line suicide awareness training – equivalent of SafeTALK.

Veronica Campanile, Violence Against Women and Girls Coordinator

East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Office, Room F28 Brunton Hall, 16 Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AF

Direct tel: 01620 827475  Mobile: 07540 101 227 / EMPPO Tel: 0131 653 5150 / /

Further reading

Sports and activities update

Paul Huish, ELC Club and Community Sports Development Officer, writes…

Sport, Culture and Leisure Activities – Phase 1

I am sure you have all heard the good news that the Scottish Government confirmed yesterday we are moving into phase 1 and that some outdoor activities including Bowls, Golf and Tennis can resume (with restrictions in place) from today (29th May 2020).

This is a really positive step and hopefully it won’t be long until we see more sport and physical activities starting back up. Below are links to Bowls, Golf and Tennis guidance that might be of interest and something that may help you in your preparation for getting your club ready to get going again.

Post-box Challenge

This is a great initiative developed by one of East Lothian’s Outdoor Learning volunteers.

The link below is an orienteering / post-box challenge for East Lothian towns.  It can be accessed by ANYONE for FREE (following Current Social Distancing Guidelines) – all you need is a smartphone.  No need to run, any form of active travel can be used during your daily exercise and it doesn’t need to be done in order, or all post-boxes visited.

Please share amongst your members and encourage them to get out there and give it a go!

Why not give the Postbox Challenge a go by clicking on the link above?

Disability Sport – #GiveItaGo CHALLENGE

Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) has launched a new programme! – Their #GiveItAGo initiative is an opportunity for individuals and families to recreate some of their Inclusive Activity Cards at home over the next 8 weeks & submit videos to be featured on their weekly montage. There’s a £10 voucher up for grabs for the most creative team so putting a spin on it with a theme, costumes, equipment etc. could put you in with a shout for a prize!

It’s free to take part & it’s all about having FUN! You can register your team & find out about this week’s challenge at

Spaces for People Programme

The Spaces for People programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Sustrans Scotland and aims to enable measures focused on protecting public health, supporting social distancing and preventing a second wave of the outbreak.

I would be grateful if you could share the link below as widely as you can to ensure that we gather suggestions from as many people as possible in the very short time-frame that we have.

Find out more here.

Sustrans Outside In

Four weeks of fun and educational resources and activity ideas for families.

Videos, games, weekly challenges, themed activities and more. Weekly updates are packed with creative, active and interesting indoor and outdoor activities for all.

More information here.

Remember we are here to support. So, please do not hesitate to drop of us an email or give us a call on the details below.

Paul HuishStephen Wands
Club & Community Development Officer – Haddington, Prestonpans & TranentClub & Community Development Officer – Dunbar, Musselburgh & North Berwick
T: 01875 818120T: 01620 823387 
M: 07714 481697 M: 07970 968721

Keep safe, enjoy the sun and have a great weekend.

Best wishes,


Fisherrow Hub Newsletter 28 May 2020

David Rowse, SDSO at Fisherrow, writes…

We have produced our weekly newsletter to let you see what other people are getting up to, if you would like to contribute to this please send your stories and pictures to and we will endeavour to include them in the next newsletter run.

Just a brief note to say there will be no newsletter on the weeks of the 18th & 25th of June 2020, so get your pictures and stories in before so we can get them in. The next newsletter out will be on the 28th June the news editor is having a well-earned break. During this time your contact numbers for anything you need support with will be Colin Jeffrey Mob 07967-588702 & John Murphy Mob 07791-136497

If you would like to get in touch with one of your friends but don’t have their contact details we can act as a go between if this would be helpful. We have successfully linked up several of our service users already.

It is important in these times that we try to keep in touch so if you need to chat or just want to hear another voice please phone me on Mob 07725-218157, I will always get back to you so if I’m busy leave a message.

Please keep safe and keep well

Kind regards

David Rowse    

View full newsletter here

Meet Bill Ramsay

Bill is the new Primary Care Service Manager for ELHSCP and is based in Musselburgh Primary Care Centre.

He says:

‘I have worked in the NHS for over 14 years with NHS National Services Scotland in information analysis particularly focussing on primary and community information.

‘I am well known round ELHSCP, as I spent the last three years as Principal Information Analyst for the Local Intelligence Support Team that covered East Lothian.

‘Outside work, I am Deputy District Commissioner for Edinburgh North East Scouts supporting over 200 adult volunteers delivering scouting to young people.’

Crookston Banner celebrates ELHSCP superheroes!

Crookston Care Home Manager Pauline Skead says:

‘I bought this banner to thank all the staff working in Crookston.

‘I wanted to say thank everyone for all their hard work and dedication to the residents.

‘It has been a difficult time for everyone but they have put the needs of the residents first. They have tried to keep residents stimulated and to support them to keep in contact with loved ones.

‘They all do an amazing job!’