Racism in Scottish Social Work: a 2021 snapshot

The Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) has launched a report exploring racism in Scottish Social Work

Racism in Scottish Social Work: a 2021 snapshot is the result of ongoing work undertaken by SASW including a survey, which ran towards the end of 2020, and an anti-racism roundtable in March 2021, all in collaboration with members with lived experience.

The report provides evidence that:

  • Racism exists within social work in Scotland
  • Racism is experienced in both employment and education settings, from colleagues, managers and people who use services
  • The impact of racism on social workers from BAME backgrounds is significant
  • When racism is reported it is rarely dealt with in a satisfactory way
  • Racism experienced within social work is harmful, both to individuals and to the profession

On the launch, Alison Bavidge, National Director, said:

We asked social workers about their experiences of racism.  What they told us shows we have a long way to go to ensure our workplaces and educational settings are free from discrimination based on race.  This report will lay the foundations for SASW’s own anti-racism strategy and action plan for the next three years as part of a wider equalities, diversity and inclusion programme throughout BASW UK. SASW will be working to consider its own position in terms of representation on our National Standing Committee, staff group, whether our systems act against diversity and so on.  We will also engage with universities and social work leaders in Scotland to work positively, collaboratively and to learn from each other to eradicate this exhausting and harmful abuse”

Read the report here

Mental Welfare Commission publishes two reports for consideration by the Scottish Mental Health Law Review

Advance statements

In the first of two reports published today by the Mental Welfare Commission, new analysis shows very low use of advance statements by people who are detained for treatment and who are visited by doctors appointed by the Commission. An advance statement is written by a person when they are well, setting out the care and treatment they would prefer or would dislike should they become mentally unwell again in the future. A person’s advance statement should be regarded by their psychiatrist, the designated medical practitioner, and the Mental Health tribunal for Scotland.

While advance statements were introduced in the 2003 Mental Health Act as important safeguards for individuals, the Commission’s new analysis shows that only 6.6% of people being detained for treatment under the Act over a three and a half year period (to December 2020) had written an advance statement. The report published today analyses the data and makes recommendations to health boards to improve uptake of advance statements. It also make suggestions for the Scottish Mental Health Law Review to consider as part of its current work.

Significantly impaired decision-making ability

The second report published today by the Commission is a research paper focusing on one of the criteria – significantly impaired decision making ability (SIDMA) – used when doctors consider that a person requires compulsory treatment. Significantly impaired decision-making ability is a concept unique to Scottish law. It was also introduced in 2003 Act as part of efforts to reduce discrimination and incorporate greater respect for patient autonomy.

Today’s research paper finds poor practice in recording and describing the presence of significantly impaired decision-making ability in the individual concerned in almost every one of 100 compulsory treatment forms examined. While it is not a legal requirement to record that detail, the Commission believes it is important to do so. Again, the Commission asks the Scottish Mental Health Law Review team to consider these findings and make changes for the future.

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

“We undertook this research and are publishing these reports today because we believe they will be of interest to the Scottish Mental Health Law Review as it develops its thinking on the future of mental health laws in this country.

“Both of the subjects we explore – advance statements, and the concept of significantly impaired decision-making ability – were introduced to law in the 2003 Mental Health Act.

“Both sought to bring about more consideration of individuals’ rights, but today’s research shows that while the concepts were and are good, the practice has not achieved what it set out to do.

“We hope that by having this factual analysis the Scottish Mental Health Law Review team will be more able to take forward ideas for change.

“We would be happy to attend a session of the relevant group to discuss the findings and legislative ideas further.” Copies of the research documents are available here:

Move More – volunteers required


Can you help spread the word?

Macmillan Move More East Lothian are looking for Volunteers to help support people living with and beyond cancer across the county to become, and stay, more physically active as Gentle Movement Class Leads, Motivators and Buddy Walkers. Full training and support is provided 🙂

If you or someone you know have a couple of hours a month to dedicate to helping others, please see full details on the enjoyleisure Macmillan Move More East Lothian webpage, email movemore@enjoyleisure.com or check out and share our advert on Facebook and Instagram.

Move More East Lothian is a 12 week physical activity programme (see schedule attached), delivered by enjoyleisure, in partnership with East Lothian Council and Macmillan Cancer Support. Individuals with a cancer experience can apply to join themselves or be referred by a healthcare professional, and fully trained Cancer Rehabilitation exercise instructors and volunteers then facilitate the activities both in-person and online, ensuring they are tailored and at a pace that’s right for the participant, helping to build confidence, balance and strength, in a fun and supportive environment. The programme offers a range of activities, including;

  • Gym/Circuits-based classes
  • Gentle Movement classes (Tai Chi / Qigong fusion with meditation)
  • Health & Wellbeing walks
  • Gardening groups

For people living with cancer, taking part in physical activity before, during and after cancer treatment can play a huge part in enabling them to take back control, prevent and manage some of the effects of treatment such as fatigue, depression and risks to heart health, and many people tell us that it helps them to feel more like their old self.

Please feel free to share the attached poster, programme leaflet and activity schedule with anyone you think would be interested in volunteering or joining the programme as a participant.

Thank you!


Shauna Cunningham

Macmillan Move More Coordinator
enjoyleisure, Head Office, Musselburgh Sports Centre, Newbigging, Musselburgh, EH21 7AS
T: 0131 653 5264  |  Internal: 4264  |  E: scunningham@enjoyleisure.com | M: 07929 015 087

Please note, my working pattern is Mon, Tues and Thurs 

Give us your views about service-user/patient IT systems

Dear Colleagues

East Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership would like to hear from you about the service-user/patient IT systems you access on a daily basis to support you in your role.

Please take 5 minutes to complete the survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2RFQZ5B

Please share this survey with as many East Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership colleagues, encouraging them to have their say. This will support the work ongoing to understand our IT system connectivity requirements and needs within our Partnership.

Closing date is Tuesday 3rd August 2021.

Thank you for your time.

Iain Gorman
Head of Operations
(PA: Rob Kerr 0162082 7790 / 07814 366644 
* roberta.kerr@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk)

Huntington’s disease: an enabling approach to supporting families

From Scottish Huntington’s Association

Applications are now open for learners from across Scotland, the UK and around the world for 2021 entry to a pioneering undergraduate module created in partnership with families impacted by Huntington’s disease.  

Delivered by University of Stirling in collaboration with Scottish Huntington’s Association, ‘Huntington’s disease: an enabling approach to supporting families’ is of particular interest to health and social care professionals who work with clients from the HD community, including carers and young people growing up in HD families. 

Learners will draw on current global research and practice in the field in order to provide improved care and support to people impacted by HD. The module begins on 13 September 2021 with a virtual one-day session, followed by 14 weeks of online learning and study. All learning will be delivered online and can be accessed at times to suit individual learners.

Course fees are £675 and the SCQF level 10 module carries 20 credits. To find out more, visit https://bit.ly/30UvSfn or email louise.mccabe@stir.ac.uk 

EU Settlement Scheme – the deadline has now passed

Update from COSLA

Wednesday, 30 June 2021, was the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020.

More than six million applications were made to the EU Settlement Scheme before the 30 June deadline, marking an astonishing success in protecting the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK.

The statistics released today (Friday 2 July) show there were 6.02 million applications made to the scheme by 30 June with 5.1 million grants of status. There have been more than 5.3 million applications from England, 291,200 from Scotland, 98,600 from Wales, and 98,400 from Northern Ireland.  

The surge in applications, including more than 400,000 in June alone, means that there are around 570,000 pending applications. The Government has repeatedly assured those who applied before the deadline that they will have their rights protected until their application is decided, as set out in law, and they have the means to prove their protected rights if needed. 

A full statistics report highlighting details of applications made by the end of June 2021 will be published in due course.  

The Home Office would like to thank you for all your support throughout the scheme. Your work has been invaluable in reaching EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, and helping them to secure their rights in UK law.

From Thursday 1 July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members are now required to obtain a valid UK immigration status to be in the UK, either through the EUSS, if they were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 or are a joining family member, or through a valid visa.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can expect to be asked to show their digital status to prove their right to work or their right to rent to landlords in England. Other departments, such as HMRC, DWP and the NHS, will have automatic access to their status to check a person’s eligibility for free healthcare, benefits and access to public funds.

Pending applications

Anyone who made an application by the 30 June 2021 deadline will have their existing rights protected, pending the outcome of their application. Applicants are issued with a Certificate of Application, which can be relied on to evidence their rights.

Their Certificate of Application will be available in their view and prove account or will be sent to them by post. Landlords and employers can also use the Home Office view and prove service to confirm protected rights for an individual.

The Home Office will contact any applicant where we need further information to progress their application.

How to access and update digital status

You can view your EUSS status online, via the view and prove your immigration status service.

Please refer to the following guide for further information about using your digital status: ‘Your immigration status: an introduction for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens’.

Switching from pre-settled status to settled-status

If you hold pre-settled status, you can apply to switch to settled status as soon as you’re eligible. This is usually after you’ve lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 5 years in a row (known as ‘continuous residence’).

You do not need to have held pre-settled status for 5 years before you can apply to switch to settled status. If you have spent more than 6 months outside the UK in a 12-month period, you may not be eligible for settled status.

To switch, you must apply to the EUSS again before your pre-settled status expires. For further information, please refer to the guidance available on GOV.UK.

Joining family members

Family members of any nationality of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, can apply at any time, where the family relationship was formed by that date (except where a child was born or adopted after it) and continues to exist. They may be able to apply to the EUSS from outside the UK or they may need to apply for an EUSS family permit to come to the UK and then apply to the EUSS once here.

Applying for children

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 must apply to the EUSS for their children who are not British citizens. For further information please refer to the guidance available on GOV.UK.

If they are expecting to have a child (or have given birth since 1 April 2021), then the child will also need to have an application made on their behalf to the EUSS within 3 months of their date of birth. However, if either of the child’s parents had settled status under the EUSS (or another form of indefinite leave to enter or remain) before the child was born, then they don’t need to make an application on their behalf, as the child will be a British citizen.  

Before you travel – crossing the UK border after 30 June 2021

Individuals with pre-settled or settled status under the EUSS should ensure that they update their online account with all valid travel documents (such as passports or national identity cards) that they hold and intend to use for travel, to avoid any unnecessary delays at the border. They can do this online by using the view and prove service, which enables individuals with digital status to keep their travel documents updated.

Applications made after 30 June 2021 deadline

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, there remains scope for a person eligible for status under the EUSS to make a late application to the scheme where there are reasonable grounds for their having missed the deadline.

We have published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for missing the deadline on GOV.UK.

Where a person did not apply before the deadline, they must make a valid application online or on the relevant paper application form – and provide information with the application setting out their grounds for applying late.

The Home Office will continue to look to grant status, rather than for reasons to refuse. A flexible and pragmatic approach will be taken in considering whether there are reasonable grounds for the person’s failure to apply by the deadline.

If someone without status is encountered who may be eligible for it, they will be provided with a written notice giving them an opportunity to apply to the scheme, setting out their reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, normally within 28 days, and signposted to the support available.

Important information

We will be publishing new information guides on GOV.UK. We will share these with you over the coming days. However, information on late applications can be found on GOV.UK and information for community groups can be found on GOV.UK here.

New social media assets reflecting the deadline passing are also available on our Brandworkz platform.

We will continue to send you regular updates on the scheme with the latest information on scheme performance, new communications materials and the new points-based immigration system.

Recruitment underway for Chair of Community Justice Scotland

Image result for community justice scotland

The role of Chair of Community Justice Scotland has now gone live for recruitment.
Community Justice Scotland is an ambitious organisation which is focused on promoting positive messages about people who are in contact with the criminal justice system and the need for a wider range of services to offer them support to address the underlying reasons for their offending behaviour and prevent further offending.  The role of CJS Members, including the Chair, is to provide leadership, direction, support and guidance to ensure that CJS delivers and is committed to delivering its functions effectively and efficiently with the aims, policies and priorities of Scottish Ministers. 

Find more information about the role: Scottish Government – Public Appointments (appointed-for-scotland.org)