We all share the same concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The need for public bodies and health practitioners to be able to communicate directly with people when dealing with this type of health emergency has never been greater.
Data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop Government, the NHS or any other health professionals from sending public health messages to people, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing. Nor does it stop them using the latest technology to facilitate safe and speedy consultations and diagnoses. Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.
The ICO is a reasonable and pragmatic regulator, one that does not operate in isolation from matters of serious public concern. Regarding compliance with data protection, we will take into account the compelling public interest in the current health emergency.
The safety and security of the public remains our primary concern. The ICO and our colleagues in the public sector have this at the forefront of our minds at this time. We are here to help our colleagues on the frontline. We can offer advice to make sure the law around data protection and direct marketing is clear. Information is available on our website or you can call our helpline on 0303 123 1113.
East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership is implementing Scottish Government guidance for COVID-19/coronavirus and, from Thursday 19th March 2020, is restricting visiting times to residents at The Abbey, Crookston and Eskgreen Care Homes to Wednesdays and Sundays:
2pm to 3pm
7pm to 8pm.
We ask that only one person visits during these times, no one under the age of 12 years and if you have any underlying health conditions, are over 70 years old or feel unwell in any way, please do not visit. Families will be supported to access the homes at other times if residents needs’ change or circumstances change.
If your relative or friend is at a privately-operated care home or nursing home, please phone them direct to find out what restrictions they have in place.
Resource, Day Centres and Lunch Clubs
We need to follow public health guidance to ensure ‘social distancing’ for our most vulnerable service-users. East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership has reached a decision to suspend the provision of community support and ‘day hospitals’ temporarily from 23 March 2020. We have written out to services-users and carers to let them know.
This decision also reflects what is happening in other Lothian Health and Social Care partnerships.
We are making arrangements with day centre staff and others to monitor and support people who use our services to offset the effects of the closure of day services.
Arrangements will be made with the Resource Centre staff and others to provide support and to monitor clients to mitigate the effects of the closure of day services, ensuing priority clients have an individual support plan.
Tynebank, Port Seton and Fisherrow Resource Centres
We know that many individual day centres and lunch clubs are making arrangements with their service-users for support while the clubs are closed. Please speak to your day centre or lunch club about their plans.
Our home meals delivery service continues to operate as normal.
I would like to provide an
update on how the Care Inspectorate is responding through our contingency
planning to the COVID-19 situation.
I’d also like to thank all
providers, our social care workforce, and public servants for the work you are
doing to protect vulnerable people. The coming weeks and months are going to
test us all and I want you to know we are fully committed
to supporting all those who provide health and social care services, in order
to keep people safe, during this global health emergency. In the Care
Inspectorate we have a varied and experienced group
of staff and we will be considering how they can help, advise and guide
services directly in coming days and weeks.
Over the past week we have taken
the decision to scale down our inspections during this time and put in place
arrangements which will involve gathering information, assessing the level of
risk in care services and establishing assurances about the quality of care
people experience. We are only making visits to services when absolutely
necessary. We are also operating in a similar manner around complaints.
At this extremely challenging time, we will support
services in their need to apply flexibility and judgement around staffing to
ensure the safety and wellbeing of people experiencing care. We recognise that
services will need to be creative and make use of a wider range of resources,
including potentially staff from other public services and volunteers.
Over recent days, we have issued
guidance for all registered care services including early learning and
childcare services informing them of the changes we have introduced. I would
encourage you to work with your staff to consider what this means in your
specific setting and the potential impact it will have on your work.
Guidance and information
We have created a coronavirus
COVID-19 page on our website, which we are updating continuously. Currently, it
includes information on notifications, staffing levels and registration.
We are also providing regular
updates on Twitter, Facebook and in our Provider Updates newsletter, which we
are currently sending to all registered care services along with subscribers. I
encourage you to follow us on social media and to subscribe to our free
e-newsletters service, ensuring you tick the Provider Updates preference when
you do so here: http://bit.ly/CI-subscribe
Getting in touch
If you have any concerns, or
need any additional guidance, I would ask you to get in touch with your Care
Inspectorate contact, who will be able to help you in the usual way. In line
with wider public health developments, we will continue to provide updates on
our activities at www.careinspectorate.com,
our social media channels, and through our customer contact centre, on 0345 600
We will review our activity in the weeks ahead and we will continue to support you and people who experience care.
I wanted to say
that I know we are in for a challenging time with COVID-19 and thank you in
advance for the enormous effort you I know you will put in.
We have taken
part in a lot of emergency planning exercises, rehearsing all kinds of
disasters, and we have coped really well in actual emergencies like the ‘Beast
from the East’, albeit this is a different challenge that will last significantly
longer and could affect us on a personal level as well as in our professional
roles. Team spirit, flexibility and determination to put our service-users
first is what will see us through.
We will keep you up to date with the rapidly changing situation. We are already
working closely with our providers to ensure that their business continuity
planning is able to meet the specific risks that COVID-19 presents to the
services they provide, too.
safe, stay well (if you can) and know that East Lothian Health and Social Care
Partnership and our service-users and their carers appreciate every ounce of
the effort that you put in for them.
Please see the attached downloads for guidance on COVID-19 for staff employed by East Lothian Council and NHS Lothian. Please let staff who are not regularly in the office know to check Alison’s Blog for updates from their smart phone or home computer.
The title Group Service Manager has been replaced by General Manager. This is in line with other HSCPs and describes more accurately the role of the senior managers responsible for our services.
Myself and Iain Gorman Head of Operations (Deputy to Chief Officer) and the General Managers have discussed and agreed the following for an initial period of six months.
Chief Officer Alison Macdonald will continue to line manage:
General Manager Acute and Ongoing Care – Lorraine Cowan
General Manager Rehabilitation – Lesley Berry
Interim General Manager Strategic Integration – Paul Currie
Interim General Manager – Planning and Performance/COVID Budget Holder – Laura Kerr
Head of Operations Iain Gorman will line manage:
General Manager Adult Social Work – Rona Laskowski
General Manager Statutory Services – Trish Carlyle
General Manager Adult Community Services/Mental Health and Learning Disabilities – Gillian Neil
General Manager Planning and Performance – Laura Kerr
General Manager Strategic Integration – Paul Currie
The professional leads – Chief Nurse, Chief Social Work Officer, Clinical Director and lead AHP – will continue to report directly to the Chief Officer in line with the agreements in the Scheme of Integration
Reporting arrangements to General Managers
There will be no changes to current reporting arrangements for HSCP teams who report to the relevant General Manager.
Social Work Pathway
There is an out standing commitment to reviewing the social work path way and we are committed to progressing this work, reporting to Core Management Team (CMT) and the Strategic Planning Group for information.
The review of the social work pathway will need to be completed by early June
Revising the management structure
A revised management structure is being considered to accommodate these new ways of working; this is yet be finalised. This has led us to make a choice to have interim arrangements in place to ensure that when we, with you, have worked through any new arrangements the management structure can adapt to accommodate.
A number of options need to be considered in relation to the work around Adult Protection, Community Justice, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities.
Trish will continue in the post General Manager – Statutory Services:
Justice social work services
Carers though this will transition into the social work area at a later date anticipated following the procurement arrangements for carer services
SDS to be mapped into the customer journey with Rod continuing to have an operational lead
SW lead developing SW Governance arrangements
Rona will assume the post General Manager – Adult Social Work:
Assessment and Review
Social Work Journey
Care Home Team
In the interim there will need to be shared management put in place for some elements but we will keep you updated as things change.