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

Sarah Fortune to replace Jim Lamond

Sarah Fortune, Head of Finance, has been named as preferred candidate for the Executive Director – Council Resources role.

The post is vacant following the retirement of Jim Lamond.

The appointment, which follows an external recruitment campaign, is subject to the usual pre-employment checks and a start date will be confirmed in due course. The appointment follows a meeting of the Chief Officer Appointment Subcommittee.

Sarah will report directly to Chief Executive, Monica Patterson, who said:

“I would like to congratulate Sarah on her appointment as Executive Director for Council Resources.

“As our focus on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic sharpens, Sarah will work closely with myself, and other members of the Executive and wider Council Management Team, in continuing to oversee delivery of high-quality and efficient services to the communities of East Lothian.

“I wish Sarah every success in her new role and look forward to working with her in the months and years ahead.”

Find out more about the Herbert Protocol

Herbert Protocol for Dementia in Berkshire

The Herbert Protocol is a nationally recognised scheme focused on people living with dementia who may be at risk of going missing. The main aim of the Herbert Protocol form is that it is completed in advance so that significant information is recorded and readily available for police in the event of someone going missing. It can help the police to find someone who goes missing more quickly.

People who care for someone with dementia can fill out a form with details about the person including where the person grew up,  favourite places, and a picture of the person with consent to share this on social media should it be required.

The form is then kept somewhere safe in the person’s household. If the person goes missing, the form helps police to quickly access important information to help find them. Find out more and download the form https://www.scotland.police.uk/your-community/the-lothians-and-scottish-borders/

Purple Alert

A community minded app for people with dementia if they are missing

Purple Alert is a free app designed by people living with dementia and carers, Alzheimer Scotland staff, Police Scotland, Social Work, Dementia Friends Scotland, Health and Social Care Partnerships and Telecare Services.

After successfully reach our milestone of 10,000 downloads, Purple Alert has gone through a major design and functionality upgrade. While the main functionality is still helping finding a person with dementia if they’re lost, the new app serves tailored content to users, depending on where you are in Scotland or when you use the app


Further reading

New You Tube mental-wellbeing playlist launched by East Lothian Psychological Therapies Service

May 10 to 16 is National Mental Health Awareness Week and to mark the occasion, East Lothian Psychological Therapies Service has launched a series of mental health videos that people can use to guide themselves through difficult times. This work has received generous support from the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation.

There are nine playlists, each one discussing different aspects of life, stress and overcoming difficult times. The team has chosen the playlist format to all be only a few minutes long so that they fit in with modern viewing habits

You can watch in the bath, in bed, on the bus or anywhere that’s easy for you. Whenever you’re most likely to get a quiet 10 minutes to yourself, is a good time to set aside for coming to this channel. You can jump in anywhere you choose.

The team have designed the videos in the playlists in sequence so you can follow them like a course. But they are all free-standing so you can just choose the video that sounds most helpful to you and start with that.

Peter Murray, Chair of East Lothian Integration Joint Board said:

‘I know that we have all been through the mill with Covid 19 and many people have been feeling anxious or low. These are normal feelings and, even without a pandemic to contend with, ones that most of us will experience at some time in our lives.

These videos are really useful in helping us to understand why we might be feeling low and simple things that we can do to start feeling better. I don’t think they could be better timed than this and we are really pleased to be able to start releasing them on social media during Mental Health Awareness Week.

I’d like to say a big thank-you to the Psychological Therapies team for all the work they put into this and to the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation for their support, which helped to turn a brilliant idea into a brilliant resource.’

Jane Ferguson, Director of Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation said:

‘We were delighted to support the production of these videos and are extremely grateful to everyone who donated to our COVID-19 appeal and made this possible. Thanks to our community of friends and supporters, the Psychological Therapies team has been able to provide online support for people who were experiencing mental health problems while face-to -face sessions were not possible. I think the team has done a great job and these videos will be a fantastic resource for anyone who has experienced increased stress and anxiety as a result of the pandemic.’

To access the playlists, go to http://bit.ly/elpts

Big thanks to the Filling Station for making International Nurses Day 2021 a day to remember

As you know, yesterday (12 May) was International Nurses Day and Lorraine Cowan, Tracy Leishman and Fiona Gallagher from the senior nursing team at East Lothian Community Hospital were keen to do something to mark the occasion this year of all years.

And it seemed that a scone for all would very much be in order.

Fiona phoned The Filing Station in Prestonpans to see if they could fulfil an order for 500 scones. Filling Station manager Carolyn came back quickly to say that they would be delighted and that they would do a special rate for scones with clotted cream and jam. However, when Fiona turned up at the Filling Station she was told that the scones would be free, and that the Filling Station would deliver them in their van to East Lothian Community Hospital for onward distribution. This was extremely fortunate, as Fiona could quickly see that her car would be far too small.

Fiona said:

‘It was so kind.

‘The logistics were huge but scones went to Belhaven and the Edington, and District Nurses and Health Visitors across East Lothian. They also went to all the wards in East Lothian Community Hospital, the Mental Health Teams, the Midwives, the Hospital@Home Team, the Vaccination Team, the Hospital 2 Home Team, the Community Treatment and Access Service (CTACS), Site and Capacity, the Care Home Team, the Palliative Care Team and the Endoscopy Team. A large number also went to Musselburgh Primary Care Centre for Care When It Counts, CTACS and all the other nursing teams there. ‘I think I got everybody – we really tried to unite every nurse in our teams across the county with their scone.

‘I can’t thank Carolyn and everyone at the Filling Station enough for making this an International Nurses Day to remember.’

Carers Big Day Out – 11 June 2021

We’re still booking for The Carers Big Day Out at Foxlake. 🙂

Get out and about on Carers’ Week. Why not sign up for ELHSCP’s Carers’ free get-together at Foxlake on 11 June. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, sandwiches and cake and access to all Foxlake’s activities or just a chance to hang out. ELHSCP will offer support with transport, you can come along with the person you care for or ELHSCP may be able to provide support for you to come on your own if you prefer. The choice is yours. Contact elhscp@eastlothian.gov.uk for more information.

East Lothian Community Cycle-Path and Walkway consultation

We’re really sorry if you were kept waiting and couldn’t get into the meeting on the 21st. We have rescheduled this meeting for 6 May from 4-5pm via Teams. The meeting planned for the 29th from 5-6pm is also still going ahead.

You will now need to sign up for both these meetings, so if you would like to be at either or both, please email Ausra.Montvydaite@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk and she will send you meeting links. Sorry for the change of plan, but this is way guarantees you admission. 🙂

Men across generations

From Loreen Pardoe, Generations Working Together

A lovely opportunity for me to share with you – and for you to share with your networks. “Men Across Generations” as an upcoming Thematic Meeting session in May.

For anyone who would like to attend, not already a GWT member – please ask them to contact bella@generationsworkingtogether.org.

Also, a reminder of the next thematic meeting which is on Friday 30th April – “Year of Childhood 2021, through an Intergenerational Lens”.


The next few sessions can be found on the event page too – so do read through the different links and see if something captures your attention. It would be lovely to have you all enjoying these special events.

Download invitation