NHS Lothian marks Trans Day of Visibility 01/04/2022 16:06

31st March was Trans Day of Visibility and NHS Lothian issued this release, which features our very own Rob Kerr. It would be great if we at ELHSCP were able to make our own contribution next year. If you have ideas, please get in touch. Jane at jogden-smith@eastlothian.gov.uk

Promoting NHS Lothian’s diversity and inclusion, not just in how we meet and care for our patients, but also in how we meet and care for each other, is fundamental to our values.

Calum Campbell, Chief Executive for NHS Lothian, said: “As an employer and healthcare provider we state without reservation that all staff and patients must be treated equally irrespective of their gender, sexuality, skin colour, culture or religion. We support diversity of all kinds and the fundamental need for equality and inclusion is at the heart of what we stand for. It’s important that we as staff and representatives of NHS Lothian, stand against any form of intolerance – we must treat one another with care, compassion, dignity, and respect. These are a key part of our organisation’s values.”

International Trans Day of Visibility is an event observed all over the globe to increase awareness of gender diversity, the existence of transgender people, and the discrimination they face in many aspects of society. NHS Lothian worked with the NHS Lothian LGBT+ Staff Network to share the stories of four trans colleagues, and you can read their stories below. You can also retweet and share them on Twitter: Maxwell’s storyRobin’s storyRob’s story, and Kai’s story.

Maxwell says:

“My name is Maxwell Reay, and I have worked as a chaplain in the NHS Lothian Spiritual Care Team for 15 years. I am a gay trans man. Being transgender is a central part of my identity and my gender journey has shaped who I am today. I was born female and I identify and live as male.

Every now and again I find myself coming out to someone at work who is unaware of my story.

I do this because I am proud that I can fully embrace my identity at work.

I do this because LGBTQI+ visibility is important.

I do this because coming out saves lives.

I do this because I trust that the values of NHS Lothian apply to all staff and patients.

Robin says:

“My name is Robin Kepple, and I have been with NHS Lothian for just over a year. I have identified as transgender for over ten years, but I’ve used a variety of labels within that category.

Whether you are cisgender or transgender, your gender is a journey. Let yourself find what you are most comfortable with – it’s okay if that changes, too. Being sure of who you are is the most empowering thing you can do, and it’s one of the most inspirational things you can show others.

Rob says:

“My name is Rob Kerr, and I have been working as a Personal Assistant at East Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership since 2019, having previously worked at NHS Highland for 12 years and in the medical publishing industry prior to that.

As someone who came out as non-binary/gender fluid in my early 50s, I am keen to raise awareness among people of my generation about what it means to be non-binary. I don’t mind what pronouns people use for me but prefer to be addressed as Mx, although I often have to explain what that means.

Coming out has given me so much confidence to be my true self at last, especially at work.”

Kai says:

“My name is Kai Millar, and I am a spiritual caregiver (Chaplain). I work throughout the hospital responding to referrals made by nursing staff on behalf of the patient or family when the are struggling with receiving ‘bad news’ have low mood or coming to the end of their life.

I love to work with people, hear their life story, help them to identify the things that are most important to them in their lives and work towards fulfilling them. I am passionate about people and hearing and responding to the needs of the people. I am a person who works for Justice for all people. In this I promote the health and well-being of all.”

Housing, Health and Place engagement

Many of you will have received an email around a week or so ago, around our plans to consult on the Local Housing Strategy 2023-28. Since then, we have taken the decision along with colleagues to expand the consultation workshops to include opportunities to feed into other relevant strategic plans such as East Lothian IJB Strategic Plan and the Local Development Plan.

Getting housing ‘right’ is about much more than bricks and mortar or developing high numbers of good quality affordable homes. It’s about supporting place-making to ensure new housebuilding fosters good community relations and promotes positive health impacts. It’s about improving existing stock to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty, and it’s also about ensuring that households are supported to thrive in their homes, regardless of disability or limitations they might face. This is why East Lothian Council and EL Health and Social Care Partnership are working together to seek views on three key strategic plans which will shape East Lothian over the next 3-10 years.

The workshop dates and times will remain the same, as set out below. The only difference is that within each workshop you’ll have the opportunity to attend two different break rooms.

These workshops are being shared with H&SCP, ELC staff as well we as our third sector partners and wider providers. Please feel free to share with other professional stakeholders who you think might be interested.

If you’d like to sign up to attend, please email lhs@eastlothian.gov.uk . For organisations who don’t feel that they ‘fit’ into a theme, we will be holding a more general ‘inequalities & housing’ workshop which is also listed below.  

04/04/20222-4pmInequalities & Housing
06/04/20222-4pmChildren & Young People
08/04/20229.30-11.30amEthnic Minorities (including Gypsy/Travellers), asylum seekers & refugees
11/04/20222-4pmLearning Disabilities & Autism
13/04/20222-4pmViolence Against Women & Girls
19/04/20222-4pmOlder People
25/04/202210-12Substance Misuse
27/04/202210-12Mental Health

Please share this invite widely with colleagues if you can.

Downloadable version of info and invite here

Alison Macdonald appointed as New Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals

NHS Lothian are pleased to announce that Alison Macdonald, Joint Director of East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP), has been appointed NHS Lothian’s new Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals

Alison has spent her career in the NHS and has over 40 years of nursing

For the past three years, Alison has worked to deliver integrated health and
social care as Director for ELHSCP and Chief Officer of the East Lothian Joint
Integration Board.

Alison oversaw a number of significant developments in this time, including the opening of the new community hospital in Haddington, ELHSCP becoming a high performing partnership in terms of reducing delays in discharge, and the development of innovative community services.

Prior to this position, Alison held a number of senior nursing positions in NHS Lothian.
Alison said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be taking up the role of Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals.

“I’ve always been driven to make sure that people get the help and support they need to live well and that staff are empowered to deliver good quality care.

“I’m a firm believer in change and innovation and I think it’s really important that our healthcare services continue to adapt to the way people live now.”

Alison will formally begin her new role on 20th June 2022

Scottish Government Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy March Workshops

From Scottish Government

March workshops

We are inviting stakeholders to attend workshops to help us shape our future Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The first of the Scottish Government events are being held on 7 and 9 March from 14:00 to 15:30.

These will be virtual events hosted on Teams and the numbers in attendance will be limited to approx. 20 individuals for each session.

If you would like to attend one of these workshops, please send an email with your name, organisation, contact details and preferred date to Lesley.McDowall@gov.scot

These initial workshops will focus on the scope of the strategy and the outcomes we want to achieve.

There will be further opportunities to participate in engagement events and contribute to the strategy content throughout the process. We are committed to publishing the strategy by the end of 2022.

Scottish Government wants to hear your views

There are a range of ways stakeholders can participate and contribute to
the strategy development.

  • Organisations, groups and networks may choose to hold their own
    workshop/engagement events.
  • Stakeholders may choose to attend one of the facilitated workshops
    hosted by Scottish Government.
  • Those with lived experience may wish to arrange a meeting for only
    those with lived experience and this could be supported by Scottish
    Government to ensure a meaningful two way engagement process
  • Those with lived experience may wish to participate in stakeholder
    led engagement events or they may choose to attend one of the
    workshops hosted by Scottish Government.

Where stakeholders choose to hold their own engagement events,
guidance and background information will be provided to help maintain a
consistent approach across all engagement sessions. Please get in touch
with us to discuss

Scotland’s Census 2022 – COEL offers support and advice for carers

Carers of East Lothian (COEL) is supporting unpaid carers to complete the 2022 Census this month.

They’re offering one-to-one sessions at the Carers of East Lothian office in East Lothian Community Hospital on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th March 2022, where they’re happy to help to:

  • Complete the online Census questionnaire
  • Apply for a paper questionnaire
  • Complete a paper questionnaire if this has already been applied for

Carers can sign up for a 30-minute slot by phoning us on 0131 665 0135 or emailing centre@coel.org.uk.

Carers will be asked to bring the letter received from the National Records of Scotland with them to help us to complete any forms. If neither date is possible to attend, they’d still encourage folk to get in touch and they will look at alternative options for support in completing the Census.

Young Women’s Research Collective is looking for young women to take part in an exciting research project and digital campaign

From the Young Women’s Research Collective

Do you want to get involved in making your community a happier, safer place for young women? Are you interested in learning more about feminist research? Would you like to a shape an exciting research project and digital campaign?

We are looking for 8 self-identifying young women, aged between 16-25 living in East Lothian to form a research collective to lead a research project and digital campaign in East Lothian, no research or campaigning experience required!

The research will investigate views on healthy and unhealthy relationships and gender based violence. We also want to understand where young women in East Lothian go for support currently, if they feel there are gaps or barriers to getting support and what kind of support young women want.

The Young Women’s Research Collective will meet digitally. Between March and June 2022.

The Collective will meet 6 times, each meeting will last for two hours and will be facilitated by Rhianna, the research manager at YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement. The Young Women’s Research Collective members will be paid £10/h for their participation.

With our support the collective will develop research methodology, design a survey, support focus groups, and develop a digital campaign to help young women understand healthy relationships to help Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre and Women’s Aid East and Mid Lothian better support young women.

While the research covers difficult subjects, the research collective will be a safe space for young women to come together to make a difference on this important issue.

You can get more information on the campaign or help applying by emailing Rhianna –

We understand that this might be a difficult topic for you to read or hear about. If you need support or someone to chat to you can call Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234 email helpline@sdafmh.org.uk or visit sdafmh.org.uk

Find out more here.

Important date for your diary tomorrow!

It’s Care Day 2022 tomorrow. East Lothian Council’s Share the Care team has arranged an online drop-in session on Friday 18 February 11am-12 for anyone who wants to hear more about what our amazing Share the Carers do to support young people with disabilities in East Lothian.

You can join for five minutes or fifty minutes and have all your questions answered. 

Register your interest with Leann Robinson (lrobinson@eastlothian.gov.uk) and you’ll receive a link to attend ahead of the day. You’ll also be given the opportunity to link in with a Share the Carer following the session to hear more about their experiences.

More information on Share the Care is available from the Council’s website www.eastlothian.gov.uk