Care home visiting guidance and testing updates (Added 13 October)

On 12 October, Scottish Government updated visiting guidance, to better balance the risks of COVID-19 with important considerations such as time with loved ones. This should be implemented as soon as care homes have planned and prepared to do so safely. Local oversight boards can give support and advice to help implement this safely. Updates include (all with safety and infection prevention recommendations to be in place):

  • Indoor visiting to up to four hours.
  • Outdoor visiting to up to one hour, with up to six visitors from up to two households.  Children and young people can also be supported to attend.
  • Increased flexibility around the circumstances and definition of essential visiting, to include visits to prevent or respond to a decline in residents’ health and wellbeing, to help with communication and distress and in end of life care.
  • Children and young people can be supported to attend essential visits.
  • No upper time limit for essential visits.
  • Changes to the designated visitor and circumstances when these should be supported.
  • Support for touch, and greater involvement with daily routine, to happen safely.
  • Spiritual and faith representatives supported to visit indoors and outdoors, at all stages of the pandemic, and not regarded as ‘designated visitors’.
  • Hairdressers supported to visit care homes.
  • Selected gifts and resident belongings can be brought in.
  • Arrangements for pets and therapets to be brought in safely.

 The new guidance also includes an update to ‘Enhancing Wellbeing Visits and Activities, including communal activities’, for visiting by professionals and people other than family and friends, to clarify support for spiritual visits, recommendations for singing, and arrangements for adult respite admissions.  

A wider update on the move of testing from UK Government Laboratories to the NHS and Regional Hubs is also included.

The full update can be read online on the Scottish Government website.

Tell Us Once – what to do after someone dies (Added 4 August)

Tell Us Once is a free service that allows citizens to share details of the deceased with relevant government departments, removing the need to engage with each one separately and supply numerous copies of the death certificate.

The service is available in all councils across England, Scotland and Wales and In 2019/2020, 78% of all citizens who registered a death went on to use the Tell Us Once service.

Tell Us Once can notify organisations including:

  • DWP State Pension, Universal Credit, Attendance Allowance and so on
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • HM Passport Office
  • Council services such as adult social services, libraries, Blue Badge, concessionary travel, electoral services
  • Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)
  • Public Sector Pensions: NHS, Teachers, Armed forces and so on.

The system is easy to use and once completed departments are notified instantly, no need for you to contact them separately via telephone or in writing.

The Tell Us Once service is the result of partnership working between Central and Local government and aims to help citizens at a time when they need it the most.

If you have any questions about the service or would like to find out more, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PETAL Support (Added 4 August)

PETAL Support is a Scottish charity that has been supporting people affected by homicide and suicide for over 25 years. During the coronavirus pandemic the service they provide has been extended to support families bereaved by COVID-19.

FACTS Information Posters are available in multiple languages/formats (Added 22 July)

The FACTS Information Posters are available in multiple languages/formats, which can be found in BSL, audio and additional languages

Care home visiting from 3 July - FAQs (Added 3 July)

On 25 June the Scottish Government published guidance and a plan for the phased return to care home visiting, starting with outdoor visiting on 3 July.

FAQs are now also available through the link above to support these visits. The FAQs will be reviewed and updated as the phased return to visiting progresses.

Stop It Now campaign helps you to keep children safe from harm (Added 3 July)

During this pandemic, children may be isolated from traditional support networks, and exposed to greater risks online or in their own homes meaning that abuse could go undetected.

Stop It Now Scotland has created a prevention pack designed to help keep children safe, using the knowledge and experience it has gained over 12 years working to keep children safe from harm. The pack of resources is free and contains practical advice for professionals, individuals and families. If you wish to receive printed copies of any of these items, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(COVID-19): Test and Protect information leaflet (Added 26 June)

The Scottish Government has produced a leaflet and step-by-step guide to Test and Protect, which has been sent to every household in Scotland.

The leaflet contains information on how Test and Protect works and how to prepare in case you need to self-isolate.

This information is available in English and other languages, and alternative formats, which you can find here.

Advice for people who use mental health, learning disability and dementia services (Added 24 June)

The Mental Welfare Commission has published advice advice on coronavirus for people who use mental health, learning disability and dementia services.

Care homes information leaflet for visitors (Added 24 June)

The Scottish Government has released an information leaflet for members of the public visiting relatives living in a care home.

Phase 2 poster guidance (Added 24 June)

The following posters have been made avaiable by the Scottish Government to support the stages of the phase 2 reopening. 

New guide for people with dementia going into hospital during the pandemic (Added 30 April)

Alzheimer Scotland has published a guide for people with dementia, families and carers on going into hospital during the pandemic.  This may be helpful for services where people living with dementia are going into hospital and need staff help to prepare. You can read the guide here.

Supporting people to keep in touch when care homes are not accepting visitors (updated 30 March 2020)

Where care homes are not accepting visitors, it is important that systems are put in place to enable people to keep in touch. This is a time of concern and worry for people about their loved ones and it is important that they can keep in touch. It is also important for the health and wellbeing of people who live in services to not feel abandoned by family and friends.

Download our supporting people to keep in touch when care homes are not accepting visitors guide.

SCLD coronavirus information for people with learning disabilities (updated 30 March 2020)

The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) has produced guidance for people with learning disabilities on the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.  This includes easy-read common questions and stay at home advice.

Find out more on their website here or join their Facebook group ‘SCLD stay in touch’, which is open to anyone.