Care Inspectorate guidance for services

Visit our Covid-19 FAQs page for more information.  

Our compendium guide

The Care Inspectorate has developed a compendium of guidance and information in relation to Covid-19.

The compendium focuses on the information that is most relevant to the operation and delivery of regulated care services and is intended primarily to support our staff in advising services. However, the range of information may also be directly useful to services. 

The compendium is regularly updated as guidance is developed and revised.

Archived Updates

You can find older updates on the Archived Updates page.

Letter from the Minister on re-opening of building-based days services for adults (Added 8 June)

Kevin Stewart, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care has written to provide clarity for services on who has authority to sign off the risk assessments required for them to re-open. You can read the letter here.

ELC Covid-19 Update for May 2021 (Added 3 June 2021)

The Scottish Government has published the Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update for May 2021. 

Materials for schools and childcare settings (Added 3 June 2021)

The Scottish Government has created new resources to encourage safe behaviors by families, and to help parents and carers to understand the steps that they can take to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

These resources can be accessed at the following links:

Wetransfer 
Dropbox 
FTP 

These links lead to a number of resources that can be printed and displayed in settings or shared with families.

Most of these were shared recently, but the toolkit now contains translations of all PDF documents in the following: BSL, audio, easy read, Arabic, Gaelic, Chinese (Simplified), Urdu, Punjabi, Polish, Romanian.

Recording of LFD test results on the reporting portal (Added 3 June 2021)

There has been a small development with the NSS portal that should hopefully save you some time in recording your LFD tests results. From now on, when you are recording testing results on the NSS portal, you will no longer need to insert the serial numbers for LFD kits on the portal. However you should continue to insert the Lot Numbers.  

Effective Covid-19 care home staff PCR testing (Added 27 May 2021)

NHS Scotland has produced a list of best practice tips for Covid-19 PCR testing for staff. The list aims to improve process and reduce errors.

Advice card – ventilation advice for everyone at work (Added 27 May 2021)

The Scottish Government has issued a new sector advice card with ventilation advice for everyone at work. You can find this, and all previous sector advice cards, here.

Updated guidance for repurposing prescription only medicines (POMs) in care homes and hospices during the Covid-19 pandemic (added 18 May 2021)

We have updated our guidance for repurposing prescription only medicines (POMs) in care Homes and hospices during the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidelines for repurposing prescription medicines have been extended for one more year alongside a recommendation to keep small quantities of medicines.

Symptomatic childcare testing programme - letter to ELC and SAC settings (added 11 May 2021)

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) and School-aged Childcare (SAC) settings which are participating in the asymptomatic childcare testing programme.

The letter requests services' help in promoting the key elements of the programme and in
identifying areas for improvements through a survey.

Please continue routine regimes for asymptomatic testing (added 4 May 2021)

Testing does not change with the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine. Even after social care staff have received the vaccination, asymptomatic routine staff testing should continue to happen, and government advice and FACTS should still be followed.

The vaccine does not interfere with the Covid-19 test. The current vaccines have demonstrated a high level of protection against coronavirus but no vaccine provides 100% immunity. Vaccination reduces your risk of developing coronavirus and your symptoms are likely to be milder if you do get it. The duration of effectiveness of the vaccines remains unknown so further doses may be necessary in future. 

Testing continues to be important because it can identify cases even where people have no symptoms, so they are able to self-isolate and protect others. Asymptomatic testing protects people experiencing care and care staff colleagues and it is an important part of protecting against Covid-19 alongside other infection prevention and control measures, including PPE, physical distancing as appropriate, and remaining vigilant for symptoms.

Scottish Government is reviewing the asymptomatic staff testing strategy specifically in care homes, to take account of improvements in community prevalence. It is likely that testing in some form will remain but it is likely to be reduced. More details will follow soon.

More information:

Care Inspectorate information about testing

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for key workers | NHS inform

Guidance for school age childcare services (added 27 April 2021)

For the attention of school age childcare services

The Scottish Government has published updated guidance to support the return of secondary age children to school age childcare settings.

From 12 April 2021 secondary age children have been able to return to school full-time. To align with this return, secondary age children can return to regulated school age childcare settings - subject to the following mitigation measures:

  • Secondary age children should maintain a 2m distance from other secondary age children and from adults in order to reduce risks of transmission 
  • To align with the guidance for secondary age pupils in school, children of secondary age should wear face coverings indoors

You can find the full updated guidance for school age childcare services here.

Inspections of services for children and young people (except childminders) (added 27 April 2021)

We suspended our normal inspection programme in March 2020 in response to Scottish Government national restrictions on movement put in place to help suppress the spread of Covid-19. We maintained close contact with services across the country, providing advice and guidance to help providers continue to deliver services through a time of unprecedented challenge.

During the autumn and winter we recommenced our inspection programme on a revised basis. We carried out as much activity as possible remotely, using digital and other means. We undertook assurance activity to respond proportionately to any concerns and continued to make visits to services wherever we judged it was necessary to gain assurance about children’s wellbeing.

We have now revised our inspection priorities for 2021-22. Find out how we will be inspecting here.

Letter for all childminders (added 27 April 2021)

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all childminders with an update on expanded access to testing which childminders may wish to undertake.

Letter for all day care of children providers (added 27 April 2021)

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all day care of children providers containing an update on reporting any issues with testing including deliveries. The letter also reiterates important key points about the asymptomatic testing programme.

Update to school age childcare guidance - return of secondary age children (added 21 April 2021) 

The Scottish Government has published updated guidance to support the return of secondary age children to school age childcare settings.

From 12 April, secondary age children have been able to return to school full-time. To align with this return, secondary age children can return to regulated school age childcare settings, subject to the following mitigation measures:

  • Secondary age children should maintain a 2m distance from other secondary age children and from adults in order to reduce risks of transmission
  • To align with the guidance for secondary age pupils in school, children of secondary age should wear face coverings indoors

You can find the full updated guidance for school age childcare services here.

Key changes in the latest guidance are as noted above.

Open for Care - Visiting health, social care and other services in care homes and communal activity (added 14 April 2021)

The Scottish Government has provided updated advice for care homes on visiting professionals and communal activities.

Updated guidance for the regulation of guardianship arrangements in boarding schools (added 13 April 2021)

We have updated our guidance for the regulation of guardianship arrangements in boarding schools. The updated version includes guidance on home visits. 

Scottish Covid-19 Community Health and Care Settings Infection Prevention and Control Addendum (Added 8 April 2021)

The Scottish Covid-19 Care Home and Community Health and Care Settings Infection Prevention and Control Addendum is now available. You can access it on the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual website.

Letter to all ELC and School-aged childcare settings (Added 6 April 2021)

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all ELC and School-aged childcare settings with an update on routine asymptomatic testing for staff.

Scottish Covid-19 testing support helpline (Added 1 April)

The Scottish Covid-19 testing support helpline is now part of a portfolio of helpline services offered by The National Contact Tracing Centre (NCTC). 

Issues and queries may be submitted to the Scottish COVID Testing Support Helpline:

  • Directly on 0800 008 6587 from 09:00 to 17:00 every day
  • Electronically via support button on www.covidtestingportal.scot at any time

 Our position on opening for visiting in care homes and supporting essential visiting (added 1 April)

People must be able and supported to have meaningful contact with loved ones and, now that the vaccination programme in care homes is well underway, it is right that care homes open again to visitors. People’s rights and needs must be the focus of decision making.

To help care homes, the Scottish Government has published Open with Care and we strongly support this. Open with Care is guidance that clearly sets out how care homes can welcome visitors safely with the appropriate measures in place.

We fully expect every care home to facilitate visiting and implement Open with Care. Having visits is essential for wellbeing and good mental health.

Read our statement in full here.

Funding for school age childcare providers (added 23 March)

The Scottish Government has announced up to £3 million of dedicated funding through the next round of the Temporary Restrictions Fund (TRF).  This is targeted solely at providers of school aged childcare following the full reopening of nurseries and other early learning and childcare (ELC) settings.

School age childcare providers, including childminders registered to provide care for 12 or more children, will be able to access a support grant for each week in which they are open.  Grants will vary depending on their capacity and how many weeks the setting was open. 

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to registered school age childcare providers with informamtion on how to apply. 

Applications will open on 7 April 2021 and close on 4 May 2021. 

In addition, all registered settings, whether open or closed, will be able to claim a restart grant to support reopening following the end of restrictions. 

Childminding business sustainability fund: now open to applications (added 11 March)

On 9 February the Scottish Government confirmed that additional funding would be made available in order to increase the Childminding Business Sustainability Fund to £3.2 million.

The increased funding allows the Scottish Government to provide a £750 business sustainability grant to all childminding services who are registered with the Care Inspectorate as of 1 February 2021.

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to registered childminders with information on how to apply. 

Applications open on 11 March and will close at midnight on 17 March, you have 7 days to submit your application, after this the application window will be closed and no late applications will be possible.

Letter to all registered school age childcare providers (Added 2 March)

Today the First Minister confirmed that, following a continued suppression of the coronavirus figures, regulated school age childcare settings can re-open to all primary school children from 15 March alongside the return of P4-7 children as part of the phase 2 return. The plans are conditional on continued progress on suppressing coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all registered school age childcare providers with more information. 

Letter to daycare of children services: update on the temporary restrictions fund (Added 2 March)

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all registered daycare of children services with an update on the Temporary Restrictions Fund.

This letter provides details of Round 2 of the Fund covering the four week period from 1 February – 26 February 2021.

Further information

Information is available on the NHS Inform website. The key messages for Scotland are:   

  • As part of the Scotland-wide, coordinated response to coronavirus, NHS 24 provides the most up to date information and advice here.  
  • NHS 24 has also set up a dedicated helpline for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms but are seeking information. The helpline number is 0800 028 2816 and is available Monday to Friday, 0800 to 1000, Saturday and Sunday, 0900 to 1700. 
  • People who have travelled to an affected area and have symptoms of a cough, fever or difficulty breathing should stay at home and phone their GP (family doctor), or call NHS 24 on 111 if their GP surgery is closed.
  • People with general questions are advised to visit www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus in the first instance. This is the quickest and easiest way to get information and it also means that the 111 service is able to help those people with more immediate clinical need. NHSinform includes an interactive self-help guide where people can answer a few simple questions on line to assess whether they need to seek further help or advice by telephone.
  • There is a communications toolkit with information for health and care settings to download, share and print  – please be aware that this is updated as the situation develops so should be checked frequently. Please use the latest version in your setting and update if required. 

NHS 24 has active Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels that are the official social feeds for Coronavirus in Scotland. You can follow these from the links below. 

Health Protection Scotland has also produced information and guidance which should be useful and this is updated at regular intervals.

The Scottish Government summary of response arrangements for coronavirus in Scotland can be found here.   

Other guidance

NHS Inform has published guidance leaflets and posters in a variety of different languages and easy-read format. You can download these from their website here.