Undertake the PDA in Technology Enabled Care (Added 2 March 2021)

Over the next 12 months NHS Education for Scotland will fully fund 10 candidates from across Health and Social Care to undertake the Professional Development Award (PDA) in Technology Enabled Care. The usual cost per candidate is £600.

The qualification will be accessed through online distance learning in partnership with Bon Accord Support Services, Aberdeen who are an SQA Approved Delivery Centre.

You can find more information in the application form.

Application Forms must be returned to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm Monday 15 March 2021.

Adult care homes: visiting guidance (Added 25 February 2021)

The Scottish Government has published new guidance for care homes on visiting during the pandemic plus tools and resources on visiting, and supporting residents in homes with Covid-19.

This guidance recommends that care homes now put in place the necessary arrangements to safely resume meaningful contact between care home residents and their loved ones.

Donna Bell, Director for Mental Health & Social Care, has issued a letter to care home providers explaining the new guidance and the steps to supporting it to be adopted across Scotland in the near future. 

Update for parents/carers of children returning to ELC and P1-3 (Added 18 February 2021)

Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director, has issued a letter to parents and carers of children returning to ELC and P1-3. The letter explains the reasoning for the decision to enable younger children to return to ELC and schools next week.

Please share this letter with all families as early as possible.

The Scottish Government has created a template letter that you may find helpful in your own parental communication. 

Parent Club will also be producing a poster with these key points, which will be distributed early next week.

Update on childcare re-opening to all pre-school children (Added 16 February 2021)

Today the First Minister confirmed that, following a continued suppression of the coronavirus figures, early learning and childcare settings (which includes nurseries, playgroups, and family centres) can re-open to all pre-school children from 22 February.

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

Guidance for deployment of agency staff to care homes during Covid-19 pandemic (Added 12 February 2021)

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all adult care homes in Scotland which contains guidance for deployment of agency staff to care homes during Covid-19 pandemic.

Childminding Business Sustainability Fund (Added 9 February 2021)

On 21 January, the Scottish Government confirmed that £1m would be made available to provide grant support to childminders in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their businesses.

The Scottish Government has today confirmed that additional funding will be made available in order to increase the fund to more than £3.2 million.

This £3.2 million fund will provide for a £750 business sustainability grant to be made available to all childminding services registered with the Care Inspectorate as of 1 February 2021.

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all childminders with more information on the fund. 

Update on childcare re-opening to all pre-school children (Added 02 February 2021)

Today the First Minister announced the Scottish Government’s intention that childcare settings can re-open to all pre-school children from 22nd February. This is subject to continued progress in suppressing the virus and will be subject to final confirmation in two weeks’ time.

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

Care home visiting guidance during current restrictions (Added 02 February 2021)

During the current restrictions, garden and window visits to adult care homes are still possible and we expect services to support and facilitate this appropriately. It is essential that people are able to see and connect with loved ones.

We expect garden and window visits to be available in all care homes.

While areas are in Level 4, indoor visiting should be limited to essential visits. There is guidance on what is an essential visit and this is in the Scottish Government guidance we have given a link to below. 

We encourage care homes to work with families, and their local health protection/public health teams, to risk assess individual situations to allow visits to take place where possible.

Services should also be supporting residents to stay in touch with loved ones regularly using technology and with help from staff. 

If you have any questions please contact your allocated inspector.

All guidance for care homes, including visiting, can be found in our COVID compendium.

Additionally, the Scottish Government has provided guidance on visiting adult care homes during the pandemic.

Listening and caring in confidence (Added 02 February 2021)

Listening and caring in confidence is a free, confidential, on-line service for care home and care at home staff. The service is offered by Faith in Older People and provides the opportunity to consider your own needs and wellbeing so that you can continue to support those you care for.

ELC Covid-19 Update for January 2021 (Added 02 February 2021) 

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

Covid-19: Scottish workbook 2020 updated (Added 26 January 2021)

The Scottish Government have updated the Covid-19: Scottish workbook which explains how local and national public health agencies should take the action needed to prevent coronavirus spread, together with advice on management of outbreaks. Sector specific advice cards can be found under supporting file here.

Draft quality framework for family-based care (Added 26 January 2021)

In July 2018 we began introducing new frameworks for inspection and self-evaluation across the range of services which we regulate. We have now developed the draft quality framework for family-based care in consultation with providers, inspectors, umbrella bodies and membership organisations.

We want your feedback to ensure that we are developing quality illustrations that reflect good practice, legislation and the range of care and support provided and that should be experienced.  

When you have looked at the draft quality framework please let us know your views by completing our short survey.

Connecting Care Homes – have you applied for digital devices? (Added 26 January 2021)

In November 2020, £1 million of new funding was announced by the Scottish Government to provide digital devices to every registered care home in Scotland. This includes care homes for children and young people.

These devices are to support those living in care homes to connect digitally with all aspects of their life - health, education, wellbeing and to keep in contact with family and friends.

The scheme has been well received, with over 600 applications received during December. Each care home has received one or two iPads and, for those with limited connectivity, a Mifi unit has also been provided to ensure access to the internet.

Applications can still be made by care homes and more details can be found here.

Reinstatement of statutory entitlement and Covid financial support (Added 22 January 2021)

Legislation that places a duty on education authorities to make available 1140 hours of funded ELC to all eligible children from August 2021 has been laid in the Scottish Parliament for its consideration.

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all registered childcare providers outlining what this will mean for them. 

 

Reinstatement of statutory entitlement and Covid financial support (Added 22 January 2021)

Legislation that places a duty on education authorities to make available 1140 hours of funded ELC to all eligible children from August 2021 has been laid in the Scottish Parliament for its consideration.

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all registered childcare providers outlining what this will mean for them. 

Letter to adult care home providers (Added 22 January 2021)

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to adult care home providers which provides advice on vitamin D supplements for care home residents.

Covid-19 vaccine easy read information (Added 21 January 2021)

Public Health Scotland have produced two pieces of easy read information guidance for COVID 19 vaccines. One is aimed at those with dementia and the other for people with learning difficulties.

 

Guidance on coronavirus testing for the care at home sector (Added 21 January 2021)

Guidance and materials are available to support testing of staff working in the following community based care services:

  • Care at home – LFD or PCR testing
  • Sheltered housing and housing with multiple occupancies – LFD testing
  • Adult day centres/ adult day care services – LFD testing
  • Personal assistants (providing care and support to adult clients within social care ) – LFD testing 

The roll-out of testing will commence from 18 January. Distribution of testing kits is currently underway.

Supporting information and training materials to support rollout, including dates for workshops around taking the test, can be found here.

Letter to childminders (Added 21 January 2021)

The Minister for Children and Young People has issued a letter to all childminders which outlines the Scottish Governments Childminding Action Plan. The letter also provides information on how to access the financial support available to childminders.

Letter to adult day care services (Added 21 January 2021) 

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport has issued a letter to adult day care services to clarify that essential day service support can continue throughout the current lockdown and adult day centres can continue to operate.

Care Inspectorate agency staff webinars February 2021 (Added 21 January 2021)

We are inviting all agency staff working in adult and older people care homes to attend one of our free webinars that will be delivered in February 2021.     

As well as registered nurses these are open for all agency staff to attend.

The webinar will share ideas to support wellbeing and recovery in the context of Covid-19.

  • Explore the updated Care Home Infection Prevention and Control Addendum including the SIPCs.
  • Explore why infection prevention and control is important for all staff across the care home
  • Share the agreed Agency working principles
  • Update on testing and vaccinating
  • Sign posting to Covid-19 and infection control specific resources taken from national guidance and simplified by the Care Inspectorate into a one stop shop for adult social care.
  • Share the learning from frequently asked questions (FAQs) from services
  • Discuss effective application of good infection prevention and control practices

You can find more information, including the dates of the webinars, here.

To register for one of the webinars, please use this link to register for your preferred date.

Infection Prevention and Control / Covid-19 – Webinars for All Care Home Staff (Added 21 January 2021)

NHS Education for Scotland invites all care home staff to attend a webinar on Infection Prevention and Control/Covid-19. Webinars will be delivered in January 2021.

The webinars are free and aim to provide staff with key infection prevention and control information they will need to protect themselves and others in the care home setting.

You can find out the dates of the webinars and how to register here.

The importance of services operating within cohorts or ‘bubbles’ (Added 19 January 2021)

With the new strain of Covid-19 having an increasing impact on services for children and young people, we would like to remind providers of the importance of services operating within cohorts or ‘bubbles.’

This means that in order to decrease the chance of transmission, staff should not be routinely moving between settings, even if they are part of the same organisation. Further detail on this can be found in Coronavirus (Covid-19): residential childcare.

The same applies to young people, who should not be freely moving between care settings.  Any movement between settings increases the risk of transmitting the virus, allowing it to spread so it is essential that services adhere to the guidance. 

Any new admission, including for those on short term placements, must be individually risk assessed and a decision on testing made in discussion with the Health Protection Team as detailed in Covid-19: Information and Guidance for Social, Community and Residential Care Settings.

Preventing the spread of coronavirus (added 19 January 2021)

NHS Scotland have released guidance on using contact tracing to prevent the spread of coronavirus if you test positive.

Letter to adult day care services (Added 18 January 2021)

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport has issued a letter to adult day care services to clarify that essential day service support can continue throughout the current lockdown and adult day centres can continue to operate.

Update on review of Building Better Care Homes guide (Added 14 January 2021)

The design guidance for care homes for adults Building Better Care Homes is currently under review.

To support us with the early part of this work, we established a group of representatives from Scottish Care, COSLA, Scottish Government, Local Authority Building Standards Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Health Protection Scotland, Heads of Planning Scotland, Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health, HSE, HIS, Public Health Scotland, Scottish Futures Trust, and representatives from banking forums and architecture firms.

So far, our review has taken account of learning from the pandemic, views of the group and previous feedback.

In the coming months, our next step will be to consult widely on draft guidance with the care home sector and other stakeholders. We want everyone with an interest in care homes for adults to have the opportunity to take part in our consultation. We will update you in due course, to let you know how you can get involved.

When the time comes, we hope you can take part and we look forward to engaging with you.

 

Lateral flow testing for care homes (Added 14 January 2021)

The Scottish Government has updated its guidance on adult care home lateral flow testing to include an updated letter for all care homes.

Temporary financial support for childcare sector (Added 13 January 2021)

Today the Deputy First Minister has announced that the Scottish Government will:

  • make temporary financial support available to private and voluntary sector day care of children providers, and childminders currently providing childcare to 12 or more children, who have remained open for key worker and vulnerable children during the period of the temporary restrictions.
  • provide support for childminders who are most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A summary of the announcements is provided below. Further information is set out on the Scottish Government’s information pages on the financial support available to the sector.

More information on these support measures will be provided as soon as possible.

COVID Restrictions – Temporary Financial Support

Day care of children providers, and childminders who are currently providing childcare to 12 or more children, currently should be open only to key worker and vulnerable children. Further information on the temporary restrictions is provided in the supplementary guidance.

As a result most of these services are open only for small numbers of children, and this can create financial pressures for providers.

That is why temporary financial support will be available to those services who are currently only permitted to operate for vulnerable children or those of key workers, to help mitigate the reduction in income resulting from operating below capacity and ensure these settings can remain open.

Support will be provided through grants to services that are open to deliver childcare to key worker and vulnerable children during the temporary restrictions.

This will include day care of children’s services, childminders who care for 12 or more children and out of school care providers.

To be eligible for the Fund settings need to be registered with the Care Inspectorate as being either:

  • a ‘day care of children’ and a ‘Private’ or ‘Voluntary or Not For Profit’ service; or
  • a ‘childminding service’ and currently caring for 12 or more children.

Providers will also need to confirm that their service is open and operating for key worker and vulnerable children. 

The funding will be available for each four week period the current temporary restrictions are in place.

More information will set out on the Scottish Government’s information pages including details on the level of grants that will be available, and how providers can access this support, as soon as possible.

Care home testing guidance (Added 11 January 2021)

The Scottish Government has today released new guidance on care home testing.

The updated guidance includes:

  • Reported testing issues and workarounds.
  • Arrangements for resupply of tests, including emergency arrangements to reorder tests in urgent situations.
  • Details on workshops in January on care home testing (updates and feedback).
  • Link to updates and care home testing FAQ guidance.

Letter to all registered childcare providers (Added 7 January 2021)

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Monday 4 January that further public health measures in response to the new variant of Covid-19 are to be put in place, the Scottish Government has issued a letter to all registered childcare providers. 

The letter confirms the updated guidance which will apply until at least 1 February 2021. 

Covid-19: Supplementary National Child Protection Guidance updated (Added 7 January 2021)

The guidance includes the following changes:

  • Updated to reflect National Strategic Framework (November 2020)
  • Updated to reflect effective practices during Covid-19 in relation to Registration through virtual Child Protection Planning/Case Conferences
  • References updated and supplemented.

To ensure that you are using the most up to date version, please access it through the website.

Updated guidance on the submission of Covid-19 notifications (Added 7 January 2021)

We recently updated our guidance on the submission of Covid-19 notifications. We have now included some additional information that has come from frequently asked questions.

  • Where staff have ongoing symptoms after 14 days or symptoms of ‘long COVID’, services can end their confirmed outbreak with either a negative test from the staff member or agreement from public health.
  • If a service currently has a confirmed case of Covid-19, they do not need to notify us of further suspected cases until after the confirmed case(s) has been ended.
  • Only one end of confirmed case(s) notification is required (per outbreak).  This should be used to signify that there are no current confirmed cases in the service regardless of whether it was an individual or multiple confirmed cases submitted.
  • Only one end of suspected case(s) notification is required.  This should be used to signify that all suspected cases in the service have either had a negative test or shown no symptoms for 14 days.  Where a confirmed case notification has been submitted, the service is automatically deemed to be in an outbreak and there is no need to submit and end of suspected cases notification.

Children and young people complaint text service (Added 7 January 2021)

We launched a new children and young people complaint text service on 5 January 2021. This text service will add to the other ways young people can raise concerns about the quality of their care.

This service will allow young people to be more informed about their rights to quality care and support which we hope will build trust and allow us to improve their experience of care.

Letter to all registered childcare providers (Added 7 January 2021)

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Monday 4 January that further public health measures in response to the new variant of Covid-19 are to be put in place, the Scottish Government has issued a letter to all registered childcare providers.

The letter confirms the updated guidance which will apply until at least 1 February 2021.

New pharmacy service for care homes (Added 7 January 2021)

A service that offers consultations and advice for minor illnesses is available in all community pharmacies across Scotland. The service is open to those living in care homes and allows care homes and pharmacy teams to work closely together in new ways to support residents. 

A guidance sheet gives a broad overview of how NHS Pharmacy First Scotland will work in the care home setting and what you will need to do to access the service. You may also speak with your community pharmacy team(s) to agree further details on how you will work together.

Adult social care: end of EU transition period (Added 7 January 2021)

The Scottish Government has published information for social care providers on access to the National Services Scotland Support Call Centre in the event of disruption to essential products or supplies due to Brexit.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Visiting an adult care home (Added 7 January 2021)

Guidance for the safe visiting of adult care homes during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is available here. This NHS inform page provides advice and information for family and friends of people living in adult care homes.

Additional preventative measures due to new Covid-19 variant – Testing of Care Home Staff, Visiting Professionals and Outbreak Management (Added 24 December)

Further to the announcement by the First Minister outlining that mainland Scotland will move to Level 4 from 26 December, the Scottish Government has issued a letter outlining updated guidance to the sector on care home testing of care home staff, visiting professionals and outbreak management.

The Scottish Government will update its online guidance to reflect this in due course.

Healthcare support tool (Added 24 December)

Earlier this year, on behalf of the Scottish Government, we developed a healthcare support tool to provide a summary document for collating the important information care home staff may need to provide if they are seeking clinical support for a person who they care for.

This tool was included in the National Clinical and Practice Guidance for Adult Care Homes in Scotland during the Covid-19 Pandemic (Updated 15 May 2020).

In order to support carers, we have updated the Good Communication Guide for care homes which can be found here.

The healthcare support tool has been developed with care homes, GPs and other clinicians to reflect the information needs for situations that arise during the day and out of hours.  Collating and sharing information to get the right level of clinical care and support in the right place in a timely manner for the person you are caring for is important and this healthcare support tool will provide a helpful framework for conversations with healthcare professionals.

 

Helping people you care for to have video calls (Added 24 December)

This guidance for helping people you care for to have video calls outlines key points to think about and get right when you are supporting someone with a video call.

The guidance has been prepared by the Care Inspectorate along with SSPS, Scottish Care and COSLA after consultation with care home managers, clinicians and people receiving care.

Scottish Covid-19 Care Home Infection Prevention and Control Addendum (Added 24 December)

The Care Home IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) Addendum for use in care homes for older people and adults can now be accessed on the main page in the NIPCM index. 

The purpose of this addendum is to provide Covid-19 specific IPC guidance for care home staff and providers on a single platform to improve accessibility. 

The addendum will be continually reviewed and updated as additional information becomes available, therefore, staff are advised to access the online version.

Reduction of self-isolation period from 14 to 10 days (Added 24 December)

The Scottish Government has issued some FAQs following the reduction of the self-isolation period from 14 to 10 days, in particular how it applies in social care settings.

Following discussions between the four UK chief medical officers, and with the chief medical officer, chief nursing officer and the national clinical director in Scotland, it has agreed the recommendations for isolation periods for clinical and social care settings.  The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport has noted, and is content with, these recommendations.

How long should a resident or staff in a care home isolate as a contact of a case?

  • For residents in care homes, isolation for 14 days is recommended.
  • For staff who work in a social care setting, 10 days is recommended.
  • The recommendations for staff will now be outlined in revised guidance to be published shortly by PHS.

When does the Isolation period begin?

  • The day when the individual either displays symptoms or receives a positive test is day one of the countdown.

How long should the isolation period be for health and social care staff returning from non-exempt countries?

  • The isolation period for clinical staff, and other staff working in health and social care, who are returning from non-exempt countries, is 10 days. Travellers from exempt countries do not require to self-isolate, unless otherwise identified as a case or contact.

What is the evidence base for the reduction?

  • The four UK chief medical officers examined the absolute and relative risk associated with both 10-day and 14-day isolation. The current proposal brings the UK into line with approaches recommended by other international organisations, such as the United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

Vaccination programme rollout (Added 24 December)

Covid-19 vaccinations are now taking place in care homes across Scotland.

Information is available from:

You can also access information in translated and accessible formats including BSL and audio here.

Three toolkits provide key information on the vaccine, safety information and benefits:

Care Home Covid-19 Stakeholder Resources

Healthcare Worker Covid-19 Stakeholder Resources

Social Care Worker Covid-19 Stakeholder Resources

Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update No. 10 – December 2020 (Added 22 December)

The Scottish government has released a new Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update.

Lyreco PPE Framework festive arrangements (Added 15 December)

The PPE Directorate mailbox, which is now being used solely for emails relating to the Lyreco PPE Framework, will not be monitored from 24 December 2020 to 4 January 2021.

To ensure that they you able to order and receive PPE through the festive season please register by Monday 21 December 2020.

Organisations that are already registered can continue to place orders and will receive deliveries over the festive period. The Lyreco Festive Opening Times can be read here.

Should a registered organisation wish to discuss an order with Lyreco over the festive period, they can contact Lyreco Customer Services on 0845 723 1220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance.

Supporting you to operate in a safe environment during the festive period (Added 15 December)

Christmas is a time of traditions, celebration and exciting activities for all early learning and childcare (ELC) settings including childminders and school aged childcare.  It is important that this year children and families can have the best experience possible while services continue to operate in a way that mitigates the spread of Covid-19.

We have published new guidance to support services to operate in a safe environment during the festive period.

Letter to all childcare providers (Added 14 December)

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers. The letter contains information about the early learning and childcare expansion pause and provides an update to guidance on the self-isolation period.

Disclosure Scotland coronavirus applications reminder (Added 13 December)

Disclosure Scotland continues to accept and prioritise eligible coronavirus (Covid-19) applications from coronavirus response sectors such as the care sector. Coronavirus response worker applications remain free of charge until Friday 25 December 2020. The Scottish Parliament is considering a proposal to extend this until 25 March 2021.

To be eligible for a coronavirus application, applicants must meet all three of the following criteria:

  • only needs a disclosure because of their coronavirus work
  • in a role only supporting the response to coronavirus
  • working in a qualifying sector

Online application forms are available from Disclosure Scotland's website. Countersignatories must sign and send the forms to Disclosure Scotland through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applications that do not meet this criteria must be submitted via a routine application where standard fees apply.  

Tunes in the Hoose (Added 13 December)

Tunes in the Hoose is a non-profit Scottish musical community born out of lockdown, designed to support traditional Scottish musicians throughout the pandemic in the form of collaborative virtual music performances.

Tunes in the Hoose are providing a free, hour-long virtual ceilidh to be played in every care home in Scotland this Christmas.This invitation also extends to all who rely on care services where this can be facilitated.

Everyone is aware of what a difficult year it has been for our care home residents and those relying on care services. This is a show, filled with the best of Scottish traditional music, dance, festive choir and more, featuring hundreds of musicians who are virtually banding together to bring Christmas cheer to those who need it the most.

Ceilidh in the Care Home will be available to everyone from 14 December to download or view online.

Message to all staff, including EU and EEA citizens, working in social care in Scotland (Added 11 December)

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and the CoSLA Health and Social Care Spokesperson have issued a letter to the social care workforce.

The letter thanks them for their hard work in this unprecedented year, to reiterate to EU Citizen colleagues how valued they are and to encourage applications to the UK Government EU Settlement Scheme, and finally to highlight wellbeing support available to all social care staff.

Changes to funding of ELC for children who defer their start date (Added 9 December)

This week, the Scottish Government laid legislation in the Scottish Parliament to make changes to the rules around funding of ELC for children who defer their school start date. If passed by parliament this will entitle all children who defer to an additional year of funded ELC, from August 2023.

Parents and carers may be wondering what this means for deferral locally. A new page has been added to the Parent Club website to give advice to parents about their current rights to defer their child’s Primary 1 (P1) entry and access to ELC, to help families to make informed decisions. Please consider linking to this in your own parent information.

It is important to note that there is no change in the policy around school deferral. All children who are still 4 years old at the start of the school year can already be deferred and start primary one the following year. Until the legislation comes into force, local authorities continue to have the power to use their discretion to provide funded ELC in a deferred year for August to December born children whose school entry is deferred. Parents and carers should continue to follow their local authority procedures.

For more information please visit here. 

Time limited conditions expiration (Added 9 December)

We are aware that many of you will have time limited conditions that were applied to your existing registration, to allow you to provide care services in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of these time limited conditions will be due to expire soon. We would like to remind you that if you wish to extend or amend the previous agreement (as detailed in the time limited condition), you are required to submit a variation for assessment.

This can be done through eForms. If you no longer require the time limited condition, please submit a variation for its removal.

If you are registered as an Adult Day Care service and are now providing or intend to provide care and/or support to people at home or in the community then you must be registered to do so and should submit a variation application for assessment. This can be done through eForms.

If you continue to provide care at home and intend to do so for 12 months or more, workers must apply for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). Temporary Covid-19 legislation currently allows workers up to 12 months to gain registration (formerly 6 months) but we would encourage you to support staff to apply within reasonable timescales to ensure they achieve registration within the 12 month deadline. 

You can find out more information about SSSC registration requirements here.

Revised notifications guidance (Added 9 December)

We have updated the Covid-19 notifications and guidance to make them clearer and easier to use.

We have amended the notification for suspected cases of Covid-19 to make it clear that only one notification is required for your service when the first case is identified.   We do not require you to tell us about suspected cases on an individual basis, only the first suspected case.   

The purpose of these notifications is to enable us and our partners to direct help and support where it is needed.  It is important that you notify us as outlined in the guidance and in a timely manner. 

The Covid-19 notifications guidance is available on our website here.

Covid-19: Christmas and New Year guidance for Adult Care Homes and Visitors (Added 7 December)

The Scottish Government has released guidance for adult care homes and visitors over the Christmas and New Year period.

The guidance sets out specific safeguards that care homes can put in place to support festive activities while continuing to manage transmission risk. 

Are you a social care worker from overseas? (Added 3 December)

People who work in social care roles and have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge may be able to claim their money back from the UK Government.

Applicants must be working for at least 16 hours a week, but this can be in more than one eligible job. Reimbursement payments are processed in six-month instalments in arrears. 

Eligible applicants can now apply online and find out more about the scheme. Telephone help is available if you have difficulty in applying.

Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update No. 9 –  November 2020 (Added 1 December)

The Scottish government has released a new Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update.

Expansion of testing for care home and care at home services (Added 27 November)

The Scottish Government Director of Mental Health and Social Care, Donna Bell, has issued a letter to care home managers and a letter to care at home providers - adults.

Each of these letters provide more specific detail on the areas of testing within the Testing Expansion Plan as announced earlier this week. 

New guidance on how to recognise and report signs of wilful neglect or ill-treatment (Added 17 November)

Wilful neglect and ill treatment of adults who are being supported is an offence. We have published new guidance, Wilful neglect, ill-treatment and corporate homicide, for social service workers and care providers who deliver social care and health services and support to adults, in partnership with the SSSC.

The guidance supports workers and providers to recognise potential signs of ill-treatment or wilful neglect, when an offence may have occurred and how and who you should report this to.  

Both care providers and registered workers have responsibilities to be alert to the signs of when an offence may have occurred and a duty to report under the SSSC Codes of Practice. The guidance explains what wilful neglect and ill treatment are, how to spot it and how to report it.

Letter to all childcare providers (Added 15 November)

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers. The letter contains information about the early learning and childcare expansion pause and provides an update to guidance on the self-isolation period.

ELC Covid-19 Update for November 2020 (Added 11 November) 

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

Covid-19 asymptomatic weekly testing guidance (Added 11 November)

NHS Scotland and The Scottish Government have released a letter providing additional guidance to care home and NHS employers on the importance of eligible staff undergoing weekly asymptomatic routine Covid-19 testing.

This guidance is only applicable for weekly asymptomatic testing. Where a staff member has symptoms, they should self-isolate and book a test as per national guidance. Where there is a local outbreak/cluster, arrangements for testing will be put in place locally by infection prevention and control teams.

Supporting care home residents to vote in the upcoming Scottish Parliament election (Added 6 November)

On Thursday 6 May 2021 there will be an election to the Scottish Parliament. It is important that you support residents in your care to register to vote and to make an informed decision about which method of voting to use.

Why should I support residents to participate in elections?

The right to vote is a protected human right. Residents in care homes have the right to participate in political and public life.

Supporting residents to vote is central to providing a high quality of service which empowers individuals to participate in society and exercise choice.

The Health and Social Care Standards are underpinned by principles of dignity, respect and inclusion, which relate to our right to vote. Many of the standards for care homes relate directly to supporting residents to vote, for example, the standards around residents being treated fairly and being supported to participate fully and actively in the community.

You can, and should, support residents to register to vote, regardless of whether you are of the view they have capacity to do so.

More information on the Health and Social Care Standards can be found here.

Covid-19

It will be safe to vote in person at a polling station as physical distancing and hygiene measures will be in place. You can expect to see many of the measures you’ve become used to over recent months in banks, shops and other indoor spaces, such as hand sanitiser, signage and face masks.

Currently, care home residents are being advised not to leave their care homes so residents may want to make arrangements now to vote by post or proxy in the election. This can provide peace of mind that their vote is secure, regardless of any changes to government advice on local travel in the coming months.

What do I need to do?

Guidance on how you can support those in your care to register to vote, and apply for a postal or proxy vote is available here.

If you have any questions after reading the guidance you can contact your local Electoral Registration Office. You can find their details by entering the postcode for your care home on the Electoral Commission’s website.

Update for justice social work services (Added 4 November)

On 23 October 2020, the Scottish Government published a new Strategic Framework, setting out levels of intervention to be adopted in the future – either locally, or across Scotland – depending on continued monitoring of Covid-19 data. This came into effect on 02 November 2020.

The Justice Directorate & Children and Families Directorate has issued a letter intended to provide an update on the implications for justice social work services, and to outline some areas of work being progressed by the Scottish Government and partners to support justice social work.

Adult social care winter preparedness (Added 4 November)

The Scottish Government has published the Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness Plan 2020-21. The plan sets out the measures already in place that must be retained and those that need to be introduced across the adult social care sector over winter 2020-21.

New Insight Report – Person-centred care during Covid-19 situations (added 2 November)

In partnership with Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the SSSC, we have released a new joint insight report that outlines the key learning about what has enabled good practice during the pandemic.

Stakeholders from the health and social care system were invited to share their experiences and examples of how services were adapting their person-centred practice to meet new challenges.

Further information can be found here or in this short two-page summary.

Winter Planning for ELC providers including childminders (Added 29 October)

Care Inspectorate Chief Executive Peter Macleod has written a letter to providers of early learning and childcare (ELC), including childminders and school aged childcare, about winter planning during Covid-19.

You can read the letter here.

Extension of the Social Care Staff Support Fund (Added 16 October)

The Scottish Parliament has voted to extend the legal powers for the Social Care Staff Support Fund until 31 March 2021.

Scottish Government guidance has been updated to reflect this.

Webinar delivered by the Personal Outcomes Network (Added 14 October)

The second webinar delivered by the Personal Outcomes Network (PON): 'Meaningful Conversations in a Virtual World’ will be held Wednesday 18th November 2.00-3.15 pm.

This is aimed at Network members and anyone else interested in outcomes for people in the context of Covid-19.

You can book a place here.

Re-opening day services for adults (Added 14 October)

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, has issued a letter regarding the re-opening of day services for adults.

The letter reiterates the importance of daytime support to people who need it and highlights that processes for signing off reopening plans should be well understood locally. 

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.

Winter planning for care homes (Added 8 October)

Care Inspectorate chief executive Peter Macleod has written about winter planning during the pandemic in a letter for care home providers. You can read the letter here.

Letter to all childcare providers (Added 8 October)

The First Minister has announced that, following an increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases across Scotland and on the advice of her medical and scientific advisers, further measures were to be introduced across Scotland to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The announcement by the First Minister has no effect on current childcare arrangements and childcare providers should continue to operate in accordance with the current guidance.

The Scottish Government Early learning and childcare directorate has issued a letter outlining this to all childcare providers. 

Keeping children and families safe in your ELC setting (Added 6 October)

We have produced a poster to help ELC settings keep children and families safe from the spread of Covid-19.

Supporting short-notice recruitment (Added 5 October)

Due to increasing Covid-19 cases and staff consequently having to self-isolate, more care services are having to deploy new staff at short notice. In light of this changing situation and to support services, we have re-instated flexibility allowing providers to deploy staff pending employment checks being returned. Providers should continue to request PVG checks and references, but no longer need to wait for these to be returned satisfactorily before deploying individuals to regulated roles directly supporting and caring for people.

Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update No. 7 – 30 September 2020 (Added 2 October)

The Scottish government has released a new Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update. 

Covid-19 outbreak notifications (Added 28 September) 

We have changed some of our Covid-19 notifications to make them easier to use. We have created four specific notifications to enable you to tell us when there are suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19, and when these end. Please use the same notifications both for staff and for people experiencing care.  

The four new notifications are specifically:

1) Suspected cases of Covid-19 – please use this when someone who experiences care or a member of staff, including agency workers, shows symptoms of coronavirus. The notification can record multiple individuals, therefore if several people show symptoms at the same time, you only need to complete one notification.

2) End of suspected outbreak of Covid-19 – please use this notification if the suspected cases result in negative tests, or after they have shown no symptoms for a period of 14 days.

3) Confirmed cases of Covid-19 notification – Please use this notification whenever someone experiencing care, or a member of staff, including agency staff, tests positive for Covid-19. Please also use this notification if a test has not been possible but coronavirus is confirmed by a medical professional. You need to complete this notification for each person who has been confirmed as having Covid-19. 

4) End of confirmed Covid-19 outbreak notification – Please use this notification when the outbreak of Covid-19 has come to an end, based on negative tests, or when people who had symptoms have shown no symptoms for 14 days.

Remobilisation of stand-alone residential respite/short break facilities (Added 24 September)

Jeane Freeman, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and the Minister for Children and Young People, has released a letter providing an update on guidance to support the remobilisation of stand-alone residential respite/short break facilities for both children and adults.

Dementia - psychoactive medication prescribing and review (Added 24 September) 

The Scottish Government has issued a communication that summarises and reinforces current guidance on the prescribing and review of psychoactive medication for people with dementia across all care settings, including care homes.

Covid-19 - Information and guidance for care home settings (Added 22 September)

Health Protection Scotland has updated it's Covid-19 guidance for those working in residential care home settings.

Updated guidance for childminders on social gatherings (Added 21 September)

The First Minister’s announcement on Thursday 10 September of increased restrictions on social gatherings has led to a number of questions about the impact on childminding services.

To address questions about the new household meeting guidance, the Scottish Government have released a letter to registered childminders. 

What this means is you can continue to care for families in the usual way, however when you mix socially you need to consider the new guidance. This may limit some of the activities you have done previously. Please refer to the revised guidance to ensure you are following safe practice at this time.

COVID19: Occupational Risk Assessment (Added 18 September)

The Scottish Government has provided additional guidance on the risk and vulnerability assessment process in relation to the specific risk of Covid-19 to individuals in the workplace.

In particular, this is relevant to those staff members who are returning to work after shielding, those who are returning to normal duties after Covid-19 related restrictions, those who are returning to the workplace after working from home or anyone who has a concern about a personal vulnerability to Covid-19. 

The tool can be used to assess the risk and enable employers to support staff by introducing suitable controls. The assessment tool allows the employee to complete an individual risk assessment with their manager using the Covid-19 occupational risk assessment tool. This will support staff and managers to agree a course of action on working duties.

Further guidance on Covid-19 individual risk assessment for the workplace can be found here.

New guidance on repurposing medicines during Covid-19 (Added 17 September)

The Care Inspectorate and NHS Scotland have produced updated guidance for care homes and hospices on repurposing prescription medicines during the pandemic.

Letter to care home staff regarding testing staff for Covid-19 (Added 16 September)

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, issued a letter to care home staff regarding testing staff for Covid-19. The letter provides an update on issues experienced over the previous weeks in terms of demand on testing across UK, which is having a significant impact on turnaround times for Covid test results.

Protect Scotland app launches (Added 11 September)

People across Scotland are being urged to download the new Protect Scotland app to help suppress the spread of coronavirus. The free app, available now on Apple and Google stores, will enhance existing Test and Protect contact tracing measures, offering an additional layer of protection to break the chains of transmission faster.

Once downloaded, the app works in the background, using Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert people if they have been within two metres for at least 15 minutes with another app user who has tested positive for coronavirus.

More information can be found in these A4 and A3 posters.   

Pre-employment checks revert to previous position (Added 8 September)

In light of registered care services not reporting significant staffing and recruitment problems, the Care Inspectorate and the SSSC have decided to revert to the previous position regarding pre-employment checks. 

This means that providers are expected to have received satisfactory checks including PVG membership and references before an individual starts work. Removing the previous flexibility introduced at the start of the pandemic is aligned with Disclosure Scotland confirming that there are no longer delays in PVG checking.

Help for childcare providers (Added 4 September)

Transition Fund is open to help protect from Covid-19.

Applications are now open for Scottish Government funding to help childcare providers meet the extra costs of complying with public health guidance.

The Transitional Support Fund, part of £11.2 million support announced for the childcare sector, will help pay for things like increased cleaning, new or additional equipment, better outdoor spaces or adaptations to buildings. 

Scottish Government:  Coronavirus (Covid-19) adult care homes visiting guidance (added 3 September)

The Scottish Government has published guidance on the return of health and social care and other professionals / services to adult care homes.  The guidance also provides advice about residents leaving the care home for day and  overnight visits, group, communal activities and residential respite care during the pandemic.

The recommendation is that, from 7 September, non-essential services should be able to resume visiting residents in care homes.  This is provided relevant risk assessments have been undertaken by care homes and approved by the local Director of Public Health (or delegated representative). 

Scottish Governement ELC Covid-19 Update September 2020 (Added 3 September)

The Scottish Government has published the Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update

Guidance on adult social care building-based day services (Added 31 August)

Further to  the letter from Jeane Freeman MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, and Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Children and Young People, of 3 August, published on the Scottish Government website, we would now like to draw your attention to the Guidance on adult social care building-based day services, published today.

In partnership with Shared Care Scotland, we have also produced an operational guide Back to Business - a guide for the reopening of day services for adults in Scotland.   

Cyber Resilience Covid-19 Bulletin: 27 August (Added 31 August)

The Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Unit released a new issue of the Cyber Resilience Covid-19 Bulletin.

The bulletin shares important cyber security information from trusted sources, including the National Cyber Security Centre, Police Scotland and Trading Standards Scotland

Testing of staff – letter from the Scottish Government (Added 27 August)

The Scottish Government’s Interim Deputy Director for Health Performance and Delivery has issued a letter to all care home manages and chief executives about the testing of staff working in care homes.

You can read a copy of the letter here

Access to testing for childcare staff (Added 25 August)

On Wednesday 12 August in a statement to the Scottish Parliament the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, announced that teachers, nursery and school staff can now be tested for Covid-19 on demand if they are concerned they have been at risk from infection, even if they show no symptoms.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers outlining what this means for them.

Letter to all childcare providers and childminders - quarantine rules following international travel (Added 19 August)

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all childcare providers and childminders following a number of cases of children being in school after recently returning from countries not exempt from self-isolation (“quarantine”) rules. The letter includes a link to the most current guidance and information on the process for people entering the UK after international travel.

Cyber Resilience Covid-19 Bulletin: 13 August (Added 18 August)

The Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Unit released a new issue of the Cyber Resilience Covid-19 Bulletin on the 13th August. 

The bulletin shares important cyber security information from trusted sources, including the National Cyber Security Centre, Police Scotland and Trading Standards Scotland. the letter includes a link to most current gudnace on

Webinar: Law 4 Dementia Carers in Scotland: Coming out of Covid? (Added 12 August)

Tide and Age Scotland would like to invite carers of people with dementia to join a webinar on: "Law 4 Dementia Carers: Coming out of Covid?" on Friday 14th August from 4.00 to 5.30 p.m.

The aim of the webinar is to help carers of people living with dementia to understand their legal rights and what the law might mean for them as lockdown (potentially) comes to an end. You can find more information and register for the webinar  here.

Operating an early learning and childcare setting (including out of school care and childminders) during Covid-19 (Updated 12 August)

We have developed ‘Key Question 5’, a self-evaluation resource and tool which asks you to evaluate how well you are supporting children and families during Covid-19. The aim of this resource is to enable settings to gather information and continually evaluate their progress in supporting staff, children and families to have confidence in the provision of ELC by specifically evidencing how they have implemented the national guidance for Covid-19, while ensuring positive outcomes for children. This is the only Key Question we expect ELC providers (including out of school care and childminders) to compete. This key question will sit alongside our Quality Framework for Early Learning and Childcare when this is published later this year (which will include Key Questions 1-4).

We encourage you to complete the ‘self-evaluation tool’. The tool asks you to take account of performance data when evaluating your service.  This will be individual to your service.  It may include how you communicate with families or other settings where there are blended placements. It may also be some examples of evidence which you wish to include within the tool e.g. Supporting evidence of how you have implemented and reviewed the national guidance relevant to your service:

Inspectors will request the completed self-evaluation from providers on a risk and sampling basis. Please do not send this to us until requested. This will not be before 10 August 2020.  However, we may undertake other scrutiny activities in settings before this date. Read more about this here. 

Phased return to visiting in adult care home services (Added 10 August)

On Saturday 8 August, the Scottish Government published updated guidance on the further relaxing of visiting in adult care homes. 

From Monday, 10 August, care home residents will be able to have up to three outdoor visitors from no more than two households provided their home meets strict criteria, with infection control measures remaining in place. 

Care home providers are also be asked to develop plans on how they can safely allow one designated indoor visitor for residents within their homes. These plans, which also must meet certain criteria, are to be submitted and signed off by the relevant health board’s Director of Public Health.

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to every adult care home in Scotland with further details of what this will mean for them which can be found here.

It confirms that care home residents will be able to receive more outdoor visitors from Monday, 10 August. From this date,  care home residents will be able to have up to three outdoor visitors from no more than two households provided their home meets strict criteria, with infection control measures remaining in place. 

Care home providers will also be asked to develop plans on how they can safely allow one designated indoor visitor for residents within their homes. These plans are to be submitted by 24 August and will be signed off by the relevant health board’s Director of Public Health.

Extension of Influenza (flu) vaccination programme to include social care staff (Added 10 August)

The Care Inspectorate, Scottish Care, the Coalition of Care and support Providers in Scotland and the Scottish Social Service Council have issued a joint statement in support of the Scottish Government's decision to extend health board free flu vaccine programmes to include certain social care staff. 

This will include social care staff of all ages who have a direct hands-on care role working in the following settings:

  • Residential care and secure care for children
  • Community care for persons at home (including housing support and care at home services)
  • Care homes for adults

You can read the full statment here.

The end of the period for continuing funded ELC payments to settings which are closed (Added 6 August)

To all registered childcare providers delivering funded ELC. This communication is to provide clarity for the sector that local authorities will no longer be required to make funded hour payments to ELC settings which remain closed from 10 August.

Alzheimer Scotland’s new resources for care homes (Added 5 August)

Alzheimer Scotland has been working to respond to the main concerns expressed by callers to their 24-hour Freephone Dementia Helpline (0808 808 3000) and now have a suite of resources on their website’s Coronavirus Information Hub including podcasts and videos. A specific section provides information and resources for all those supporting people living with dementia in Scotland’s care homes.

ELC Covid-19 Update for August 2020 (Added 5 August)

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

Update on re-establishment of respite and day care services (Added 4 August)

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, has issued a letter which contains an update on national actions to support local re-establishment of respite and day care services in Scotland. 

The letter also sets out next steps in the wider reopening of adult day centres and residential respite for both children and adults.

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 in2019/2020, 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.

If you are registering a death with a registrar in your capacity as a care home manager, official informant, next of kin or relative:

  • The registrar will issue you with a unique Tell Us Once service reference number.
  • You can use this reference number to access Tell Us Once on line at gov.uk/tell-us-once or through a dedicated telephony team.
  • A list of What you will need to complete the service to notify Central and Local government departments to stop services, notify Pensions and Benefits, cancel passports and so on is available on gov.uk/tell-us-once

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.

New pharmacy service for care homes (Added 4 August)

A new service that offers consultations and advice for minor illnesses has been launched in all community pharmacies across Scotland. The service is open to those living in care homes and allows care homes and pharmacy teams to work closely together in new ways to support residents. A guidance sheet gives a broad overview of how NHS Pharmacy First Scotland will work in the care home setting and what you will need to do to access the service. We would strongly advise that you also speak with your community pharmacy team(s) to agree further details on how you will work together.

PETAL support for families bereaved by Covid-19 (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.

Cyber Resilience Notice Covid-19 (Added 31 July)

As a result of the significant rise in Covid-19 related scams the Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Unit has been issuing a regular bulletin containing information on cyber security. 

The latest bulletin can be accessed here and contains information on ransomware, telephone scams and fake Zoom video call invitations. 

Registration and variation guidance for our staff (Added 31 July)

To support flexibility and responsiveness to the Covid-19 pandemic, we produced contingency registration and variation guidance for our staff to follow in March 2020. We have recently updated this guidance to reflect that we are now requesting fee payments for all new registration applications, and may, under certain circumstances, carry out a site visit. 

Transitional Support Fund for Childcare Providers (Added 31 July)

Following the Deputy First Minister’s announcement on 16 July the Scottish Government has today published further information regarding the Transitional Support Fund for Childcare Providers.

The Transitional Support Fund will help childcare providers in the private, voluntary and not-for profit sectors, including out-of-school care providers, meet the extra costs incurred to comply with public health guidance in response to Covid-19. The Fund will provide one-off grants to eligible settings. Grant amounts vary according to the number of Care Inspectorate registered places in your setting.

To be eligible for the Fund your setting needs to be registered with the Care Inspectorate as being:

  • a ‘day care of children’ service; and
  • a ‘Private’ or ‘Voluntary or Not For Profit’ service.

This includes private and voluntary settings delivering out of school care; childcare settings in independent schools; and outdoor childcare settings. You will also need to confirm that your setting has already reopened or confirm that your setting will have reopened by Monday 7 September.   

The Fund will be administered by local authorities. There will be a standard application form in order to make the application process as straightforward as possible.

The Fund will open for applications by the end of August 2020. The last date for submitting a grant application will be Friday 9 October.

Further information on the Transitional Support Fund, including the levels of grants, is available here. This page will be updated as more information becomes available, including confirmation of the date on which applications can be made.

A further communication will be issued to settings ahead of the Fund opening for applications.

Letter to childcare providers (Added 30 July)

Today the First Minister announced that Scotland would remain in Phase 3 of the routemap. Full details of the changes announced by the First Minister today can be found here.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers outlining what this means for them.

Care home visiting update from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport (Added 23 July)

Today, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport has issued a letter, providing an update on Scottish Government planning for care home visiting.

Covid-19 – Scottish Government decision on adult day care services (Added 20 July)

Scottish Government Director for Mental Health and Social Care Donna Bell, has issued a letter about the opening of adult day care services.

Letter to ELC providers (Added 17 July)

Yesterday the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister announced two important updates.

The first is that based on scientific and public health advice, if the virus continues to be supressed, the Scottish Government will be in a position to issue revised guidance on 30 July which eases the requirement for ‘bubbles’ in childcare settings and will allow easing of the current restrictions on blended placements.

The second was to announce funding of £11.2 million for private and third sector childcare providers to help with the costs of reopening.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers explaining what these updates mean for them. 

Scams exploiting Covid-19 (Added 17 July)

Scams centred on exploiting Covid-19 have become prevalent in recent months. Everything from government grants and furlough payments, to mortgage holidays and demands for payment of fines, are being targeted by scammers utilising ever more sophisticated methods.

Many scammers are using “phishing” and “smishing” (the term for phishing by SMS/text message) techniques to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details. They do this by disguising themselves as a trustworthy organisation in an email or text message, then by offering refunds or demanding payments, then direct the recipients to enter personal information on a fake website which matches the look and feel of the legitimate site.

Scottish Government’s latest cyber resilience bulletin has details on a number of specific scam to watch out for, along with advice on steps you can take and sources of guidance and help.

Fees update for care service providers: July 2020 (Added 16 July)

The Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Government decided in March 2020 to defer the collection of all continuation of registration fees due by care services until July 2020. This was to support service providers to focus on the immediate Covid-19 crisis.

Following a review, we will be recommencing fee collection with immediate effect for all services except childminding, daycare of children and childcare agency services.  We will confirm the position with these childcare service types by the end of July.

We will begin contacting individual services later today. In the meantime, find out what this means for your service in our fees update.

We will update childminding, daycare of children and childcare agency services once the position with fees due by these services is confirmed and agreed with the Scottish Government. 

Out of school care services: you may need to vary your registration (Added 16 July)

As we move through the Scottish Government’s Routemap to recovery and as the sector reopens, some providers are considering how and where they deliver their services.

Evidence suggests outdoor environments can limit transmission of the Covid-19 coronavirus, and it allows for easier physical distancing between children. We know some services are considering alternative locations, or more outdoor provision.

If you change where or how you deliver your service, you will need to apply to us to vary your registration.

If you are considering providing a wholly outdoor or a satellite setting, there are resources to support you and it is important you access them. The Early Learning and Childcare: Delivering High Quality Play and Learning Environments Outdoors practice note and Out to Play will help you develop and plan safe, nurturing and inspiring outdoor play experiences for children.

If you are thinking about changes, get in touch with us as soon as you can, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will be happy to discuss your proposal and ahead of your registration or variation application. We take a flexible and proportionate approach to support continued delivery of services that have the health and wellbeing of children at the heart.

The National Wellbeing Hub (Added 15 July)

The National Wellbeing Hub contains resources that will help health and social care staff, carers, volunteers and their families find support to cope with challenges faced during the coronavirus pandemic.

Poster guidance on preventing spread of Covid-19 in childminding settings (Added 15 July)

The Care Inspectorate has produced a poster that provides guidance on preventing spread of Covid-19 in childminding settings.

Guidance from Health Protection Scotland on Covid-19 in care homes (Added 14 July)

Health Protection Scotland has published guidance for domiciliary care and PCR testing in care homes and the management of Covid-19 PCR test positive residents and staff.

Move to 4-weekly ordering of test kits from the UK Government Social Care Portal for weekly staff testing (Added 14 July)

Following feedback from care homes, a decision has been made to move to 4-weekly ordering of test kits for the weekly staff testing programme through the UK Government Social Care Portal.  Please note testing of staff should continue on a weekly basis. The change to 4-weekly ordering will be phased in by area as follows.

  • Grampian and Borders from 8 July
  • Ayrshire & Arran, Fife & Western Isles from 15 July
  • Highlands and Lanarkshire, and Tayside, Forth Valley and Shetland from 22 July
  • Glasgow and Greater Clyde, and Dumfries & Galloway, Lothian and Orkney from 29 July

Please note that when placing 4-weekly test kit orders, the number of staff recorded on the system should reflect the number of staff in the care home and enough test kits will be sent for four weeks’ worth of testing.

Updated guidance for childminders (Added 14 July)

From 15 July 2020, childminders who wish to deliver their service can do so in line with their usual operating model.

The Scottish Government has updated its guidance to set this out in detail, and to support childminding settings to operate safely. The guidance includes information on operating conditions, physical distancing and other safety measures, and financial impact and workforce support information.

Letter to all childcare agencies (Added 13 July)

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare agencies outlining guidance changes from Phase 3 of Scotland's Route Map.

Guide on person-centred care (Added 10 July)

The Scottish Social Services Council has published a guide on person-centred care as part of its range of “bitesize” resources being developed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The guide contains information on how a rights-based approach is supported by the Health and Social Care Standards.

Letter to ELC providers (Added 10 July)

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers outlining guidance changes from Phase 3 of Scotland's Route Map. 

Scotland moving from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of the routemap (Added 9 July)

Today in a statement to the Scottish Parliament the First Minister announced that, taking account of the scientific and health advice, Scotland was now in a positon to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of the routemap.

For the childcare sector this means that all childcare services can definitely reopen from 15 July, if they wish to do so, and while following published guidance. You can find the First Minister’s full statement here. You can find all the information about the changes in Phase 3 here.

ELC Covid-19 Update for July 2020 (Added 9 July) 

The Scottish Government has published the Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update for July. This update provides guidance for the childcare sector during the easing of lockdown in Scotland. 

Letter to ELC providers (Added 8 July)

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers containing an update on plans for the ELC expansion, support for childcare providers and plans for updating existing guidance.

Early learning and childcare: letter to Directors of Education ELC LA leads (Added 8 July)

A joint letter has been issued from COSLA and Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd MSP to Directors of Education, early learning and childcare (ELC) local authority leads.

Covid-19 testing for care home staff in Scotland (Added 7 July)

The UK government have released guidance which gives instructions on how to test for coronavirus.

The Scottish Government have also released a letter to all care home staff with guidance on conducting tests for coronavirus.

Interim guidance on the extended use of medical masks and face coverings in hospitals and care homes (Added 7 July)

The Scottish Government has released guidance on the extended use of medical face masks by staff within residential healthcare settings such as acute adult (inc. mental health) and community hospitals and care homes.

Flexible Childcare Services Scotland: national sessional staff bank for childcare (Added 7 July)

Flexible Childcare Services Scotland have developed a national sessional staff bank for childcare.

This free service can be used by practitioners seeking employment terms that fit with their existing work commitments, and offers childcare providers the ability to identify and connect with available practitioners in their area.

School age childcare services reopening guidance (Added 6 July)

The Scottish Government has released new guidance to support planning for the wider reopening of school age childcare services in Phase 3 of Scotland’s Routemap.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers detailing the guidance.

ELC reopening guidance update (Added 6 July)

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all Early Learning and Childcare providers containing an update on reopening guidance.

ELC online sessions to support reopening (Added 6 July)

The Scottish Government and the Care Inspectorate are hosting a series of online support sessions on reopening guidance for the childcare sector.

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all childcare providers detailing the sessions. 

School age childcare services reopening guidance (Added 3 July)

The Scottish Government has released new guidance to support planning for the wider reopening of school age childcare services in Phase 3 of Scotland’s Routemap.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers detailing the guidance.

ELC reopening guidance update (Added 3 July)

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all Early Learning and Childcare providers containing an update on reopening guidance.

ELC online sessions to support reopening (Added 3 July)

The Scottish Government and the Care Inspectorate are hosting a series of online support sessions on reopening guidance for the childcare sector.

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to all childcare providers detailing the sessions. 

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.

PPE for early learning and childcare services (Added 30 June)

To offer a route to buying PPE for private, voluntary and independent early learning and childcare services, including childminders and out-of-school care, the Scottish Government has set up a framework agreement with third-party supplier Lyreco.

Lyreco offers a range of products to purchase, including face masks, aprons, gloves, visors, hand sanitiser, goggles and safety glasses. All products are subject to availability and prices are updated regularly on the Lyreco website.

Please note that this is a ‘pay for’ service, and the provider will be responsible for paying for any products purchased from Lyreco under this agreement.

If you wish to open an account with Lyreco, please first read the privacy notice, then complete the form, which must include your Care Inspectorate CS number and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once your CS number is confirmed as being a registered care service your account will be set up. This may take a few days depending on the volume of forms returned. Lyreco will then give you access to their online ordering site, where you will be able to see the full range of products available and current prices. Opening an account does not place you under any obligation to place an order.

Local authority providers should continue to access PPE through their usual routes, in most cases through Scotland Excel.

Visiting care homes for adults and older people (Added 25 June)

Care home residents will be able to receive visitors outside from 3 July, provided their home meets strict criteria, with infection control measures remaining in place.

Cabinet Secretary Jeane Freeman has written a letter to care homes for adults outlining plans and Scottish Government has issued guidance on visiting arrangements.

Care Homes for Older People - Sharing your experiences and learning from Covid-19 (Added 25 June) 

We recognise that this has been a really challenging and difficult time for many people working in social care. Over the coming months, the Care Inspectorate would like to hear directly from you about your experiences. We will be working with a selection of partners across health and social care to learn what we can from how services dealt with the challenges, and how new and innovative practice was quickly put in place with great impact. We will share your experiences with government and senior leaders across health and social care and key partners. This is your opportunity to let us know what these past few months have actually felt like on the frontline and what we can all learn from these experiences.

If you are a manager, carer, senior carer, nurse or have another role working in a care home for older people, we would like to hear to from you. We are planning to arrange telephone calls or Near Me (whatever works best for you) to listen to your experiences. Conversations will last about 45mins.

We are keen to hear your experiences of recent months and we hope that you might also be willing to continue to link in with us to give your thoughts and opinions on a wide range of topics, including how we support services to improve and what changes to adult social care could look like.

This first phase is about engaging with staff in care homes for older people, but we will be expanding this over time to hear from other staff across social care.

Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in being involved. We will arrange calls with a selection of people so as to have a representative group from across the country. Please let us know the following:

Name:

Role: Manager, carer, senior carer, nurse or other role

Name and address of care home for older people:

Type of Care Home : Independent Sector/Third/Voluntary Sector/Local Authority

Our fortnightly report to the Scottish Parliament (Added 25 June)

Under the duties placed on us by the new Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act, we report to the Scottish Parliament fortnightly on our inspections activity. 

In order to robustly assess the arrangements put in place by care services to respond to the Covid-19 Pandemic, our inspections place a particular focus on infection prevention and control, personal protective equipment and staffing in care settings.  This enables us to focus on these areas while also considering the overall quality of care and people’s wellbeing.  The reports we lay before Parliament are in addition to our normal process of publishing full inspection reports, which we will publish in due course. 

The report laid before the Scottish Parliament on 24 June is here.

Letter to all care home staff from Jeane Freeman (Added 24 June)

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, has issued the following letters to care home staff and care home managers regarding testing staff for Covid-19.

Interim guidance on the use of face masks and face coverings (Added 24 June)

The Scottish Government has released interim guidance on the wider use of face masks and face coverings in health and social care.

Updated reopening guidance for childcare providers (Added 24 June)

Today the First Minister announced that subject to scientific and public health advice that all childcare providers will be able to reopen from 15 July 2020, if they wish to do so.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers detailing what this means for them. 

Enriched model of psychological needs (Added 23 June)           

Over the last few weeks, we have heard how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the mental health of people who use care services, relatives and staff. By isolating or shielding in order to protect ourselves and others, we limit our opportunities to engage with people or activities that are important to us. This can undermine our psychological wellbeing and quality of life.

We have produced a poster which outlines the key elements of the ‘Enriched Model of Psychological Needs’. This can be used within care services to help staff consider what actions they could take to help promote better psychological outcomes for the people who use services, relatives, staff and themselves.  

NHS email addresses available for all care homes (Added 23 June)

The 14 Health Boards across Scotland are to provide up to three NHS email addresses to all care homes (adults, older people and children’s residential services)

The benefits of an NHS email address are:

  • Enables secure communication between the care homes, GP surgeries and other services involved in residents care
  • Allows the secure transfer of patient identifiable information between care homes and health services
  •  Reduces the risk of data loss or breaches through personal data being divulged via fax machines or other less secure communication methods.
  • Enables swift and timely communications between care homes and the NHS.

To get an email address please contact your local helpdesk or named lead. All details can be found here.

Advice from Police Scotland on crime prevention for care homes (Added 23 June)

Following a series of break-ins to care homes Police Scotland has produced a helpful guide on simple measures you can take to protect your property. 

End to staffing shortage notification (Added 22 June)

The Care Inspectorate no longer requires care services to submit notifications around staffing issues under the Red Amber Green (RAG) system. 

This notification was brought in April to assist care services to flag up where there were particular staffing shortages and allowed the Care Inspectorate, SSSC, Health and Social Care Partnerships, the NHS and Scottish Government to provide a rapid response. 

Our intelligence and data gathered in the past month indicates that care services now have good access to staffing resources directly as required, and as such we are now removing the obligation on care services to report staffing issues to us.

Any services that do experience staffing issues going forward can still access the SSSC NES portal here.

Registration and variations to registration (updated 18 June)

We have received a number of enquiries regarding early learning and child care and out of school care provision for over the summer holidays and beyond. The following guidance will support providers when considering these proposals: Coronvirus (Covid-19) – intermediate response – Guidance for the Care Inspectorate registration team.

Covid-19 guides for social service workers (Added 17 June)

The Scottish Social Services Council have produced a range of 'bite-size' resources to support those working in healthcare during Covid-19. 

There are currently 9 guides that range from "key measures for infection prevention and control" to "support with death, dying and bereavement." 

Updated phase 1 guidance for fully outdoor childcare providers (Added 17 June)

The Scottish Government have released updated guidance for the reopening of fully outdoor childcare providers.

To support this a letter explaining the update has been issued by the Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate. 

New guidance to support planning for wider reopening of ELC Services (Added 15 June)

Today the Scottish Government published new guidance for the safe reopening of early learning and childcare (ELC) services in Phase 3 of Scotland’s Routemap.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers outlining what this guidance will mean for them.

We are now rolling out Near Me to adult residential services (Added 15 June)

Following our successful roll out of Near Me video consulting in care homes for older people and those for children and young people, we are now in the process of contacting care homes for adults to provide support in using it.

 Near Me is a video consulting service that enables people to have health and social care appointments from home or wherever is convenient. All you need is a device for making video calls like a smartphone and an internet connection. Near Me is a secure form of video consulting approved for use by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland.

 Residential services for adults may need to support the people they care for to take part in video consultation with a GP, an outpatient appointment or talk to an out of hours service. It is important that staff are trained and confident to help people successfully access remote consultations and appointments.

 We hope to contact over 250 services across Scotland to give information and offer a practice call using Near Me. Our initial contact will be by telephone, which will be followed up by email and a video call. 

New key question for care home inspections (Added 10 June) 

In order to robustly assess care home arrangements to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, our inspections are placing particular focus on infection prevention and control, personal protective equipment and staffing in care settings. 

We have developed Key Question 7 to augment  our quality framework for care homes for older people and our quality framework for care homes for adults.  We have done this to meet the duties placed on us by the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act and subsequent guidance that we must evaluate (grade) infection prevention and control and staffing.  

This means we will carry out targeted inspections that are short, focused and carried out with colleagues from Health Improvement Scotland and Health Protection Scotland, to assess care and support for people experiencing care and support during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will continue to put the wellbeing for people experiencing care at the heart of our inspections.  

ELC Covid-19 Update for June 2020 (Added 10 June) 

The Scottish Government has published the Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update for June. This update provides guidance for childminder and childcare services who are considering reopening during phase 1 of the route map.

Advice from Police Scotland on crime prevention for care homes (Added 5 June)

Following a series of break-ins to care homes resulting in the theft of safes, Police Scotland has produced a helpful guide on simple measures you can take to protect your property. We are pleased to share it with you here.

Interfaith listening service open to all (Added 4 June)

Edinburgh Interfaith Association has set up Time to Talk, a Covid-19 listening service for care home residents and their families. No advice will be offered - only kindness, empathy and a willingness to listen. The service is available every day from 11am - 7pm.

To find out more about the listening service, read their introductory letter to care homes, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07519 418451.

You can visit their website here.

Letter from Chief Nursing Officer outlines new resources for care homes (Added 3 June)

The Chief Nursing Officer has outlined in a letter a number of resources to support care home managers and staff, published on the Scottish Government website. These resources will support care homes to identify factors that may impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of residents and provide a consistent framework for assessment and reporting of risk. You can read the letter here.

The resources can be found here.

Supplementary national child protection guidance (Added 3 June)

The Scottish Government has issued updated supplementary child protection guidance. The updated document provides guidance for social workers on home visits and direct contact interviews with service users, testing for children being moved between or to new care placements and the operation of children’s hearings.

You can access the guidance here.

Childminder services guidance for phase 1 of route map (Added 2 June)

The Scottish Government has released guidance to support childminding settings closed during lockdown, to reopen during Phase 1 of the route map for recovery from Covid-19.

You can access this here.

Your notifications and the new Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act (Added 2 June)

Last week we let you know that the new Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act is now in force. Although this does not mean any changes to the notifications you must make to us, it does mean that you are now legally bound to make these. Our legal services team have produced a helpful summary of what the new Act means for care homes, which you can read here. 

You can read the Act in full here.

Amended letter to all childcare providers following the First Minister’s statement (Updated 29 May)

Yesterday (28 May) the First Minister announced that Scotland will begin to ease out of lockdown and move in to Phase 1 of the routemap.

We have received helpful feedback that the letter we issued to all childcare providers regarding this wasn’t as clear as it could have been. We are grateful to those who have pointed out areas where further clarity is required, and we are therefore reissuing the notice today. Please refer to this version from now onward.

You can access the updated letter here.

ELC including childminders and out of school care (Added 27 May)

The announcement made by the First Minister on Thursday 21 May 2020 outlined the Scottish Government Route Map and a phased approach is planned to the lifting of lockdown. The First Minister was clear in her message that each stage will be reviewed and take account of scientific evidence and research before we move forward.

Phase one of the plan will announced on Thursday 28 May 2020. We know at this point it is the intention to include childminders and solely outdoor nurseries as services that will become operational. However, there is no date yet for when these services will be operational. this is yet to be confirmed by Scottish Government.   The guidance to support services including childminders deliver safe childcare has yet to be published, but any guidance will be sent to all services through the Care Inspectorate Provider Update. Until guidance is issued and an implementation date for childminders and outdoor nurseries to operate is announced the current situation remains in place. Phase three of the Route Map will introduce more daycare provision, and this programme will be announced at a later date.

Remember to inform us if you change your operating status.

When it is the right time for your service to become operational, It is important that you contact us to let us know about your plans, so that we can change your status to ‘open’ on our system. You should complete the ‘Changes to service delivery due to coronavirus (Covid-19)’ eform when you change your status. This includes when you open or close your service as well as any changes to how you operate, as detailed in the notification guidance. If you do not update your status, your service will be considered closed.

In the meantime, we are producing some frequently asked questions that should help you consider whether to open or extend your service. The safety and wellbeing of children and staff working in services is paramount and we will continue to support you to take a planned approach to ensure high-quality early learning and childcare while promoting the health and safety of children, childminders, staff and families.

We know that the safe operation of your services is key, and we look forward to working with you to achieve this as we all move forward together. We hope this information helps you at this point but please be assured that further guidance will be issued in the near future.

Dementia care during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic (Added 22 May)

We have published a new resource ‘Dementia care during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic’ for care services to support them when caring for people living with dementia. 

This can be accessed here.

A letter to all childcare providers following First Minister’s statement (Added 21 May)

Today, the First Minister made a statement to the Scottish Parliament setting out Scotland’s routemap through and out of the crisis, including a phased approach out of lockdown.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers outlining what this will mean for them.

You can read the letter here.

Physical distancing in education and childcare settings updated guidance (Added 20 May)

The Scottish Government has released updated guidance on physical distancing in education and childcare settings. 

You can access the guidance here.

A joint statement from the Care Inspectorate and the SCMA (Added 18 May)

The Care Inspectorate and the SCMA have issued a joint statement:

Following the UK Government announcements last week regarding some relaxations to lockdown restrictions in England (including in relation to childminding settings in England), we thought that we should clarify that the official position has not changed in Scotland. We would stress that –

  • Current guidance on the closure of daycare services for children and childminding services in light of the Covid-19 restrictions published by the Scottish Government that took effect on 30 March 2020 remains in place. This advises that childminding settings can only be open to provide childcare for key workers and vulnerable children and that they cannot provide this childcare for more than two families (excluding their own families) at any one time
  • Childminders are reminded that providing childcare for any other families at this time would be contrary to the restrictions which have been put in place to reduce the impact of the virus, keep children and families safe, and save lives. It is also the expectation of the Care Inspectorate that childminders should follow national guidance during this pandemic
  • We are aware that childminders are continuing to receive increasing approaches from parents/carers as some employers return to work. However, until such time as the position in Scotland changes all childminders should comply with the national guidance.

Strengthened clinical oversight for care homes (Added 18 May)

New arrangements to significantly strengthen oversight of Scotland’s care homes have been published by the Scottish Government. As a result of these changes - clinical and care professionals at NHS boards and local authorities will have a lead role in the oversight for care homes in their area.

You can read the full guidance on these arrangements here.

Letter from the cabinet secretary.

Interim guidance on Covid-19 PCR testing in care homes (Updated 16 May)

Health Protection Scotland has released Interim guidance on Covid-19 PCR testing in care homes and the management of Covid-19 PCR test positive residents and staff. 

You can view the guidance here.

Covid-19 information on NHS inform (Added 15 May)

People whose first or preferred language is not English can get information about coronavirus (Covid-19) in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Polish, Romanian, Slovak and Urdu on NHS inform. Spanish and Punjabi translations will be added shortly. All the translations are published here.

Additionally you can access British Sign Language (BSL) translations here and ,for those with sight loss, an audio version is available here.

The SSSC recruitment hub – ready to help as soon as you need it (Added 13 May)

The SSSC social care and health recruitment hub is available to all social care services in Scotland to help you make sure you have enough skilled staff in place. We are urging all providers to think ahead – your staffing needs may change quickly so it is important that you have a contingency plan in place.

You should notify us of your Red-Amber-Green (RAG) staffing status but there is no need to wait to access the SSSC recruitment hub if you need staff. 

The hub has people available to work now who are waiting to be matched to services and more people will be added as soon as checks are completed.  Additional people continue to be added daily so please continue checking for those available in your local authority area.  

Read the SSSC’s letter to services here.

New palliative care toolkit includes section on care homes (Added 11 May)

The Scottish Government has produced a palliative care toolkit for application during the Covid-19 outbreak. While it is primarily aimed at NHS Boards, it includes a section on care homes. The toolkit does not replace existing palliative care processes and guidance documents but offers a range of practical tools to strengthen any local response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The toolkit is available here.

New guidance on repurposing medicines during Covid-19 (Added 11 May)

The Care Inspectorate and NHS Scotland have produced guidance for care homes and hospices on repurposing prescription medicines during the pandemic.

Video guidance is available to be viewed here.

To support this guidance, the Care Inspectorate and SSSC have issued a joint statement on ethical and professional decision-making.

Covid-19 cyber security guidance (Added 6 May)

The Scottish Business resilience centre has released a guide on cyber security while using Zoom: video conferencing. You can access it here.

Additionally, Scottish Government have released advice regarding Covid-19 common scams. This can be viewed here.

Automatic fire alarm changes during Covid-19  (Added 6 May)

Fire Scotland have revised their response to automatic fire alarms to ensure an appropriate, proportionate response while observing social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

You can read guidance regarding these changes here.

SCMA Statement on Increasing Demand for Childcare from Employees Returning to Work (Added 4 May)

SCMA has been receiving an increasing number of enquiries from members around Scotland regarding a rise in requests from non-key worker parents/carers for childcare. 

You can read the statement from SCMA here.

Covid-19: updated information and guidance for care home settings (Updated 4 May)

Health Protection Scotland have updated their Covid-19 information and guidance for care home settings. You can access this guidance here.

Covid-19 Incident or outbreak control tool for social or community care or residential settings (Added 1 May)

Health Protection Scotland have released a control measure tool for the control of incidents and outbreaks in Social or Community Care & Residential Settings, specific for Covid-19, and should be used accordingly, following the general advice provided in the guidance.

You access this here.

Infection prevention and control Covid-19 outbreak checklist (Added 1 May)

Health Protection Scotland have released an infection prevention and control Covid-19 outbreak checklist. The checklist is designed for the control of incidents and outbreak in healthcare settings and can be used within a COVID area when there is an individual case or multiple cases.

You can view it here.

A joint statement from the Care Inspectorate and the SSSC

The Care Inspectorate and the SSSC have issued a joint statement on ethical and professional decision-making in the Covid-19 pandemic, and risk assessment guidance on repurposing of medicines within care home services. 

You can access this here.

Revised notification guidance (updated 30 April)

We have updated our guidance on notifications for all services except childminders. The updated guidance includes new and updated categories of notifications related to Covid-19 that care services must make. These include notifying us of the end of an outbreak and notifications about staff.

You can view the guidance here.

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.

Join us tomorrow for a minute’s silence on International Workers’ Memorial Day (Added 27 April)

The theme for this year’s International Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday 28 April is Coronavirus. As you will all be only too aware, the fight against this pandemic affects workers across the globe. Sadly, a number our health and social care colleagues in Scotland have already succumbed to the virus. Our thoughts remain with the families and loved ones of each of those who have died. We invite you to join us in an act of collective remembrance at 11am tomorrow morning.

 Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman and COSLA Health & Social Care Spokesperson Councillor Stuart Currie have issued a joint letter paying tribute to key workers on this day.

New guidance for residential children’s services (Added 27 April)

The Scottish Government has published guidance on staffing, social distancing and self-isolation for residential children’s houses, residential schools and secure care facilities.

Reporting of Covid-19 to the Health and Safety Executive (Added 27 April)

The Health and Safety Executive has issued guidance on RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) responsibilities for employers. You can read the guidance here.

Updated PVG guidance (Added 27 April) 

Our existing Protecting Vulnerable Groups – Guidance for Care Inspectorate Staff and Service Providers, available on our website, advise that providers should seek updates on individual staff PVG Scheme membership every three years.

This is not a requirement of Disclosure Scotland but rather our advice for safe recruitment good practice.

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the pressures on both Disclosure Scotland and care services, we have decided to retract this advice at this time and will review it once the pandemic is ended.   Therefore, you no longer need to routinely review PVG Scheme membership every three years.  However, where an existing employee is moving into a new role, you should risk assess this and consider whether there is a specific need to get a PVG update.

Where someone has previously only been a member of the PVG scheme for children and will now be working with vulnerable adults (or the other way round) an application to join the appropriate scheme must still be made.

If you have any questions in relation to this please contact your inspector.

Caring for Smiles advice on oral health for care homes and care at home during Covid-19 (Added 27 April)

It is important that day-to-day mouth care should continue to ensure good oral health. There may be anxiety about splashes, but wearing PPE will help carers continue to maintain the everyday health and care of the people they look after. You can find advice for care homes here, and for care at home service here.

Updated national clinical guidance for nursing and allied health professional (AHP) community staff (Added 23 April)

Scottish Government has updated guidance for Nursing and Allied Health Professional (AHP) Community Staff. The new guidance includes a section on community children's nursing.

This can be accessed here.

Strategic inspection teams – quality assurance of notifications related to joint inspection work (Added 23 April)

During this pandemic, while we continue our quality assurance work in relation to deaths of looked after children, initial and significant case reviews, and serious incident reviews, we are committed to minimising demands on partners’ time and resources during this period. Read more here.

Letter to all care homes on testing from Scottish Government (Added 23 April)

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman has issued a letter for care all care homes to provide further details on procedures in place for testing care home staff and residents for Covid-19. You can read the letter here.

End of outbreak notification comms (Added 22 April 2020)

A new notification is now live, which will allow care services to notify the Care Inspectorate of the end of a Covid-19 outbreak. We are using guidance from Health Protection Scotland to define when you can say that the outbreak is over. 

The end of the Covid-19 outbreak in your service is when there has not been a new person who experiences care with symptoms for 14 days.  

People experiencing care who remain symptomatic should continue to be isolated until they are well and complete their period of isolation. 

We are not including staff members in this because, if they have symptoms they should not be at work. 

This notification can be accessed, preferably by using eForms or by using this link.

If you are using the notification links above, once you click 'next page', your form will be submitted and you will be returned to our homepage. You will not receive confirmation the form has been submitted. If you need to complete another notification, please click ‘Covid-19 – Information and guidance for care services’ to redirect you back to this page.

We are very aware that we have introduced several new notifications and that there are many other people looking for data at this time. We appreciate the time and effort you are taking to complete these notifications, we will use this information to support you and to share with Scottish Government colleagues with responsibility for planning the Covid-19 response. 

Updated guidance for social or community care and residential settings (updated 22 April 2020)

Health Protection Scotland have updated their Covid-19 guidance for social or community care and residential settings. 

It can be downloaded from their website here.

Alert - journalists posing as Care Inspectorate staff (Added 21 April)

We have been alerted of instances where journalists have telephoned services posing as a Care Inspectorate employee in order to obtain information about Covid-19 within the service. Please share this alert with all your staff. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be one of our employees and you don’t already know them, you can ask the caller to email you. Our staff email addresses end with @careinspectorate.gov.scot  Any email not ending with this is not from a Care Inspectorate email account.

Outdoor play at emergency childcare settings (Added 21 April)

Scottish Government has published Covid-19 guidance on outdoor play for emergency childcare hubs. You can read the guidance here.

Supplementary national child protection guidance (Added 20 April)

The Scottish Government has issued updated national child protection guidance. The supplementary guidance addresses a potential rise in caseloads due to the impact of coronavirus. You can view the guidance here.

Changes to notifications (Added 17 April)

We have been working closely Scottish Ministers and have agreed to update some of our notifications.  We do appreciate these additional notifications will increase workload, but we are sure that this information will help us support you better and will give a clear picture to Scottish Government so it can understand the challenges, and plan and put in place the necessary and best response for care services. 

These changes include the following.

  • Outbreak notification - services will need to notify us of each individual case of Covid-19 in a person using the service. Each individual case should be reported on a separate notification form. 
  • Staffing Absences - a new weekly staff absence notification to be completed every Tuesday. This notification will ask about staff who are self-isolating, shielding and those who are not working due to stress related to Covid-19. We will also ask if there are staff in hospital.
  • Death of a staff member - this notification to be completed as soon as the service is made aware.

These notifications will be live as of the evening of 17 April 2020.

They can be accessed, preferably via eForms, or using the links below.

If you are using the notification links above, once you click 'next page', your form will be submitted and you will be returned to our homepage.   You will not receive confirmation the form has been submitted.  If you need to complete another notification, please click ‘Covid-19 – Information and guidance for care services’ to redirect you back to this page

Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Notice (Added 17 April)

You can view this week's Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Notice here.

Covid-19 Fraud watch summary (Added 17 April)

You can view a Covid-19 Fraud watch summary from the Fraud Advisory Panel here.

A message to services (Added 16 April)

As we continue to review and adjust our practice as the pandemic evolves, we have issued a message for services giving an update on our activities to support them during the pandemic. You can read it here.

Staffing during the Covid-19 crisis (Added 16 April)

We’re working with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), the Scottish Government, COSLA and other partners to set up a system to help social care services recruit staff during this critical time.

It’s important you remember to submit your RAG information to us.

Social service staff are being added to the new SSSC recruitment portal daily and the SSSC will use this to assess services and match those in urgent need to care staff in your area.

Find out more here.

 Scotland’s first Bereavement Charter for Children and Adults (added 15 April)

The Charter together with Guidance notes and frequently asked questions (FAQs) contains 15 statements which describe what the best bereavement care and support should look like. It has been developed to support individuals and communities who struggle with the death of someone they know or someone in their community.

Inactive services during Covid-19 (added 10 April)

The Care Inspectorate understands that as a result of the current situation regarding Covid-19 that a number of registered care services will not be operational during this period. In normal circumstances, we ask services to submit a notification indicating where the service is ‘inactive’ for any length of time in certain circumstances and we note this formally on our systems.

To reduce further pressure on services and to give maximum flexibility to re-establish registered services as easily as possible, the position is that any registered service not operating directly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is not required to submit an application to become inactive during this period.

Contingency foster care arrangements during Covid-19 (added 10 April 2020)

We are aware that the Coronavirus outbreak is likely to have a significant impact on the demand for care services, including a rise in the number of children requiring to be placed in foster care arrangements. Due to the potential impact of Covid-19 on authorities placing children and availability of foster carers, authorities may wish to augment the number of placements available. They could do this by using staff employed by them in a relevant professional capacity who are registered with a professional regulatory body to care for the young person in the staff member’s own home. In these situations, we would expect that the fostering agency satisfy themselves of certain aspects which we have outlined here.

Help us support you to deliver care (updated 10 April)

On 3 April, we introduced a new notification on staffing levels designed to enable us to direct you to available help and support you may urgently need in order to cope with the impact of Covid-19 on your service.

Put simply, your notifications will ultimately enable us to identify, co-ordinate and put in place the support you need when staffing levels are critically compromised due to Covid-19.

You do not need to submit this notification if you have assessed your current service staffing levels to be green category.

You should only submit this notification if your staffing situation changes from being green to the amber or red category. You should also submit the notification if the staffing situation improves to a lower category from red or amber.

If we receive such a notification from you, our inspector will be in touch with you to offer support.

It is essential that you use the notification to let us know about any changes in the staffing situation in your care service.

The notification lets you tell us which stage you are at:

  • Green, with enough staff/skills mix
  • Amber, stretched and only just managing
  • Red, where you no longer have the staffing levels/skills mix to meet people’s needs.

We will also share this information appropriately, together with other information we are gathering, with others who can help such as local authorities, health and social care partnerships, Scottish Government, and the NHS/SSSC Hub to deliver support across partnership areas and nationally.  

This can be done via eForms.

This new notification is in addition to others we have recently introduced or adjusted to help us support care during Covid-19.

  • Outbreak of infectious diseases: for any outbreak of an infectious disease, including Covid-19. 
  • Death of a service user – for any death of a service user, including from confirmed or suspected covid19.
  • Change of circumstances related to covid19 – this is a new notification that services can use to tell us about any changes to how they operate that is specifically related to covid19.  This is only available through eForms
  • Covid19: staff shortages – this is the newest notification and enables services to tell us about changes to staffing levels and what additional staffing is required. This is only available through eForms.

If you are using the notification links above, once you click 'next page', your form will be submitted and you will be returned to our homepage.   You will not receive confirmation the form has been submitted.  If you need to complete another notification, please click ‘Covid-19 – Information and guidance for care services’ to redirect you back to this page

These additional notifications are helping us to better understand and inform others of the pressures services across Scotland are facing during Covid-19, so that support measures can be considered and offered.

Find out more about how the SSSC is supporting staffing at this time.

Deferment of continuation of Registration Fees (added 8 April 2020)

The Care Inspectorate and Scottish Government recognise the financial and other pressures that providers of care services are currently under.  To support service providers and assist with alleviating cash flow problems service providers are encountering at this difficult time the Care Inspectorate will delay the collection of continuation of registration fees due by care services until July 2020. We will review this position again in June 2020 before any fee collections are made.

This will mean care service providers need not pay any balance of the fees due for the 2019/20 financial year until July 2020.

Service providers normally due to receive fee invoices in April 2020 will not receive an invoice for the 2020/21 financial year until July 2020 (position subject to review in June 2020).

We are happy to make arrangements with service providers that would prefer not to defer the balance of 2019/20 fees.  We are issuing more detailed guidance directly to care service providers.   

Fee for Applying to Register a Care Service

We have an emergency truncated registration process in place to ensure a care service set up on a temporary basis as a response to the coronavirus crisis can operate legally.  We are not charging an application to register or any other fees to these temporary services.

Individuals or organisations applying to register a permanent care service will follow our normal registration process and be liable to pay an application to register fee.

Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Programme Covid-19 update (added 08 April 2020)

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Programme has published a Covid-19 newsletter. This has replaced their monthly programme updates and will be published regularly for the duration of the pandemic response. 

You can download a copy here.

Scottish Government monitoring uptake and provision of childcare places 

The Scottish Government continues to monitor the uptake and provision of places in early learning and childcare settings.  This includes private and third-sector all-day childcare services including nurseries, out of school care and childminders (not local authority settings). Information about local authority settings will be gathered on a separate survey.  

It is vital that these services complete this short online survey daily by 15:00 each day.  You can access the survey here.

It is acknowledged that many settings have now closed.  If your setting is closed, please submit the survey once.  If your setting becomes operational please complete this on a daily basis before 15:00.

Information will be collated by Scottish Government and alongside the local authority data, this will be used to monitor the level of provision during the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Your continued support with this is appreciated.

Scottish Government Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill (added 7 April 2020)

The Scottish Government Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill received Royal Assent came into effect on 7 April 2020. We’ve produced a short briefing highlighting the main points relevant to care services.

You can read it here.

Updated guidance for social or community care and residential settings (updated 6 April 2020)

Health Protection Scotland have updated their guidance for social or community care and residential settings to include information about personal protective equipment (PPE).

This can be downloaded from their website here.  

SAPG guidance on antibiotic use (updated 6 April 2020)

The Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) has published some interim advice for clinical teams to ensure antimicrobial stewardship is maintained during the coronavirus Covid-19 emergency.   This includes:

  • Updated advice Covid-19 hospital (23 March 2020)
  • Interim advice Covid-19 frail older people (23 March 2020)
  • Interim advice to Antimicrobial Management Teams (12 March 2020)

These documents can be downloaded from the SAPG website here

Disclosure Scotland fee suspension  (added 3 April 2020)

Disclosure Scotland is suspending all fees for key workers and volunteers who are being drafted to help Scotland fight against  Covid-19.   This is a temporary measure which will be in place for an initial period of six weeks, before being reviewed and extended further, if needed. 

Disclosure Scotland has already put a number of temporary measures in place to ensure the country can be properly resourced to tackle Covid-19, including only processing applications for workers deemed critical.  As the situation develops and evolves, the list of prioritised sectors may change as they identifies other sectors with roles critical to supporting the Scottish Government at this time.

Please refer to mygov.scot/coronavirus-disclosure and ensure you only submit applications for those vital to the fight against Covid-19.   If submitting more than 50 applications simultaneously, please give advance notice by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can view the list of workers deemed critical  and further information on their website here.  

Scottish Government supplementary national child protection guidance (31 March 2020)

Scottish Government has written to key organisations with responsibilities around child protection to inform them of supplementary guidance now available to support them to carry out their duties during the Covid-19 emergency.

You can view the letter and guidance here

Guidance from Scottish Government - social distancing in education and childcare settings (updated 31 March 2020)

The Scottish Government has published guidance for organisations and their staff working in local authority, independent and grant-aided schools, other education and childcare settings that are providing care to vulnerable children and children of key workers.

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. 

Guidance from the Scottish Government for early learning and childcare services (updated 30 March 2020)

The Scottish Government has issued new guidance: 

Update following guidance for childminders (updated 26 March 2020)

Following the distribution of the Scottish Government guidance which sets out the implications for childminding services on 25 March 2020, there has been a request for clarification in relation to the number of households childminders can support at any one time and over the week.

In relation to this, the advice is that childminders should care for the children of no more than two households (in addition to the childminder’s own household) at any one time. Where childminders are working with more than two families over the course of the week, it is advised that they consider additional cleaning measures to reduce risk of transmission via surfaces and equipment.

We hope this provides clarification to support childminders continue to provide that critical childcare during this period.

You can download the guidance here

Advice note for practitioners from the Mental Welfare Commission (updated 3 April 2020)

The Mental Welfare Commission is being contacted for advice on mental health care and treatment related to this pandemic.

In light of this, and in anticipation of emergency legislation currently going through Parliament, they have produced this advice note for practitioners who are using the Mental Health Act and Adults with Incapacity Act when caring for patients.

Guidance for childminders (updated 25 March 2020)

The Scottish Government has issued guidance which sets out the implications for childminding services.

Closure of schools and early learning and childcare settings (updated 23 March)

The Deputy First Minister issued a letter on Thursday 19 March 2020 with an update on the closure of schools and early learning and childcare settings. You can read the letter here.

The Scottish Government has also published further information: 

Staffing in services during coronavirus outbreak (updated 20 March)

Child to adult ratios feature in our registration and inspection of early learning and childcare (ELC). However, for other service types, including care homes, the Care Inspectorate stopped issuing staffing schedules at the point of registering a service in 2018. Instead, we expect the staffing numbers, and skills and experience of staff to reflect the needs of people who use services. 

At this extremely challenging time, we will support all services in their need to apply flexibility and judgement around staffing to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people using the service. We recognise that services will need to be creative and make use of a wider range of resources. This could potentially include staff from other public services and volunteers. We recognise that this will mean services may not be able to undertake all normal recruitment checks as quickly and easily as they did before. 

However, during this period it is important that providers put in place structures to support and oversee staff in their role, including any volunteers and unregistered staff. The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is responsible for registering the social care workforce. People can work in registrable roles for a period of 12 months without being registered, which enables services to adopt a flexible approach.

You can view the SSSC Guidance here.

This highlights the six-month period after starting work to obtain registration. This applies to:

  • new staff you might recruit
  • workers covering other roles due to staff shortages
  • students who seek work to help with shortages.

Registration and variations to registration (updated 20 March)

We intend to be flexible around our registration practice where we may have to register different facilities as time goes on. We will prioritise our registration work to support the national response and the sustainability of services.

Existing providers can make arrangements to deliver temporary care services by applying for a variation to their existing service.    This allows the temporary care service to be added as a time-limited condition to the existing service.  Please see the contingency guidance below for more details on this.

  • registered services that are in premises already registered

or

  • temporary new services set up as an emergency response and provided in a place that members of the public normally visit with a reasonable expectation of being safe, for example, a church, church hall, faith group premises, school, school hall, community centre, library, town hall, restaurant, or other licensed premises

We will issue without a registration or variation visit or payment of a fee, a registration certificate with conditions for a period of up to six months provided:

  • the provider has completed an application form with information about the service to be provided, including staffing and premises safety
  • there are no concerns in relation to the provider or staff group
  • the provider/applicant confirms in writing any further information we require.

We will give all such applications immediate priority. 

Care Inspectorate Registration Contingency Plan

Inspections, complaints, and joint inspections (updated 13 March)

The Care Inspectorate has a duty to consider carefully how best to support care services in the vital work they do caring for vulnerable people. 

We have already taken the decision to cease our inspections of care services and our joint inspections of local authority social work services and health and social care partnerships at 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. 

In order to protect the safety and wellbeing of people experiencing care we are only making visits to services when that is absolutely necessary.  

We are also operating in a similar way to deal with complaints about care. 

Inspection reports and complaint outcomes which are in progress will be placed on hold until further notice. 

Anyone with a concern about a care service should, in the first instance, raise this with the manager of the service. The Care Inspectorate will consider complaints and will apply a risk assessment that may result in complaints being referred to the service provider.