Dear Colleagues

During this festive season, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all staff working in social work, social care and children and young people’s services throughout the country for their continuing professionalism and commitment to caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and in the most challenging of circumstances.

Whether you are working with children or adults, directly or indirectly, in a care service or in the community, I recognise the vital part you play in making a difference to people’s lives, keeping them safe and promoting their health and wellbeing.

I know that the past few years have been incredibly difficult for you all, and that services and staff have faced many challenges. Staff, services and partnerships continue to face further challenges this winter and the Care Inspectorate is very aware of the pressures you face and the challenging context that you are all working in.

As the independent scrutiny and improvement support body for social work and social care, the Care Inspectorate must continue to fulfil its responsibilities to provide scrutiny, improvement support and public assurance on the quality of care experienced by people.

However, in carrying out our work we will be mindful that services face the continuing challenges of staffing pressures, the rising cost of living and increased energy bills.

The Care Inspectorate is committed to supporting services as much as we can to help you through this exceptionally difficult period.

We will continue to work with the Scottish Government and other bodies to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the sector and to mitigate the potential impact on people who are experiencing care, their families and carers, and on the staff in services and communities they rely on and upon whom so much depends.

As part of this, and based on feedback we have received from providers and their representative groups, we are extending the annual return submission period for an additional four weeks. This will allow more time for this work to be undertaken.  We still plan to open annual returns on Monday 9 January 2023 with a revised deadline of Sunday 19 March 2023.

Finally, I want to reiterate our appreciation to you all for the important work you do. From all of us at the Care Inspectorate, we wish you and your families a peaceful and happy festive period and share our good wishes for 2023.

Jackie Irvine                                                          

Chief Executive                                                      
Care Inspectorate