We have published new guidance on offering vitamin D nutritional supplements to eligible residents in adult care homes. 

Vitamin D is important for keeping bones and muscles healthy. Current advice is that groups at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, including people living in care homes, are advised to take a daily supplement all year round. This advice is based on recommendations made by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) in 2016.

The guidance was developed by a Scottish Government Short Life Working Group (SLWG) comprising care homes and those that support care homes. The SLWG recommended that care home staff discuss vitamin D supplements with residents and/or their representatives and that any decisions should be considered on an individual basis, taking into account the resident’s personal choice, needs and circumstances. The guidance materials, which were successfully piloted in some care homes, aim to support care home staff with these conversations.

The guidance and a supporting letter for care homes can be found on The Hub.

Workshops on the new guidance have been arranged by the Scottish Government for care homes and professionals who support care homes. These take place on Thursday 14 December 2023, from 15:00-16:30 and Tuesday 23 January 2024, from 11:00-12.30, and will provide information on vitamin D supplements, the findings from the pilot in Ayrshire and Arran, how to use the guidance to support conversations around vitamin D and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. The content of both workshops will be the same, so there is no need to attend both. Join the workshops from The Hub.  

Food Standards Scotland Vitamin D Campaign

The vitamin D social media campaign for 23/24 is now live and will run until March 2024. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the current vitamin D advice and encourage the uptake of supplements. The partner campaign toolkit is now available in 7 additional languages (with translated social media copy also available).