Care Home Day 2020 – thank you to our care homes

To support Care Home Day 2020, Fife’s Health & Social Care Partnership wanted to shine a light on the care homes in Fife.

Care homes are communities within communities and every member of staff, every resident and families and friends all play a valuable role.  It really is an extended family. As an integral part of our communities, care homes provide high quality person-centred care to support the health and wellbeing of residents.

Cllr David Graham, Fife Council Spokesperson for Health said:

From left Cllr David Graham, Nicky Connor, John Cooper, Service Manager, FHSCP, David Heaney, Divisional General Manager, FHSCP and Ostlers House staff Kirsten Wilkie, Helen Oliver, Eddie Hepburn and Elaine Patrick. Kneeling is Elaine Siggers with the star of the show Ozzie the home’s therapet.

“Our care home staff really are amazing, and I would like to thank every care home worker for the commitment and passion they show in supporting residents and their families, not only through this pandemic but every day. Staff have come up with so many different ways of keeping residents entertained and families and friends have been very supportive of the care and attention that their families have received, and they continue to receive.”

Cllr Graham joined Fife’s Health & Social Care Director Nicky Connor and Divisional General Manager David Heaney at Ostlers House Care Home today in Kirkcaldy.

Nicky Connor, Director of Fife HSCP added: “It really was very humbling speaking to staff. They are an inspiring group of people and what they have done to keep families connected throughout this period whilst visiting was cancelled has been really innovative. Having the ability to use iPads to connect with families and friends has made a huge difference and residents adapted well to using Facetime. Visiting has now resumed, although this looks a little different with physical distancing measures and PPE now the norm. I can’t thank care home staff enough for their commitment to keeping their communities safe and well”.

Scottish Care’s Paul Dundas and Fiona Mckay, Head of Strategic Planning, Performance and Commissioning. FHSCP also popped along to Bandrum Care Home in Saline to catch up with staff.

From left Fiona Mckay, Paul Dundas, Rachel Payne (Bandrum), Jacquie Stringer, Service Manager, FHSCP and Katherine Spence (Bandrum)

Fiona added: “We work closely with our independent care providers and relationships have been enhanced throughout the pandemic, supporting each other and working together has been key to everything we have achieved. The generosity also received from local organisations who have helped out during this crisis has been appreciated. This really is partnership working at its’ best”

Paul also added: “Care homes are an essential part of our communities and staff demonstrate their commitment and compassion every day, always putting those they care for at the heart of everything they do. Their dedication and professionalism are inspirational, and I can’t thank them enough.

Care homes in Fife – visiting restrictions easing

From today, families and friends can now visit their loved ones in care homes.

Over the past few months, care home staff in Fife have been supporting residents to keep connected via phone and face time calls while in person visits were suspended.

Cllr Rosemary Liewald, Chair of Fife’s Integration Joint Board said:

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all Fife’s care home staff – they have been amazing throughout this period. It hasn’t been an easy time for residents and their families not being able to visit in person. Care home staff have really stepped up to the challenge to ensure other measures were put in place to keep families connected.”

Visiting care homes will be a bit different. There will be a phased approach and in this phase before any visits resume, the care home needs to be covid-19 free for 28 days. Each phase of the approach will be dependent on guidance from Scottish Government based on scientific advice.

Initially, it will be essential visits and garden visits with a designated visitor that will be permitted. Physical distancing measures will be in place and visitors and residents must wear PPE. Care homes have been contacting families and friends of care home residents with information on how to arrange a visit and what to expect.

David Heaney, Divisional General Manager, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership added:

“We know how important it is for the wellbeing of residents and their families to have these connections, so it’s great to see visits resuming. I can’t thank care home staff enough for all they have been doing and continue to do to support residents and the innovative ways they have been keeping residents safe and entertained.

“Our residents and staff are our priority and visits will be managed by the care home to ensure the safety of residents, their visitors and staff. To arrange a visit please contact the care home first. Residents remain at a higher risk from covid-19 because of their age and/or medical conditions so if you have been feeling unwell in any way please do not visit.”

Picture caption:

Cllr Rosemary Liewald (centre) pictured with care home staff from Lindsay House Care Home in Lumphinans. Paula Jackowiak (Senior Social Care Worker) on the left and Dean Reekie (Care Assistant) on the right.

Making HIV testing more accessible

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is pleased to announce that testing for HIV can now be carried out at home. A new free home testing kit is making testing easier and will lead to more people getting diagnosed earlier 

Self (Home)-testing is fast, safe, accurate and convenient and it provides people with another option that can help them get swift access to treatment if required. The test is quick to use, giving results within 15 minutes and support is available to anyone regardless of results.  

Fife HSCP’s Sexual Health & Blood Borne Virus (SH&BBV) services has worked in partnership with HIV Scotland, Waverley Care and Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland to develop and offer this new testing kit. 


Heather Bett, Fife HSCP Executive Lead for SH & BBV said: “Early diagnosis of HIV infection enables better treatment options and reduces the risk of transmitting the infection to others. Fife HSCP is committed to reducing new infections and late diagnosis of HIV. The free home testing kits areparticularly effective tools during the Coronavirus pandemic. They will help people get tested and treated early if they test positive. HIV is a virus that has been with us for a long time, but it is one that is preventable though a range of methods.  I would encourage anyone who thinks they may have been at risk of contracting HIV to seek advice about accessing a test from their GP or ordering a home testing kit online and” 


Dr Naomi BulteelFife HSCP Consultant in Infectious Diseases said: We also want to raise awareness amongst GPs and clinicians about the importance of considering an HIV test as part of routine examinations, particularly where people may show symptoms of undiagnosed HIV. The earlier someone is diagnosed the better. Advances in medicines mean that people with HIV on effective treatment can live healthy lives with zero risk of passing on the virus sexually”. 


Nathan Sparling, Chief Executive, HIV Scotland said: 

Diagnosing HIV is the most important part of our mission to reach zero new HIV transmissions, so it’s important that different testing options exist, especially when the advice remains to stay at home due to the Coronavirus 

“For most people, self-testing is fast, safe, accurate and convenient – and it provides people with another option that can help people get swift access to treatment if needed. It’s important for everyone to know their HIV status so they can protect their health and that of their partners too. 

“With HIV Self Test Scotland, we can play our part in the global mission to get to zero by 2030.”  


The UK is one of the few countries in the world to have reached and exceeded all UNAIDS 90:90:90 targets. (90% of those infected, diagnosed, 90% of those diagnosed on treatment and 90% of those on treatment have an undetectable viral load)  Of those people living with HIV in the UK in 2018, 93% were diagnosed, 97% of people diagnosed were receiving treatment and 97% of people receiving treatment were virally suppressed (undetectable viral load). 

Our pharmacies are doing a great job – please be patient and kind

Throughout this pandemic, the 85 community pharmacies across Fife have remained open to support the people of Fife. As a first port of call for clinical advice and medicines supply, our local pharmacies are providing a vital and valued service.

Physical distancing measures to control the spread of the Coronavirus means that queues are forming outside many of our pharmacies as individuals wait to be seen.

Scott Garden, Director of Pharmacy & Medicines, NHS Fife said: “Fife pharmacies support people across all sections of our communities including our most vulnerable. Pharmacies are frequently extremely busy and physical distancing means it’s very common for queues to form as people wait to be served. This is not ideal, and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and acceptance that queuing, for the time-being will become routine when accessing a community pharmacy.”

Cllr David Graham, Fife Council Spokesperson for Health & Social Care added, “There is no doubt these are challenging times and our pharmacy teams are doing all they can to support our communities, access medicines and healthcare advice, while at the same time managing limited space and queue management. I urge everyone to be patient, tolerant and kind to others waiting to be served and pharmacy teams who are continuing to deliver vital services to communities across Fife.”

Latest Adult Support and Protection newsletter available

Here’s the latest newsletter from the Adult Support and Protection Committee. This is available in different formats (pdf and plain text format for those using assistive technology).

We also have an easy read version of the ‘Staying safe, keeping well’ leaflet – a reminder of support organisations’ contact details, information on staying safe from scammers and advice on keeping well during lockdown.


Emma’s raising money for NHS workers

Emma Smart has raised nearly £2,000 for the NHS by selling over 300 special mugs designed to support NHS workers. Emma who is a Home Carer came up with the idea to raise the money when she saw her friends mug which had the eye-catching design, loved it and thought her colleagues and friends might also want one. It turned out they did, and the orders flooded in. 

The mug has been designed and produced by her friend’s sister Theresa Isaac of ‘Believe Designs’ and together they agreed that part of the payment for the mugs would be donated to the NHS. And because they had such a large order and were raising money for the NHS the courier delivered the mugs free of charge.  

Emma says: “Thank-you so much to everyone who has ordered a mug, it is very much appreciated. I’ve not really done much just taking the orders – it’s everyone who has bought a mug that has made the difference by supporting a great cause.” 

Kindness improves mental health – Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is focusing on how acts of ‘Kindness’ improve lives and communities. Mental Health Foundation research shows that ‘Kindness’ strengthens relationships, develops a sense of community and deepens feelings of solidarity. It is essential to our individual and collective mental health. 

Nicky Connor Director of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “I welcome the focus on ‘Kindness’ during National Mental Health Awareness Week and have been humbled by the many examples of kindness shown by individuals and communities across Fife during Covid 19.  Mental Health is a priority and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is committed to caring for the mental wellbeing of communities in Fife and promoting ways to maintain good mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week is also an opportunity to highlight how mental health services have responded to the coronavirus pandemic and how it has impacted those who use our health and social care services and our staff. We are showcasing the broad scope of work we undertake to support people and how kindness is a fundamental aspect of improving mental health for individuals and communities.”

Julie Paterson Divisional General Manager of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “Our staff provide high quality care and support which is matched to the unique needs and outcomes of individuals whether they are in hospital or living in the community.

The Fife Health and Social Care Partnership has developed a shared mental health strategy for Fife by engaging the people and communities of Fife. Titled ‘Let’s really raise the bar’ 2020-2024 the strategy outlines the importance of continuing to work closely with our partners to promote and support ways to maintain good mental health. There are many examples of the great work being done and how everyone is working together during these unprecedented times.”

The Fife Psychology Service moved very quickly in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and in just a week set up a staff hub and quiet zone for frontline health and social care staff. They are now available at locations across Fife including Maggie’s Centre, Kirkcaldy, Queen Margaret Hospital Dunfermline, Cameron Hospital, Windygate and the Ceres Centre, Stratheden.

Mental Health support in communities is being provided by Sam’s café and other voluntary organisations. Sam’s café is a mental health project that allows people to access help quickly and informally.  Based in KIrkcaldy and Dunfermline Sam’s café is providing help during the Covid-19 emergency by chatting to people by telephone and encouraging anyone who feels alone with their problems to get in touch.

The project is run by employees who have experienced mental issues giving them a unique insight into the problems people may have and enabling them to provide relevant advice and coping strategies. To find out more go to


Purple Hippo Project

What is the Purple Hippo Project?

It’s about knitting lots of purple hippos to give to young people to thank them for taking part in sessions to learn about dementia. The hippos are a gift that they get along with a certificate to show that they’ve completed a ‘Dementia Friends’ session. During the session they learn about dementia and how it affects people and families and gives them a greater understanding about how people’s lives are changed by the illness. The young people are also encouraged to show others in the community how they can help people affected by dementia.

‘Dementia Friends’ sessions were put on hold during the Coronavirus emergency but preparations are underway to be ready with lots of hippos to give when the sessions can begin again.

During this lockdown period, why not support the preparations by knitting a few hippos yourself? It will really help a great cause. Donations will be collected once restrictions are reduced.

Knitted hippo instructions

knitted hippos

Size: Approx. 2.5 inches long.


  • 2. 75mm needles
  • Oddments of double knitting yarn in body colour,
  • and some black to embroider the face
  • Darning needle
  • Polyester stuffing


7 sts and 10 rows to 1 inch, or close to this. You want nice tight knitting that the stuffing won’t show through.


  • k – knit;
  • p – purl;
  • st(s) – stitch(es);
  • st-st – stocking stitch;
  • kfb – increase by knitting into the front and back of the next st;
  • k2tog – decrease by knitting the next 2 sts together;
  • kfbf – increase by 2 ex.tra sts by knititng into the front and back, and then front again of the next st;
  • k3tog – decrease by 2 sts by knitting the next 3 sts together.

Body and Head:

  • Cast on 10 sts.
  • Row 1: (kfb) into every st – 20 sts.
  • Row 2: p
  • Row 3: (kfb) into every st – 40 sts
  • Rows 4-26: st-st, beginning p (23 rows)
  • Row 27: (k2tog) to end – 20 sts.
  • Row 28: p
  • Row 29: k7, (kfbf) 6 times, k7 – 32 sts.
  • Row 30: p .
  • Row 31: (k2, kfb) 3 times, k14, (kfb, k2) 3 times – 38 sts.
  • Row 32-44: st-st, beg p (13 rows)
  • Row 45: k3, (k3tog) 4 times, kB, (k3tog) 4 times, k3 – 22 sts.
  • Row 46: p
  • Row 47: (k2tog) to end – 11 sts.

Break off a long length of yarn, thread through the remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off. Seam row edges, leaving about 1 cm open at the cast on edge. Stuff body and head firmly. Close remaining seam. Gather round cast on sts, pull up tightly and fasten off. Use a length of yarn to work a line of gathering sts around the neck and pull up to add further shape to the neck. Fasten off and sew in any ends.

Legs {make 4):

  • Cast on 14 sts.
  • Rows 1-6: st-st, beg k
  • Row 7: (k2tog) to end – 7 sts.

Break off a long length of yarn, thread through remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off.

Seam row edges. Stuff well. Position 4 legs on base of body, taking care to ensure that hippo can stand unaided, and sew in place.

Ears {make 2):

  • Cast on 8 sts.
  • Rows 1-2: st-st, beginning k
  • Row 3: (k2tog) to end – 4 sts.

Break off a long length of yarn, thread through remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off. Using the photo as a guide, position the ears on the head and sew the row edges to the head, leaving the cast on edge to curve upwards.


  • Cast on 6 sts.
  • Cast off.

Sew one row edge of tail just above the gathered cast on sts at the back of the body.


Use black yarn to embroider two eyes and two nostrils, using the photo as a guide for placement.

© Aine Marriott 2011 |