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.

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.

Personal Protective Equipment for unpaid carers and paid personal assistants

The Scottish Government has committed to providing information and advice and appropriate supplies of PPE. Here in Fife we already have plans for making PPE available to unpaid carers/family and paid personal assistants, as well as encouraging unpaid carers to access other support to help with their caring role. You may be entitled to free PPE if you are an unpaid carer.

Unpaid Carers
An unpaid carer is any person who, without payment, helps and supports a relative, child, neighbour or friend who could not manage without their help due to age, frailty, addiction, disability or illness.

You may request PPE as an unpaid carer if:

  • the person you care for has symptoms of or a diagnosis of COVID-19
  • the person has received a shielding letter and you aren't in isolation together
  • any other risk there maybe for both carer and cared for.

To request PPE please email or phone Fife Carers Centre:

  • email:
  • phone 01592 205472

How can Self-Directed Support Personal Assistants access PPE?
Employers of PAs receive a SDS budget or Direct Payment from Fife Council. The employer may not be the person receiving the care.

You may request PPE as a PA employer if:

  • The person receiving care has a diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19
  • Another member of the same household has a diagnosis or symptoms
  • The person receiving care has received a shielding letter
  • Any other risk for person receiving care or Personal Assistant/s

To request PPE please email or phone SDS Options Fife: 

  • email:
  • phone 01592 803280

The request will be assessed by SDS Options Fife and the urgency/need determined. SDS Options Fife will deliver directly to your home.

Download the poster PPE for unpaid carers here.

‘Stay safe and shut out the scammers’ – that’s the message from Fife Adult Support and Protection Committee

Alan Small, Independent Chair of Fife Adult Support and Protection Committee advised “While public services, community groups and volunteers are providing incredible support for those who need it, we ask everyone to stay alert and protect yourself from fraud and scams.  We know that criminals are using the Coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to target vulnerable people but you can help yourself to say safe by following this advice:

  • Only let somebody into your home if you know who they are. Be wary if someone turns up unexpectedly.  If in doubt, don’t answer the door.
  • Check who you are dealing with. Ask to see their identity card.  Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions about their identity – genuine callers will expect you to be careful. Close the door and phone the organisation using a number from their website to confirm their identity if you are unsure.

If they contact you by phone, hang up, check their details and call them back.

  • Never hand your bank card or give card/bank details to someone at the door.

Only give someone cash when they have delivered your items to you.  Make sure you get what you ordered.

  • Be wary of telephone calls, emails, texts or WhatsApp messages offering advice and treatment for Coronavirus. Don’t click on email links or open attachments from a sender you don’t recognise. Never give personal information or bank details to someone who has contacted you by phone or email. A trusted organisation will never ask you to do this.
  • Don’t be pressured into donating money.  Never make donations by cash or gift card, or send money through transfer agents such as Western Union or Moneygram.
  • To report a crime call Police Scotland on 101.

“We also remind you that the Adult Protection Phone Line continues to be available if you or anyone you know is at risk of harm or neglect. Call 01383 602200 – it’s vital to raise your concerns. You don’t need to provide your personal details; the Social Work Service will check the situation sensitively, and support will be given, if needed.  Adult harm can take many forms, such as physical, psychological, financial, sexual harm, neglect and self-harm. People who can’t look after themselves or find it difficult to stand up for themselves can be particularly at risk, because of their personal circumstances, or a physical or learning disability, age or illness.  We all have a responsibility to look out for people in our communities.  For more information about adult protection visit: and for scams advice visit: and

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Addiction Services – reaching out to care

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s Addictions Service is working hard to ensure over 1800 patients continue to receive care and support.

Working with colleagues from Third Sector agencies, allied health professionals and addiction recovery support groups they are reaching out to patients to provide the best service possible at this difficult time.

Lynn Barker Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s Associate Director of Nursing said:

“We are very grateful for the support from Third Sector agencies and addiction recovery support groups during this crisis. The Addictions Service has been coordinating activities to meet the challenge of the Coronavirus outbreak. Employees from Third Sector agencies and allied health professionals have been delivering Naloxone kits and prescriptions to pharmacies across Fife and to patients who are self- isolating or being shielded.  For patients in recovery, support groups are providing vital services through online forums.

The Addictions service contacted every patient by telephone and letter to let them know about the changes to the services. Opiate dependent patients have been issued with individual Naloxone kits, which might save their life if they have an overdose. Nursing teams are available by telephone to assess needs, review treatment and provide advice and support.”

Angela Swift Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s Clinical Services Manager said: “Everyone from the alcohol and drug partnership Fife (ADP) is working together and using technology to support patients on their continuing goal of recovery.  Virtual peer support recovery meetings are being provided by the Fife intensive rehabilitation substance misuse team and DAPL (Drug, Alcohol Psychotherapies Limited). They are proving to be crucial and one-to-one support is offered by telephone. Feedback from patients is very positive; they are saying:

  • “Certainly, lifts my spirits! I would be a mess without peer support
  • “Peer support is a godsend!”
  •  “If it wasn’t for others in the group giving me good ideas on occupying my time I would be in a state!”
  •  “Was amazing seeing everyone’s face in today’s meeting, this really helps.” 
  • “Good support received on the session today thank you.”
  • “Great to see everyone, I really enjoyed the woman’s video chat tonight, so much strength from women.”

Scottish Monitoring of COVID-19 Programme – Fife chosen as Pilot Site

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is to run the first pilot project to monitor the Scottish COVID-19 Programme. The programme is being run by Health Protection Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish

Helen Hellewell

Government and will monitor the COVID-19 infection in the Scottish population over the next few months.

The data gathered will be used for scientific modelling, political decision-making and social interventions that will help maintain the functions of the NHS.

Dr Helen Hellewell, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Associate Medical Director said: “We are delighted to have been asked to run the first pilot project in Scotland. The information we gather will allow us to continually review and plan our Covid response as we progress though the Coronavirus outbreak.  Here in Fife we have successfully established a Covid-19 community triage hub in Glenrothes and an assessment centre at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. They have been running for four weeks and the new monitoring process will look at the number of people who have mild or moderate symptoms of the COVID-19 infection.  It is important work that will help us eventually overcome the pandemic in Scotland.”

Podiatrists step in during Coronavirus outbreak

Podiatrists from Fife Health and Social Care Partnership have stepped in quickly to treat patients who would normally be cared for by district nurses. They are providing treatment for more than 100 patients in the community who are house bound and require dressings for wounds. 

The Podiatry service has put all non-critical podiatry care on hold so that podiatrists can use their expertise to treat patients and enable nursing colleagues to provide other critical care. 

Lynn Barker, Fife’s Health & Social Care Partnership’s Associate Director of Nursing said: “I’m immensely proud of the collaboration between the Podiatry and Community Nursing services. They are an outstanding example of the positive way staff across the Health and Social Care Partnership are responding during this challenging time.  The action taken by podiatry staff who have willingly taken on this new challenge to support patients, can’t be praised highly enough. It’s wonderful to see everyone pulling together in these difficult times. “ 

Allison Somerville, Community Diabetes Podiatrist said: “I’m glad we’re able to use our expertise to contribute to the care of this most vulnerable patient group and to support our community nursing colleagues.  As a service we’re continuing to provide urgent treatments for our most high-risk patients and we’re aware that we might be the only contact many vulnerable people have at this time.” 


Photo caption: Alison Somerville ‘selfie’ while at work