Publication - Factsheet

A Fairer Scotland for Older People: framework actions and updates

Published: 29 Jun 2021

An update on framework actions to support A Fairer Scotland for Older People.

Published:
29 Jun 2021
A Fairer Scotland for Older People: framework actions and updates

Update on framework actions

Being older in Scotland

Action

Update

Action Status

Support the Festival of Ageing to help us start on the path to achieving the aspiration of changing the narrative on ageing, creating a national platform to celebrate our ageing population and promote the huge benefits older people bring to society.

 

 

We had already agreed to fund GenAnalytics to design and produce our second year of the Festival of Ageing which was due to take place in June 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this was unable to go ahead. Following this, GenAnalytics used the repurposed funding to undertake a qualitative piece of research looking at the impact of Covid-19 on the lives and wellbeing of older people in Scotland. The key focus was to understand and articulate the experience, concerns, and thoughts of older people across Scotland in relation to the existing Framework for action and its priorities - this work replaced the Festival of Ageing. GenAnalytics have now completed their research and have sent the final report of the findings and recommendations for action. The recommendations are grouped into the eight key areas: intergenerational, health and well-being, communications, access to services, work and volunteering, digital inclusion, and the abuse of older people. We are currently considering the recommendations.

Complete

Respond in full to the report of the Advisory Group on Human Rights and will prioritise actions that can be taken to address the human rights and equality impact of Brexit.

The 2020-21 Programme for Government reiterates the our commitment to developing a statutory human rights framework for Scotland, which will be progressed by the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership.

Complete

Work with external partners, engaging widely with civil society, including organisations representing older people and with the wider public sector, to establish a National Taskforce to take forward the key recommendations, starting in 2019.

The National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership is on schedule to issue their recommendations shortly. All public and political engagement has been completed (virtually). Taskforce members agree that substantial evidence has been gathered.

 

 

Complete

Engaging and Contributing

Action

Update

Action Status

Work alongside the UK Government and others to take forward the Strategy for Our Veterans to help ensure that we respond to the changing needs of Armed Forces veterans over the next decade. The strategy addresses the immediate needs of older veterans, and defines the right conditions for society to empower and support them. 

In 2019 we completed an extensive round of face-to-face engagements with stakeholders throughout Scotland, engaging with more than 60 organisations across the public, private and third sectors, including groups of Veterans themselves. We published our response to the Veterans Strategy, ‘The Strategy for our Veterans: Taking the Strategy Forward in Scotland’ in January 2020 . Our response highlights the work that we are taking forward for Veterans and the Armed Forces community including to deliver against the recommendations in the Scottish Veterans Commissioner’s reports.

Complete

In taking this work forward, we will engage with a range of veterans and veterans’ organisations, both large and small, and the Scottish Veterans Commissioner to better identify how we can support the Armed Forces community.

Complete

Consider how agencies might improve partnership-working to further address inequalities in access to opportunities to be physically active, including inequalities relating to age, at the next meeting of the Active Scotland Delivery Group in May 2019.

The Delivery Group considered how to improve partnership working and are currently establishing Strategic Partnerships to strengthen this area. We recognise that the pandemic and restrictions have had a significant impact on the availability of opportunities to be active for some groups, including older adults. The Active Scotland Delivery Group is considering a range of immediate actions which will help to address this impact. Agreement on the actions to be taken forward and delivery of these actions.

Complete

Ensure that the voices and experiences of older people are reflected through the forthcoming Culture Strategy for Scotland, which will be published in 2019, and will continue to celebrate the valuable contribution that older people make to cultural life in Scotland.

The Culture Strategy for Scotland recognises that age can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to access and participate in culture. It recognises that tackling inequalities such as this need to be a priority. It references the fairer Scotland for Older People framework and highlights that Culture can provide a role in an ageing society by helping to facilitate conversations between generations to share knowledge and skills but also to enrich their life and maintain social connections. We are committed to ensuring that everyone can enjoy the transformative power of culture and will continue to celebrate the valuable contribution that older people make to Scotland’s cultural life. We will continue to work with Creative Scotland and other national agencies to ensure that equalities, diversity and inclusion policies are implemented and monitored appropriately, and to ensure that evaluation of the Culture Strategy and programmes funded under its auspices pay due attention to the impact on older people.

Complete

Continue to support the LGBT Age project, which provides LGBT people over 50 (including those ‘coming out’ later in life) with support, social groups and activities, raising awareness of the needs of older LGBT people and promoting greater inclusion both within the LGBT community and more widely.

 

Funding of £75,000 payable over 1 July 2020 – 30 September 2021 has been granted to LGBT Health and wellbeing to continue this project. In addition to this, the organisation has received further funding to also develop a Telefriending Service, with a small team providing structured phone support to LGBT older people who are particularly socially isolated and/or experiencing digital exclusion due to the current pandemic.

We will continue to take forward a range of measures to tackle prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people, including older LGBT people.

Partially complete/ongoing

Deliver A Connected Scotland in partnership with the National Implementation Group to help tackle social isolation and loneliness as they affect Scotland’s older people.

The Scottish Government’s first national strategy to tackle social isolation and loneliness and build stronger social connections, A Connected Scotland, was published on 18 December 2018.

The strategy considered 4 main areas which prioritised community cohesion and empowerment, tackling stigma and encouraging kindness and creating the opportunities and infrastructure that allows people to build connections. Within these priority areas, actions were created to deliver our ambitions around Scotland’s communities.

As we pivoted to tackle the impact of the coronavirus, the delivery phases of the Strategy were paused. However as part of our cross government approach, our commitment to tackling social isolation and loneliness has only increased as we have seen how all our lives have changed over the course of 2020.

Partially complete/ongoing

Engage with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum, using data and evidence compiled in the development of the Volunteering Outcomes Framework, to discuss the key drivers and barriers to volunteering for older people and ensure the Forum is engaged in the development of the associated Delivery Plan.

Officials presented to the Older People's Strategic Action Forum in June 2018 on the volunteering framework. We are developing a Volunteering Action Plan for the Volunteering for All Framework and a key element of this work will be around reducing barriers to volunteering and making volunteering more inclusive. It will support people to volunteer whatever their age.

Partially complete/ongoing

Re-engage with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum to help shape new transformative arrangements for local democracy in Scotland, with equalities and human rights at their core.

Over 4,000 people have already come together in their neighbourhoods, villages, and towns to discuss the future of local democracy in Scotland. Overwhelmingly people wanted much greater control over those decisions which make the biggest difference to their community. Once public health measures allow, people will be invited to come together again. This time to consider possible new democratic decision-making arrangements, and how these could best work for their community. When the Democracy Matters conversation resumes it's important that even more voices join-in. The involvement of people from different backgrounds and experiences will help ensure each community has a vibrant democracy designed to enhance equalities and promote human rights.

Partially complete/ongoing

Work with stakeholders to deliver actions within the Age, Home and Community strategy to ensure we have a housing system that works for older people.

Actions within the Age, Home and Community – The Next Phase strategy are being taken forward by Scottish Government and stakeholders through our Program for Government commitment to review the adaptations process, develop a social isolation strategy and develop an older people’s framework. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure new policies developed by Scottish Government recognise the requirements of older people.

Partially complete/ongoing

Continue to engage with a wide range of stakeholders who have an interest in housing to ensure we address the housing needs of a growing ageing population. 

Views of older people were sought as part of the lived experience questionnaire for the Housing System Policy Circle which fed into the Social Renewal Advisory Board. If not now, when? - Social Renewal Advisory Board report was published in January 2021 and is available on the Scottish Government website. Views have been gathered from stakeholders to feed into Housing to 2040 report which is due to be published shortly. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure new policies developed by Scottish Government recognise the requirements of older people.

Partially complete/ongoing

Undertake a practical review of existing guidance on housing adaptations to identify barriers and potential areas for development.

This was announced in Programme for Government 2020 and the review will commence shortly. As part of the review on housing adaptations we will engage with stakeholders who have an interest in adaptations to ensure we address the needs of older and disabled people.

 

Partially complete/ongoing

 

 

Support the mainstreaming of rural policy and learn from examples of successful community-led practice that supports good rural outcomes. Those with the right skills needed to support our rural economy and communities should be encouraged to do so.

We recognise that to address the challenges rural Scotland faces, a cross-portfolio approach is crucial. This joined up approach is also key right across the rural and island spectrum. That is why we enable Scottish Rural Action (SRA) to deliver a Rural Parliament for Scotland. Approximately 400 individuals, key stakeholders and businesses from rural and island communities will come together with policy makers and decision makers to listen, learn from others examples and set out their vision of fair and thriving rural communities now and in the future. SRA have been working with partners to ensure the voice of lesser heard groups within rural and island communities is being fed in to these discussions.

Partially complete/ongoing

Work with health and social care partnerships and other stakeholders on practical actions to ensure malnutrition is identified and managed quickly and effectively, learning from experience in Scotland and further afield.

 

Initial scoping work on malnutrition and dehydration was undertaken early 2020 alongside preliminary engagement with stakeholders including Eat Well Age Well, NHS dieticians and key contacts across Scottish Government. Through this, we identified three priorities for the first phase of this work: 

  • strengthening our collective understanding of the scale and nature of the problem in Scotland and the case for action
  • reviewing relevant care standards so that all care professionals who come into contact with an older person are able to identify malnutrition and dehydration and have the knowledge of a suitable pathway
  • building capacity across health and social care staff, engaging also with informal carers, community groups, older people themselves and the wider public, to increase awareness and improve take-up and use of training and tools available to prevent malnutrition and dehydration

Though this work was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was recommenced in November 2020 and has been included in work to scope and plan for a framework to prevent malnutrition and dehydration. While the framework will not focus on older people exclusively, older people will be a significant area of focus.

Partially complete/ongoing

Discuss with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum the best ways to understand ageism, including listening to the experiences of older people by discussing the key points raised by older people from the work carried out by Forum members to inform the framework and understanding further literature in this area. 

Work to develop a strategy to combat negative perceptions of older people and tackling ageism was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The initial developmental work carried out in 2020 with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum (OPSAF), will remain of use and will inform future work. It is clear that the pandemic has exacerbated both intergenerational divides and ageist attitudes in some quarters. Tackling these issues is a necessary part of our recovery.

Paused

Use the information captured to develop a strategy to combat the negative perceptions of older people and work with others, including the media, to tackle ageism.

Paused

Accessing Services

Action

Update

Action Status

Engage with key partners on Ambition & Opportunity: a strategy for public libraries in Scotland 2015–2020 in recognition of libraries as vital public spaces for older people.

Libraries continue to support older people through a range of means. Projects funded through the Public Libraries Improvement Fund (PLIF) have supported creative and innovative library initiatives throughout Scotland that continue to engage with and support older people.

Libraries play a role in supporting older people’s health. In partnership with third sector agencies and the NHS, libraries supply hearing aid batteries and walking stick ferrules. The ‘Health on the Shelf’ report (April 2020) sets out many further ways in which libraries are developing their services for older people, including tackling social isolation and projects targeting dementia.

Libraries have continued to provide specific support to older people through the COVID19 pandemic and the forthcoming public libraries strategy will further develop how libraries can support communities, including older people.

Complete

Continue to highlight the damaging impact of financial services reductions in local services to banks and post offices to the UK Government. 

Ministers have used their relationships with the sector to consistently stress the importance of financial inclusion and have repeatedly urged the UK Government to do more to ensure access to cash and banking facilities for all. We will continue to press regulators, banking providers and the UK Government to ensure that local banking services, in particular access to cash services, remain accessible to all. Ministers are also clear of the importance of post offices to local communities and economies in Scotland. We have made it clear to both the UK Government and the Post Office Ltd that they have a responsibility to ensure that existing services are maintained rather than reduced. We fund Citizens Advice Scotland’s research into post office outreach services and how consumers can influence provision in rural areas. We will also continue to stress the need for the Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation to be maintained.

Complete

Continue to work with the financial services sector to mitigate the impact of service reform on older people.

Ministers have used their relationships with the sector to consistently stress the importance of financial inclusion and have repeatedly urged the UK Government to do more to ensure access to cash and banking facilities for all. We will continue to press regulators, banking providers and the UK Government to ensure that local banking services, in particular access to cash services, remain accessible to all.

Complete

Revise and update the Palliative Care Direct Enhanced Service, which resources practices to learn from and improve the palliative care they provide, from April 2019.

The Palliative Care Directed Enhanced Service has been revised and updated, ensuring that GP practices are resourced to learn from and improve the palliative care they provide.

Complete

Engage directly with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum to shape the next National Transport Strategy as part of our consultation process.

The National Transport Strategy team met with representatives from the Older People's Strategic Action Forum to encourage participation in the National Transport Strategy 2 (NTS2) consultation in October 2019. Age is now embedded as a protected characteristic in the NTS2 which was published January 2020 under the 'Reduces Inequalities' banner.

Complete

Publish a national implementation plan (2019–2021) to embed self-directed support in social care nationally and locally, so that older people can make the decisions that matter to them in terms of being supported to maintain their social connections.

We published an implementation plan (covering the period 2019-2021) for the overarching Self-directed Support strategy in June 2019. The implementation plan set out actions required to drive forward the changes necessary to fully implement and embed self-directed support across Scotland. The Change Map at the heart of the implementation plan, which sets out the steps required at local level to achieve this outcome, has provided the basis for a range of actions across local and national partners to help embed self-directed support across Scotland.

Much of this work has had to be paused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, we have continued to progress a project set out in the plan with Social Work Scotland to design and test a framework of practice for self-directed support in social care across Scotland. The Framework will set out standards and action statements to assist local authorities in their further implementation of self-directed support, and ensure a more consistent approach to self-directed support across Scotland. This will help improve the consistency of people’s experiences of social care and self-directed support across Scotland, improving outcomes for supported people and carers. This will help ensure that older people are supported consistently to make the decisions that matter to them in terms of being supported to maintain their social connections.

Scottish Ministers have also recently extended funding for independent support and advice through Support in the Right Direction for people navigating social care until the end of March 2022. Support in the Right Direction – a further key action in the implementation plan – funds 30 projects across 31 local authority areas in Scotland who provide independent information, advice and advocacy to people and carers accessing and managing their social care across Scotland, and support them to exercise choice and control over that care and support.

Complete

Ensure carers and representatives of people using health and social care services are supported by their local partnerships to enable meaningful engagement with their constituencies. This would include, for example, receipt of integration joint board papers with enough time for meaningful engagement and allowing people using services time to respond to issues raised. It would also include paying reasonable expenses for attending meetings.

We continue to fund the Coalition of Carers in Scotland (COCIS) to host the Carers Collaborative, a forum which supports the carer representatives on Integration Joint Boards (IJB) and providing them with a network and collective voice.

Progress has been highlighted in a January 2021 Carer Collaborative meeting: i) the development and implementation of expenses policies for carer representatives, ii) several LA areas having provided technology to carer representatives, including laptops and iPads, and iii) approximately half of all carers at a recent meeting could provide examples of where their interventions had made a real difference.

We will continue to support Integration Authorities to work with carers and will achieve this through our continued commitment to ongoing attendance at the Strategic Commissioning Improvement Network, the cross health and social care Integration Huddles and bi-weekly meetings with the Chief Officers Network. We have also committed to quarterly meetings with the Chair of the IJB Chair and Vice-Chair Network.

Complete

Work with groups of older people to understand how digital technology can add value to their lives in a way that is meaningful to them, and link this to our ongoing work on delivering our digital strategy for Scotland.

Since 2019 there has been a round of the Digital Participation charter fund (Round 7) and 42% of the organisations successful in securing funding were directly targeting technology, older people & social isolation . Over £4 million of funding through the Winter Package is supporting 5,000 socially isolated older and disabled people to get online. Delivered by the Connecting Scotland programme, it will provide individuals with a device, connection and training and support. Applications closed in January 2021, and delivery of devices to support organisations began in late January 2021 and is expected to be completed by March 2021. We will engage across all sectors to ensure relevant materials are available to aid older people and those who support them to take best advantage of the opportunities the internet has to offer.

Complete

Work with the People-led Policy Panel to shape what the national programme to support local reform of adult social care will focus on, and the projects and activities within it.

The People-led Policy Panel was at the heart of work during 2018 and 2019 to co-produce the vision and priorities for a national programme to support reform of adult social care. Following the process to develop the programme, which also involved local and national stakeholders across the social care sector, the programme was launched in June 2019. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, much of the work on the programme has been paused.

However, we have continued to progress some key projects in the programme, including; work with the Social Care Fair Work group to develop proposals to embed fair work principles that will lead to better terms and conditions and more rewarding roles for the social care workforce, and a project with Social Work Scotland to design and test a framework of practice for self-directed support in social care across Scotland.

Complete

Engage with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum in 2019 on matters relating to health and social care integration, and the current engagement and consultation practices of local partnerships. 

Integration officials began engagement with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum (OPSAF) in 2019. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, resources were diverted onto the response effort during 2020, but as 2021 progresses the team anticipate re-engaging with OPSAF to further progress this work.

Complete

Continue to implement the new GP Contract by transferring services so that GPs can focus on the work only they can do. This will allow for longer consultations for patients where they are needed, particularly for complex care of patients with multi-morbidity, including co-morbidity of physical and mental health issues.

 

AND

Strengthen multidisciplinary teams to deliver an enhanced and sustainable workforce to improve patient outcomes in primary care settings.

A central aim of the new GP contract is to focus GP time on complex care, by building capacity in the wider multi-disciplinary team.

For nursing, we are investing £6.9 million in general practice and district nursing so more people are cared for closer to their homes. We are also investing £3 million to train an additional 500 advanced nurse practitioners by 2021.

For community link workers (CLWs), we are on track to deliver our commitment of 250 community link workers (CLWs) by 2021/22. It is the responsibility of Integration Authorities to allocate community links workers based on local need and priorities.

For pharmacy, since 2015/16, over £42.2 million has been invested in putting Pharmacists with clinical skills into GP Practices. Investment has seen pharmacists and technicians take up posts in GP Practices across Scotland, and around 90% of all GP Practices now have full or partial access to pharmacy team support. We have invested in pharmacy training, including increasing the number of pharmacist training posts from 170 to 215 per year from 2020/21, with further increases due over the next 3 years.

For paramedics and mental health workers, we have committed to supporting the Ambulance Service to train an additional 1,000 paramedics over the course of this Parliament which will support work in the community. We are on track to deliver an 800 additional mental health workers.

Partially complete/ongoing

Increase the number of GPs working in Scotland by at least 800 by 2028 through our recruitment and marketing campaign that will launch this year. 

We have a record number of GPs working in Scotland, and are committed to increasing numbers by at least 800 over the next ten years.

Partially complete/ongoing

Continue to invest in training and education of general practice nurses, providing nursing care across the life cycle. This includes supporting the management of long-term conditions and supporting people with complex conditions or who are frail as part of integrated community teams.

A central aim of the GP contract is to focus GP time on complex care, by building capacity in the wider multi-disciplinary team. We are investing £6.9 million in general practice and district nursing so more people are cared for closer to their homes. We’re also investing £3 million to train an additional 500 advanced nurse practitioners by 2021.

Partially complete/ongoing

Develop an action plan to take forward the Citizens’ Jury recommendations to help promote and support shared decision-making to help ensure people receive healthcare they really value.

There has been extensive work to implement the Citizens’ Jury recommendations from 2019 to present. We are working with NHS 24 to develop a public awareness campaign focused on the concept of It’s OK to Ask. This implements one of the key recommendations of the Jury about enabling patients to ask questions.

In a similar vein, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the use of virtual consultations, using the Near Me service. We have worked with colleagues to embed key prompts in the virtual waiting room used by Near Me. This means that patients are provided with information about key questions that they can use in their consultations to discuss the benefits and risks of a particular intervention, alternatives and the possibility of doing nothing.

There is now an online module for NHS staff in Scotland on shared decision making. The module, developed by NHS Education for Scotland, gives healthcare professionals some practical guidance and tips on how to use shared decision making in their conversations. One of the recommendations from the Citizens’ Jury was for health and care professionals to have access to training in shared decision making.

The General Medical Council published guidance for doctors on shared decision making and consent. This valuable guidance came into effect in November 2020 after work that involved the Scottish Government. The guidance was supported by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO). It provides a framework to help doctors practise shared decision making and support their patients to make healthcare decisions that are right for them.

In addition, work takes place across the NHS and social care to embed the principles of Realistic Medicine. A snapshot of this work will be showcased in the forthcoming CMO Annual Report.

As will be seen from the report, there is a significant level of ambition across the NHS and its partners to improve shared decision making in healthcare.

Partially complete/ongoing

Formally engage with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum in 2019 so that the experiences of older people are reflected in and inform our improvement programme for adult support and protection.

The Scottish Government is strengthening support for adult support and protection through the improvement plan and related key activities.

Partially complete/ongoing

Work closely with NHS boards throughout 2019 to improve provision of, and access to, mental health services, including psychological therapy for people over the age of 65.

The recent Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan published in October 2020 includes a commitment to ensure equitable access to mental health support and services for older people, recognising that not all older people will have access to digital resources.

Partially complete/ongoing

Coordinate national work on dementia and this framework to ensure that older people with dementia retain a visible and active part in their communities.

We will work with health and social care partnerships to enhance integrated and co-ordinated support for people with dementia to live well and safely in their own home, connected to their local community, for as long as possible, and do more to support those with dementia who live alone.

Partially complete/ongoing

Engage with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum on our ongoing national work on dementia to ensure older people’s representative groups are linked in to the current dementia strategy.

In respond to the COVID-19, we have published a Dementia and Covid National Action Plan where we widely engaged with people living with dementia, their families and carers. We will continue to engage with these groups at six monthly intervals and will start work on our fourth National Dementia Strategy as soon as is practical.

Partially complete/ongoing

Produce revised statutory guidance on local community engagement and participation based on existing good practice, which will apply across health and social care bodies. This will ensure engagement is central to achieving the scale of change and reform required via health and social care integration, and is an ongoing process that is not undertaken only when service change is proposed. The guidance will be published by the end of 2019.

It is anticipated that the community engagement guidance will be published in March 2021.

This has been delayed due to unavoidable COVID-19 pressures however a robust plan is in place to ensure that the guidance is embedded in practice throughout 2022

The publication of the Community Engagement Guidelines has been timely in relation to the publication of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care report, as the findings of this deliver further evidence which underpins the use of the engagement guidance.

Partially complete/ongoing

Respond to the recommendations made in the University of Dundee’s review of the current provision of social care in Scotland’s prisons when developing a model of delivery of integrated health and social care in Scotland’s prisons, taking into consideration the human rights and equality of care of older prisoners, including all of the protected characteristics.

We have established the Health and Social Care in Prisons Programme to address some of the structural barriers to improving health and social care in our prisons. The Health and Social Care Integration workstream, which sits within this Programme, published their response to the recommendations made in the University of Dundee’s report. The response to the report is set out in A New Vision for Social Care in Prisons.

As part of the Health and Social Care in Prisons Programme, tests of change were established in six prisons to enable us to evaluate the potential models for improved integration of health and social care provision in prisons, which will help ensure that the social care support needs of the population, including older prisoners, are met effectively.

In March 2020 the Health and Social Care in Prisons Programme was paused while resources were focused on responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will consider how to recommence the work of the programme once pressures in relation to the pandemic have eased, taking account of the findings from the tests of change projects and changes in the wider context within which this work is being delivered, including the recommendations from the Independent Review of Adult Social Care.

Partially complete/ongoing

Work with stakeholders to deliver enhanced community audiology services and testing. 

 

AND

 

Use evidence from pilots exploring the delivery of enhanced community audiology services in a general practice setting to inform next steps in provision of audiology services for older people.

Audiology services across NHS Scotland have required to be adaptive due to the impact of Covid-19, services have required to utilise digital solutions, with a focus on remote support and virtual appointments. The impact of COVID-19 across our NHS services, meant that our community audiology pilots needed to be paused.

As services remobilise in NHS Scotland, Audiology have restored some level of day to-day activity in a phased and safe environment. However, the pilot community audiology services are still paused.

As a result we need to extend this project in exploring the delivery of enhanced community audiology services in a GP practice setting into 2021 to evaluate the data from when the pilots were running, taking account of the impact COVID-19 has had on the delivery of Audiology services, to inform any future recommendations.

Partially complete/ongoing

Work with the Ministerial Action Group on Digital Participation to increase digital inclusion of older people with the growing technology-based services sector. 

 

Following recommendations from the Ministerial Action Group work to increase digital inclusion of older people has taken place. We have established digital champion networks throughout libraries, housing associations and third sector organisation to encourage, support and underpin the learning and upskilling of individuals. The interests of an older persons digital champions network has been integrated within these dedicated teams. Collectively they continue to deliver programmes of learning to enable people to gain the skills and confidence in using new technologies before and throughout the pandemic. New ways of providing this assistance to those who need it most are being adapted to suit needs going forward.

Paused

Establish a community-based low-vision service, building on the groundwork that has already been conducted, to improve access to low-vision aids and appropriate signposting to other support services.

Due to COVID-19 this action has been delayed. We will continue to work with stakeholders and practitioners to deliver this programme. 

Paused

Work with Police Scotland and partner organisations to develop and roll out the adults in care settings pilot protocol to safeguard and prevent people at risk of going missing.

Police Scotland intend to begin national rollout of pilot protocol in June 2021.

Paused

Work with partners to ensure that better-quality and more timely data is developed to drive effective local and national workforce planning for primary care.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, resources were diverted onto the response effort during 2020, but we will look to pick this up as 2021 progresses.

Paused

Financial Security

Action

Update

Action Status

Work with employers and trade unions to improve workplace practices for the benefit of women, with a particular focus on supporting women who have protected characteristics. This will be taken forward through an expanded Workplace Equality Fund, based on lessons learnt from the previous Fund.

 

The Workplace Equality Fund 2019/20 ended in October 2020. Shortly after, the Workplace Equality Fund 20/21 was launched and projects returned from January to 31st March 2021. The fund is supporting projects to provide short, sharp labour market interventions to help certain equality groups to enter, remain and progress in employment. Women and older women continue to be covered in the list of priority groups targeted by the fund. In addition, the fund supports partners of veterans and workers experiencing the menopause.

 

 

 

Complete

 

Work with women’s organisations and trade unions to gain a clearer picture of the issues faced by women transitioning through the menopause to identify other areas where action may need to be taken.

 

We continue to consider how to support women transitioning through menopause while at work, informed by discussion with the STUC Women’s Committee and the results of the report taken by STUC into women's workplace experiences of transitioning through menopause. The 2019-2020 Programme for Government (PfG) announced a commitment to develop a Women’s Health Plan and the 2020-2021 PfG reaffirmed this and confirmed that the Plan will underpin actions to tackle women’s health inequalities by raising awareness around women’s health and improving access to healthcare for women throughout life. A specific priority of the plan is to ensure that women have access to specialist menopause services for advice and support on the diagnosis and management of menopause. This includes increasing the understanding and knowledge of women, families, healthcare professionals and employers relating to menopause . The plan is expected to be published later in 2021. Our 2019/20 Workplace Equality Fund encouraged applications from projects that support women transitioning though the menopause and funded Burness Paul to improve their support and workplace practices.

Complete

Continue to work with partners, including Age Scotland, Business in the Community, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the University of Edinburgh, to promote good practice to employers.

 

We will continue to support projects focused on reducing labour market inequalities and ensure that we disseminate the learning from the projects as widely as possible. In doing so, we will work with our network of partners, drawing on their expertise, and will continue to work in conjunction with the equality unit focused on older workers to engage with our stakeholders.

Complete

Monitor the quarterly update reports provided by our delivery partner Citizens Advice Scotland to determine the success of the Money Talk Team Service. This will include data on the number of older people accessing the service, the financial gains, client satisfaction and financial confidence, and improved mental health as a result of the check.

 

Between November 2019 to October 2020, 3223 older people accessed the Money Talk Team income maximisation service. Of those, 1918 received total financial gains of £2.9 million - an average of over £1,500 per household. For all clients accessing the service over the same period, the client satisfaction survey showed 98% of those surveyed rate the service that they have received as good or very good; over 43% say that it has improved their mental wellbeing and 80% have more peace of mind. We will continue to monitor the outcomes for older people.

Complete

Continue to work with local authorities, health boards, carer organisations and others to embed the recently established rights for Scotland’s 788,000 unpaid carers under the Carers (Scotland) Act.

 

The 2020-21 budget contains an additional £11.6 million in the local government settlement for Carers Act implementation. Added to similar increases in previous years since the Act came into force in April 2018, this brought the total additional investment for 2020-21 to £39.5 million per year. On top of this, the draft budget for 2021-22 includes a further £28.5 million in the local government settlement for the Carers Act.

We continue to work with an Implementation Steering Group to help embed carers rights under the Act. Key actions have included; a variety of resources and capacity building support for staff working with carers in the statutory and third sectors, ongoing monitoring of carer support across Scotland, through the Carers Census; and a national TV and media campaign in November/December 2020 to help more people recognise when they are in a caring role and encourage them to access support.

Complete

Work to increase employer participation in the Carer Positive scheme to extend carer-friendly employment practices so that more carers can balance work and caring.

 

We continue to fund Carer Positive to increase the uptake of the scheme so that more employees in Scotland work for Carer Positive employers. We have supported Carers Scotland who run the scheme to move to providing increased remote support for employers during the pandemic. 

As of February 2021, 207 employers have been assessed as Carer Positive, including 50 employers at the higher ‘exemplary’ or ‘established’ levels. The total number of employees working for Carer Positive organisations in Scotland has now reached 449,000. This has increased from 68 employers with 249,000 employees in December 2016.

Complete

Respond to the Fair Work Convention’s report, Fair Work in Scotland’s Social Care Sector 2019, and the recommendations it makes.

 

We have committed to a number of immediate actions in respect of improving fair work practices. As a priority between now and the end of the Spring 2021, Scottish Government and COSLA are working with the Fair Work in Social Care Group to take forward the following actions:

  • the development of a minimum standards framework for terms and conditions in the social care sector;
  • working with our key stakeholder to ensure there is no delay in the annual Real Living Wage uplift for Adult Social Care workers;
  • choice of fixed hour contract offer for every worker:
  • establishment of a minimum standards framework for effective voice across the social care sector

 

Partially complete/ongoing

 

Consider how best to engage with older people as part of our ongoing work on the Money Talk Team Service.

 

Each citizens advice bureau has independent partnership arrangements with organisations in their local area, this includes organisations supporting older people. The service helps support 600 partnerships across Scotland including foodbanks, housing associations, local authorities and health and social care professionals. In addition, the Money Talk Team telephone number was promoted in our leaflet about COVID-19 which went to every household in Scotland. Similarly, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People encouraged people to access the Money Talk Team at the daily televised coronavirus briefing on 20 October 2020. We will continue to use the partnership approach and marketing to ensure that older people continue to access the service.

Partially complete/ongoing

Continue to engage with the Funeral Poverty and Funeral Expense Assistance Reference Group, which includes representation from the Scottish Older People’s Assembly, the Scottish Pensioners’ Forum and the Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty, on Funeral Expense Assistance.

The Funeral Support Payment and Funeral Poverty Reference Group, which includes representation from the Scottish Older People’s Assembly, the Scottish Pensioners’ Forum and the Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty, has played a key role in the development of Funeral Support Payment (FSP) and our work on tacking funeral Poverty. The Group last met in June 2019 and engagement focussed on the upcoming launch of FSP, as well as more general funeral poverty issues.

We have recently been in touch with members of the Reference Group and the next meeting will take place in March 2021.

Partially complete/ongoing

Commencing delivery of Disability Assistance for Older People from 2021 to ensure that older disabled people can access vital financial support to meet their care needs, when the Scottish Ministers take on responsibility for disability benefits.

 

We are committed to the safe and secure transition of social security powers, including replacing Attendance Allowance with Pension Age Disability Payment. The impact of COVID-19 on our plans for delivery has been significant, just as the impact has been felt across the wider public sector, which has meant that we have had to take the difficult decision to adjust our timetable for delivering all of our devolved disability benefits. As we continue to consider our timetable for delivery of Pension Age Disability Payment, we will continue to co-design social security benefits with disabled people with lived experience of the current social security system.

Paused

Start delivering Winter Heating Assistance in winter 2021 to eligible older people in Scotland who are in receipt of another type of payment from Social Security Scotland. Anyone currently receiving Winter Fuel Payments will automatically transfer to the new benefit. We have made a commitment not to means-test the benefit and have no plans to make changes to the benefit.

 

Work on the Scottish replacement for Winter Fuel Payment was temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are resuming our development of a public consultation and stakeholder engagement work on winter benefits now. Our first priority is ensuring the safe and secure transfer of this benefit. Until the Scottish Government takes over responsibility for it, the Department for Work and Pensions will continue to pay the current benefit to eligible Scottish residents.

Paused