Adult social care - winter preparedness plan: 2020 to 2021

This plan sets out the measures already in place that must be retained and those that need to be introduced across the adult social care sector over winter 2020 to 2021.

Delivering Our Response


The Scottish Government has allocated a total of £150 million this year for social care as part of our additional COVID funding to help the social care sector deal with the financial implications of the pandemic.

It is recognised that ensuring winter preparedness this year is going to require additional resources. This Winter Protection Plan will be supported by further funding of up to £112 million. We will work with COSLA, and wider partners, immediately on effective allocation of this funding through mechanisms that promote additionality of services and value for money. Funding levels will continue to be reviewed to ensure the sector has the support that it needs this winter.

Funding will be allocated broadly as follows:

  • £50 million to support the additional costs of restricting staff movement across care settings
  • £50 million for the Social Care Staff Support Fund and winter sustainability funding through to the end of March 2021
  • £7 million for Health Boards to invest in Nurse Director teams to support increased infection protection and control measures in care settings
  • Up to £5 million for additional oversight and administration costs associated with responding to the pandemic and outbreak management

Technology and Digital Support

All those within the social care sector should have the digital tools to provide and receive effective, safe social care services and ensure that innovation is maximised. A refreshed digital health and care strategy with a new data strategy across health and care are in development, alongside key partners, to reflect recent developments as a result of Covid-19.

To improve services this winter at a national level we will:

  • Commit £500,000 to ensure all care homes to have access to digital devices, connectivity and support to keep their residents safe through the national Connecting Scotland Programme. We will work to ensure that moving services online reduces inequalities and does not exclude the least advantaged in society from the services they may need the most.
  • Publish a Digital in Care Homes Action Plan to ensure residents and staff in our care homes can benefit from a range of digital tools and approaches. We will make NHS email accounts available to all Care Homes to provide greater communication and integration of services.
  • Look to build upon the success of the use of Near Me video consulting by extending its uptake into social care and care homes.
  • Roll out a digital tool to support people with Covid19 and its longer term effects to help them manage their condition from home or a homely setting and a clinical assessment tool to enable an early diagnosis of COVID for care home residents following initial testing.
  • Support trials of outbound calling for telecare as a model for wide-scale implementation to deliver a more proactive telecare service.
  • Work with key partners to develop approaches to keep people safe during the winter, including promoting the new Purple Alert App for people living with dementia and those around them, and the new About Digital and Me (ADAM) assessment tool to help people keep connected and independent.
  • Encourage service commissioners and providers to consider and engage with national programmes on how technical or digital solutions may help to protect residents from COVID-19 and connect them to their loved ones. This includes the use of Near Me, vCreate, mental health support, clinical assessment tool and more.
  • Promote working with local Connecting Scotland Lead Contacts who can advise on available support to get people connected.

Shared Values

To monitor the delivery across the strategic priorities this winter we will put in place national arrangements with COSLA, the Care Inspectorate and others. These monitoring arrangements will focus on implementation and will be reviewed by Scottish Ministers and COSLA Leadership on an ongoing basis. A regular report on winter delivery will also be fed into the Mobilisation Recovery Group, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, to support the requirement for quality integrated care services set out in this Plan.

In addition, we need to work across partners to ensure strong local oversight that takes account of and responds to delivery barriers and challenges – this will be supported through the Pandemic Response – Adult Social Care Group. Where they are identified action should be taken to support timely resolutions. This will be strengthened by a commitment to shared values to ensure that we have the systems and corresponding behaviours to support high quality integrated services for all of those touched by adult social care:


The Pandemic Response in Adult Social Care Group (PRASCG), jointly chaired by the Scottish Government and COSLA, will meet on a weekly basis for the next 6 months, to act as an early warning for emerging delivery issues and challenges.

The Clinical and Professional Advisory Group (CPAG), whose remit has been extended to cover wider adult social care settings, will also continue to ensure that the policy and advice is translated into robust clinical guidance for the sector.

The Care Inspectorate will continue to review and oversee the quality of care to ensure it meets high standards. Where they find that improvement is needed they will support services to make positive changes to meet the needs, rights and choices of service users.


All partners will approach discussions about challenges over the winter months in a transparent and inclusive way to deliver timely resolutions that prioritise the needs of service users.

Consider and support adult social care interventions in the round and equitably over the winter months to deliver safe and efficient care.

Demonstrate integrity to resolve challenges in a supportive and empathetic manner.


We will explore with partners the development of accessible information about the impact of COVID on services.

Use the Multi-Diciplinary Oversight model to escalate matters that will impact on the care and support of individuals.

Continue to learn from experience and respect and share findings widely to maximise protection measures for people.



Back to top