Coronavirus (COVID-19): day services for adults - letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport - 15 January 2021

Letter addressed to the health and social care sector to clarify that essential day service support can continue throughout the current lockdown and adult day centres can continue to operate.

Dear Colleagues

Day services for adults

Despite increased levels of infection, the Scottish Government is keen to ensure that essential day services can remain in place for people, where that is safe.

On that basis, guidance on adult social care building-based day services remains that at Covid protection level 4, adult day centres can continue to operate, where they are essential for people’s wellbeing - i.e. where participants’ or carers’ health (including their mental health) and wellbeing would be significantly impacted by non-attendance.

It is important to emphasise that this essential support for those who need it will continue to be guided by all the infection protection and control measures outlined in the guidance. This includes the need for service-level and individual-level risk assessment; and measures to manage physical distancing, transport, etc. These measures will now be supplemented by the rollout of regular testing to day care staff.

It is also important to emphasise that everyone has a part to play in enabling these services to operate safely. This will include participating in the new programme of regular testing of social care staff, as it applies to day services. It also remains important to regularly remind staff and those attending services about what to do should they experience any Covid symptoms.

We will continue to keep the situation and guidance under review and be led by scientific and clinical advice to determine whether it is safe for these services to remain open for essential support. The roll out of vaccines for health and social care staff will play a part in helping services remain open, but it will take some time for everyone to receive this.

For those who are unable to access support, alternative ways of staying connected and of wellbeing being maintained support must be considered and agreed with the person and their family member/carer. For example - grants through the voluntary-sector Short Breaks Fund; digital and peer support; or other flexible use of social care support packages to meet agreed outcomes, such as moving to a different Self-directed Support Option.

Kind regards,

Jeane Freeman

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