Report: Scottish Government – Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness Plan 2020-21
Every winter brings additional pressures to our health and social care system. But this winter we face those pressures in the midst of the global pandemic of COVID-19. The pressures of responding to COVID-19 and its impact on those who need our services and the frontline staff who provide them with compassion and skill exacerbate too our response to ‘normal’ winter pressures.
We have learned a great deal so far this year. Significant improvements have been made to the practical delivery of services as our understanding of the virus and how it spreads has deepened and as we try to respond directly to the range of challenges it presents, particularly to those who deliver services and those who receive them. That deepening understanding will continue as we learn more from the work of our clinical and scientific experts and we will continue to focus on delivering clearly and swiftly on all the steps we must take to continue to improve our support and guidance to protect as best we can those who are most at risk of harm from both COVID-19 and the challenges of winter. This will always be about reaching the best balance we can between direct and indirect harm to health and we will work to achieve that balance with all our partners in adult social care.
This Plan sets out the measures already in place that must be retained and those that we believe need to be introduced across the adult social care sector. The Plan aims to be as comprehensive as possible, seeking to offer maximum protection for those who use social care support, whether within residential, community or homely settings, and to those who provide that care, including unpaid carers. It is aimed at mitigating risks likely to arise in the short term and should therefore be treated as a flexible document, which may be updated or supported by additional guidance. At its heart it seeks to provide reassurance that the wellbeing and quality of life of those using and providing social care remains a priority.