Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many respite care and short break services have been suspended and consequently many families are facing significant, additional pressures. Bringing these vital services back ‘on line’ as quickly and safely as possible is a key priority. Scotland’s route map through and out of crisis (Scottish Government, May 2020), specifically mentions respite care and breaks from caring as part of the Phase 1 stage of easing lockdown.
To support service managers and commissioning bodies with remobilisation plans for respite care, we have collated relevant national guidance and other information which we hope will be of some practical assistance. We are also compiling a set of case studies that illustrate different approaches being taken by providers to safely return to business. Further guidance and information will be added as it becomes available.
Services must, of course, continue to operate within the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks, and have regard to the latest national advice on COVID-19 . It is also important to work with the local authority and Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure plans tie in with local service remobilisation arrangements, and infection control measures.
If you have any questions about this page, please contact Don Williamson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest government communications
- Letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and the Minister for Children and Young People providing an update on guidance to support the remobilisation of stand-alone residential respite/short break facilities for both children and adults (23 September 2020)
- Guidance on adult social care building-based day services (31st August 2020)
- [Shared Care Scotland and the Care Inspectorate have also produced an operational guide to accompany this new adult social care guidance: Back to Business: A guide to re-opening day services for adults (Shared Care Scotland/Care Inspectorate, September 2020)]
- Letter to HSCPs and local authorities (3rd August 2020)
The purpose of these case studies is to illustrate the approaches taken by different organisations to ensure their short break services are able to operate safely as we enter and move through Phase 1 of easing lockdown. There can be no ‘one size fits all’ approach and each service will need to move at their own pace, and tailor procedures to their particular setting and circumstances.
- Back to Business Case Studies – Back to Business Case Studies – 5th July 2020 (PDF)
“The case studies have been particularly helpful and I’ve circulated them to our board and senior staff. I feel we now have a framework/roadmap for our own planning and I’m more confident than I was that we will be able to reopen our service (an after-school club for young people with complex disabilities).” Service Manager feedback
Restarting services: decision-making guide
A PowerPoint presentation to help short break providers determine how and when services can be safely restarted:
- Safely-Returning-to-Business-Decision-Guide-ver100720 (PowerPoint)
- Safely-Returning-to-Business-Decision-Guide-ver100720 (PDF)
At the start of June and July we surveyed providers and carers to find out what needs to be in place in order for them to resume their short breaks provision. We also asked about ‘top tips’ from those service managers who are already providing breaks.
- Back to Business Short Break Provider Survey – see results of the survey here
- Back to Business Carers Survey – see the results of the survey here
The following list contains links to national legislation, COVID-19 specific advice and guidance, as well as other useful resources. We have tried to signpost to information that is relevant to different respite care settings.
It is important that the most up-to-date guidance is used, therefore it is not recommended that PDFs are downloaded and printed off. Always access guidance online wherever possible and check regularly for any updated advice.
All links will open in a new tab.
- General & adult services
- * COVID-19: Information and guidance for social community and residential care settings (excludes adult residential respite care settings registered as a care home) (Health Protection Scotland)
- * COVID-19 – Information and guidance for care home settings (includes stand-alone adult residential respite care registered as a care home) (Health Protection Scotland)
- COVID-19: Guidance on adult social care building-based day services (Scottish Government)
- Key measures for infection prevention and control: A guide for social care workers providing care in an individual’s home (SSSC)
- COVID-19 Guidance for non healthcare settings (Health Protection Scotland) – this guidance is to support those working in a range of settings outside of health and social care to give advice to their staff and users of their services about COVID-19
- General infection prevention & control
- National Infection Control Manual (Health Protection Scotland) – evidence based manual for Scotland, intended to be used by all those involved in care provision
- COVID-19 Phase 2: staying safe and protecting others (physical distancing) (Scottish Government)
- COVID-19: Contact tracing in complex settings: health protection team guidance (Health Protection Scotland)
- COVID-19: PPE access for social care providers and unpaid carers (Scottish Government)
- Safe use and disposal of PPE in a primary care setting (Video)
- COVID-19: Communications toolkit (NHS Inform) – downloadable posters, infographics, social media posts, etc
- Care needs
- Care Inspectorate
- COVID-19 Care Inspectorate Notification Information (Care Inspectorate) – information for registered care services on COVID-19 notifications
- Children’s services
- COVID-19: Guidance on re-opening school age childcare services (Scottish Government)
- COVID-19: Guidance on reopening early learning and childcare services (Scottish Government)
- COVID-19: Childminder services guidance (Scottish Government)
- COVID-19: Fully outdoor childcare providers guidance (Scottish Government)
- COVID-19: Re-opening schools guide (Scottish Government) – this contains useful guidance on physical distancing and infection control in schools, which may be relevant to other settings
- COVID-19: Physical distancing in education and childcare settings (Scottish Government)
- * COVID-19: Information and guidance for social community and residential care settings (includes children’s residential respite care settings) (Health Protection Scotland)
*Please refer to the letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and the Minister for Children and Young People (23rd September 2020)
Transport is an integral part of many day services and may include provider-owned vehicles, community transport, public transport, family or carers driving, or taxis. Ensuring transport can be used safely by service users, staff and volunteers is therefore a key concern and will need to be planned carefully in advance.
A guide for transport operators in Scotland to keep their staff and those using their services safe (Transport Scotland) – This guidance is for operators of transport facilities and transport services for the public. Mainly directed at public transport systems but also relevant to other settings.
Advice on how to travel safely (Transport Scotland) – This guidance contains advice on how to be safe when walking, wheeling (wheeling refers to travelling by wheelchair), cycling, or travelling in private vehicles or on public transport during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Scotland.
- COVID-19: Guidance for Community Transport (Community Transport Association) – CTA represents and supports local charities and community groups across the UK that provide transport services that fulfil a social purpose and community benefit. CTA has worked with its members to develop risk assessment templates and other operational guides.
- ARCH National Respite Network (USA) has published restarting services guidelines to assist providers, as well as family carers. This contains useful checklists, reference materials, and other practical resources, much of which is transferable. Please note any reference to legal or regulatory requirements will not apply here in the UK – ARCH-COVID_Respite_Guidelines (PDF)
- Preliminary Results of the Supporting Caregivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic Global Survey (Webinar) A total of 244 individuals from 17 different countries responded to the Supporting Caregivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic Global Survey. The purpose of the survey was to understand the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on respite care services and identify best practices for supporting caregivers during this time. (Hosted by BREAK Exchange & ARCH National Respite Network)
- Returning safely to the workplace – advice for employers (ACAS)
- COVID-19: Test and Protect – advice for employers (Scottish Government)
- COVID-19: additional costs – advice for service providers on the additional costs that may be incurred during the COVID-19 period (CCPS)
- How to wear and make a face covering (UK government)
- Parent Club – latest information for families on COVID-19, physical distancing and play
- National Carer Organisations carer briefing on PPE
- National Carer Organisations carer briefing on testing
- COVID-19: guidance on self-directed support (Scottish Government)
- Short Breaks in Strange Times – a compendium of activities that can be done from home for people that are isolating or shielding
Online practitioner forums
- If you would be interested in joining our online forum for service managers of disabled children and young people short break services, please contact: email@example.com This peer support network provides a platform for service managers to exchange ideas and information. The group also meets (by Zoom at the moment) on a monthly basis to keep each other up-to-date.
- We are currently looking in to setting up a similar forum for service managers of adult and older people short break services. If you would be interested, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org