Duty of Candour – Are you up to speed?

Dr Frances Elliot, Medical Director talks about Duty of Candour

As an organisation we constantly strive to deliver the highest quality care, with the best possible outcomes for all our patients and service users.

Despite this, sometimes things go wrong. When this happens it is important that we respond in the right way, ensuring that we are open and transparent with patients, carers, their family members and each other.

As from 1 April 2018, it is a legal requirement for health, care and social work providers to inform people (and their families) when they have been harmed physically or psychologically as a result of the care or treatment they have received.

Organisations will also be required to review each incident and consider support available to those affected.

The Duty of Candour sits alongside our Adverse Events Policy and is relevant to staff across the organisation – we should all know how to respond to, record and learn from incidents.

Duty of Candour e-Learning is now available as a LearnPro module and can be found within the ‘NES’ tab on the LearnPro home page, and provides a clear overview of requirements.

Duty of Candour Resources:

Organisational Duty of Candour

Factsheet 1

Factsheet 2

Factsheet 3






Overnight Primary Care Emergency Services in Fife – Contingency Measures

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is introducing from Monday 9 April contingency arrangements overnight in the Primary Care Emergency Services (PCES) in response to nursing and medical staffing difficulties.

The safety of every single patient is our number one priority.  As with most areas in Scotland, difficulties in recruiting GP and Primary Care medical staff continues to put pressure on service delivery.  In Fife, we have been able to maintain cover through daily monitoring and considerable efforts by all staff.   Unfortunately, we are currently in a position where we are unable to cover all the overnight shifts, meaning we have had to move to temporary contingency measures to ensure patient safety.

Patient safety is our primary concern and these arrangements have been put in place after much clinical consideration.  Taking this step will ensure services are being provided with safe levels of staffing.

The new arrangements will be put in place from 9 April 2018 for the next three months.

From Monday, 9 April, 2018, all PCES centres will continue to operate as normal from 6.00pm to midnight (Monday to Friday) and 8.00am to midnight (weekends & public holidays).  However, overnight, from midnight to 8am, no PCES services will be delivered at:

  • Queen Margaret Community Hospital, Dunfermline
  • Glenrothes Community Hospital, Glenrothes
  • St Andrews Community Hospital

Overnight (midnight to 8am) PCES services will be available at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy only.  The choice of Victoria Hospital has been based on:

  • The central location for patients in Fife
  • Adjacency to Accident and Emergency
  • Adjacency to Specialist Services and Wards for admission
  • Single site for all paediatrics

There will be no changes to the operation of the Minor Injuries Unit at Queen Margaret Hospital, which will continue as normal.

Fife Health & Social Care Partnership continues to make every effort to resolve clinical staffing difficulties as quickly as possible.

Members of the PCES Management Team will be in touch with Managers in partner organisations and departments to discuss more fully.

Please share this communication within your Department or Organisation as appropriate.   Click here for the full media release and link to FAQs.





The Carers’ Act is here: Scott Fissenden

Scott Fissenden, Change and Improvement Manager talks about how Fife has been preparing for the Carers’ Act coming into force.

During January and February Fife’s Health & Social Care Partnership was consulting with carers before the introduction of the new Carer Act.  The Act came into life from 1st April 2018 and introduces a range of new duties designed to support carers’ health and wellbeing and help make caring more sustainable.  The consultation gave carers the chance to share their views about what makes a difference to them in their caring role and what supports we should invest in.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the consultation.  There were 258 responses received.  Some of the key themes and priorities that emerged were:

  • Providing easy to access information so carers have the means to make decisions about to fit caring in with their other personal priorities.
  • Improving the consistency and speed of information from professionals to support caring and improving communications between professionals.
  • Help for carers to make plans for their future and also for carer emergencies.
  • To be more involved in decisions affecting caring and the person the carers care for particularly in advance to being discharged from hospital.
  • Having a greater role for advocates particularly from within the third sector.

We are now in the process of developing a Fife Carers Strategy and an action plan for improvement over the next few years.  We will keep people up to date on our progress through www.fifehealthandsocialcare.org


Care At Home Win Innovation Award

Huge congratulations to our Care At Home team who won the Success Through Innovation Award at this year’s Fife Business Awards.

Their submission told the story of the roll out of Totalmobile across Fife, where the use of cutting edge technology led to real improvements in the scheduling of home care appointments.

All 900 Home Carers have been issued with smart phones and can now see their daily rotas and respond to real time changes, all at the touch of a button.  The solution has been developed so that it is dynamic and flexible enough to respond to last minute rota changes.

Since its roll out just over a year ago, local teams are completing an average of 22,000 visits per week while the Service overall has generated more than 30% additional capacity to take on new service users through more efficient scheduling.

David Heaney, Divisional General Manager (East) with Fife’s Partnership said:  “I am delighted and extremely proud of everyone involved in bringing Totalmobile to Care At Home in Fife.   The Health and Social Care Partnership has worked alongside Fife Council’s Business Technology Solutions and Totalmobile, who provide the technical platform.  The knowledge, experience and creativity of staff has been key to developing this unique solution and the award is a testament to everyone’s hard work and resilience.  Everyone involved should be very proud of what they have achieved.”

Jim Darragh, CEO, Totalmobile stated: “We’re delighted that Fife Health and Social Care Partnership have won the Success Through Innovation award. They set out with a clear objective of transforming care at home through the effective use of mobile technology. This award, as well as the significant benefits they are experiencing, shows that they have achieved this.”

Charlie Anderson, Head of ICT, Fife Council added: “It’s fantastic to see a solution which so directly improves our service delivery and supports our staff delivering highly-valued care services throughout Fife. The Totalmobile solution is a great example of how technology can be applied innovatively to meet the challenges Councils and partners face in delivering better public services in 2018.”

Cllr David Graham, Fife Council’s Health and Social Care spokesperson recognised the Care At Home service’s achievement:  “Congratulations to everyone in the Care At Home service.  It is a fantastic achievement and the culmination of a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment, all of which they show each and every day not just when it comes to taking their service forward for the future.  Well done everyone.  You are a credit to the service and the people of Fife.”


Fife Partnership Board Sets Budget

Dear colleagues

Members of our Partnership Board have approve a budget for 2018/19 as part of a three year financial approach to deliver a sustainable financial outcome for the future for the Partnership.

Approved were newly identified financial recovery savings totalling £7.47m in 2018-19.  These include seeking areas where savings can be made such as procurement and introducing an enhanced staff travel strategy using technologies and sustainable measure such as pool cars and car sharing.

Despite the financial challenges the Partnership continues to face, we have presented a budget that will also help us to invest in better outcomes and new models of care.  This will enable us to start joining up care in communities across the Kingdom in a way that has never been done before.

There is no quick fix but this three year plan provides a steady, controlled and structured approach, setting us on a road to delivering a balanced budget by the end of 2020/21.    Click here for a full response from our Chair, Simon Little.

A full set of Board papers are available for you here


Director, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership


Fife Partnership Board to set budget for 2018/19

Dear colleagues

On Tuesday the 20 March, Members of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Board will be asked to approve a budget for 2018/19 as part of a three year financial strategy.

Proposals we are putting forward include asking the Board to approve:

  • a three year financial strategy approach to deliver a sustainable financial outcome for the future for the Partnership
  • newly identified financial recovery savings totalling £7.47m in 2018-19

The budget paper highlights the range of proposals being put forward, taking into account the need to invest in the short term if long term savings as well as transformation of services is to be achieved.  The paper highlights in year savings as well as areas for development which will be included in the 3 year financial strategy.  These include:

  • Initiatives to reduce medicine waste
  • Efficiency Initiatives
  • Seeking areas where savings can be made through procurement, such as best prices for purchasing of personal hygiene products.
  • Introducing an enhanced staff travel strategy using technologies and sustainable measure such as pool cars and car sharing.
  • Recruitment strategy and use of technologies to alleviate the need to use of agency for relief shifts whilst build a sustainable workforce for the future. This will allow us to grow a bank of care staff allowing staff to voluntarily opt in for relief and reduce the pressure on schedulers.
  • Investment
  • To expand the Short Term Assessment and Review (START) team – a proactive care at home service which supports people to regain skills and confidence in their own home after being in hospital or recovering from injury such as a fall to ensure a sustainable homecare for Fife.
  • Development and implementation of a Tele-healthcare strategy to increase use of technology so that individuals can take more control over their own health and live independently in their own home for longer.

This budget paper ensures we continue to deliver high quality care for the public, support for you and your colleagues as we move through these challenging times, whilst deliver a balanced budget, all within a timeframe that is realistic and as risk adverse for Fife as possible.

We must be open and honest with you, the public and users of services as we make sustainable and long term change.  There is no quick fix and the three year strategy proposal is a move to ensure a steady, controlled and structured approach, setting the Partnership on a road to delivering a balanced budget by the end of 2020/21.

The key to the approach is to take away the restriction of a one year plan, enabling the Partnership to re-design services in conjunction with you, your colleagues, service users, patients, carers, families and our Independent and Third Sector service providers so that the together, we can move away from traditional and costly models of care.   With this in mind, we await the decision of Members on the 20th March.

I’ll be in touch again after the Partnership’s Board meeting to keep you connected.

In the meantime, the Board papers are available to you and the public here



Director, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership

Seen Something? Say Something this National Adult Protection Day

If you think an adult’s being harmed, get it checked out.  It’s right to act on your suspicions.

Fife people are being urged to act on their instinct if they think an adult is being

harmed, neglected or taken advantage of, says Fife Adult Support and Protection Committee (ASPC).

The ASPC is supporting National Adult Protection Day on 20th February, 2018 aimed at raising awareness of adult harm and encouraging people to act on their gut feeling that somebody may be experiencing harm or is at risk of it.  Adult harm can take many forms, such as physical, psychological, financial, sexual harm, neglect and self-harm.

Alan Small, Independent Chair of Fife ASPC said: “If you thought a child was at risk of harm, you would do something about it. It should be no different for an adult. But many people are not aware of adult harm or of the need to act on their concerns.

Adult harm can affect anybody, but people who can’t look after themselves or find it difficult to stand up for themselves can be particularly at risk, because of their personal circumstances, or a physical or learning disability, age or illness and infirmity.

“It’s not always easy to tell if an adult is in trouble, but the signs and situations to be aware of include:

  • a person may have unexplained cuts and bruises, or refuse to talk about injuries
  • they may be confused where their money has gone, or are giving money to people for reasons that might concern you
  • they may appear unusually quiet, withdrawn or nervous around certain people, or get upset at the mention of their relationship
  • they may constantly be having people – friends or strangers – ‘hanging out’ at their house
  • they may look less well turned out than usual or hungry.

“People often have an instinctual feeling that someone is being harmed or is at risk; a sense that something is not right.   It is vital to raise your concerns – call Fife’s Adult Protection Phone Line on 01383 602200.  You don’t need to provide your personal details; the Social Work Service will check the situation sensitively, and support will be given, if needed.

We all have a responsibility to look out for people in our communities and by acting, the person who is at risk could get help and become safe from harm.  If something feels wrong, you’re right to get it checked out.  If you’ve seen something, say something.”

For more information, visit: www.fifedirect.org.uk/adultprotection

Affected by cancer? We want to hear from you.

Have you or someone close to you been affected by cancer?   As part of a new £1m investment, Macmillan and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership really want to hear your views and experience to help us shape and influence an innovative support service.

We are holding engagement events across Fife. The events will take place on:

  • Wednesday 28th February at Cupar County Buildings 10am-12noon, St Catherine Street, KY15 4TA
  • Tuesday 6th March at Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre 10am-12noon, 7 Pit Road, KY4 9NN
  • Wednesday 7th March at Kirkcaldy Town House 5pm-7pm, 2 Wemyssfield, KY1 1XW

Tea & coffee will be provided.  If you would like to attend or find out more information please contact Lisa on 01592 578076 or email Improving.CancerJourney@fife.gov.uk

START team supporting people from hospital to home

 As health and social care teams continue to work round the clock responding to the increased demand over winter, a new initiative to safely support people to return home from hospital sooner is proving its worth.

Rosemary Grubb, Maureen Swanston and Jennifer Gallacher from the team talk about the huge benefit the new approach is having as they work together to keep folk in Fife living independently for longer.



Director’s Blog: Kick starting 2018

Happy New Year!

We’ve kick started 2018 with pace as we saw teams across health and social care pull together in the face of massive demand.  I’ve been out and about, speaking to staff across Queen Margaret, Glenrothes and Victoria Hospitals and in offices where I can to say thanks.   I’ll do more of that in the next couple of weeks.


Teams at Queen Margaret Hospital

 Although it was a challenging time, partnership working and the discharge multi-disciplinary team pulling together, got the results required and we were still able to work in a person centred approach.”  Marjorie Melia, Social Worker, Discharge Hub, Victoria Hospital

 “Staff from all professions throughout Fife worked together to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients during this very busy and challenging time.”  Wendy Arthur, Team Manager, Older People Hospital Team based in Glenrothes

 What a show of resilience, professionalism and care in the face of such pressure with colleagues working on days off and doing extremely long hours.   Huge thanks to everyone involved.  I am extremely proud of our services.  But, of course, winter isn’t behind us yet.  Which is a timely reminder.  If you haven’t had your flu jab – get it now!

In other news, this month sees the launch our Fife Carer Strategy Consultation ahead of legislation which comes into force in April.  Running from now until the 23 February, the voice of unpaid carers will shape and inform our Carers Strategy for Fife (2018-2021) so I encourage colleagues who are in contact with unpaid carers to ask them to get involved. Indeed, you may be a carer yourself.  We need to hear your views.

Our Guest Blog features Health Promotions Manager, Ruth Bennett and the campaigns which the team are leading.

Looking ahead, and in light of the Scottish Government draft budget announcement in December 2017, we are working with our key funding partners to understand the financial impact for the Health and Social Care Partnership.

It is clear at this early stage that next year will see a significant financial challenge.  We will have to work closer together than ever to bring about the transformation required across and within services.

Last year we saw many fantastic examples of innovation, many of which are highlighted in the Change Project section of our re-vamped webpages (which includes a new section for staff – Let’s Connect.)  These underline the invaluable knowledge, expertise, skills, experience and resilience you and your teams bring in order to deliver complex change whilst keep the needs of the person at the heart.  I am confident that together, we can build on these successes as we go through 2018.