Friday, 26 October 2012

Dementia Engagement & Empowerment Project (DEEP)

Some time ago we contributed to a national project on Engagement and Empowerment.  The report on the Dementia Engagement & Empowerment Project (DEEP) was published on the 24 October. This is available on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) website. The report describes the findings from the first UK wide survey of groups actively involving or led by people with dementia that have been influencing services and policies affecting the lives of people with dementia. The report (and a Solutions summary) can be downloaded for free:Click Here For The Report

DEEP has also produced a seven minute film (a 20 minute version is also available) showing people with dementia from across the UK talking about their involvement in activities and groups that are influencing services and policies. The films were made at two national events held in 2012 that were part of the project. As well as the films there is an Appendix to the main report which includes a literature review, more detailed information containing the responses from the survey, and transcripts of interviews with groups of people with dementia. These can be seen or downloaded for free:Click Here For DEEP

As part of the new Dementia Without Walls programme, JRF have decided to provide additional and continuing support to DEEP over the next three years. The next phase of DEEP will provide support to existing and new groups of people with dementia. The project will be developed in collaboration with people with dementia, and will include opportunities for sharing resources and ideas, building the capacity of groups and setting up networking opportunities between groups. The project is led by Innovations in Dementia in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, and supported by the Alzheimer’s Society.

If you would like more information about DEEP please contact Rachael Litherland, email or telephone  01392 420076.


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Quarterly Update

The seasons pass so quickly that we often forget to stop to appreciate what has happened in our lives.  The same can be said for work.

In our latest quarterly update I hope to give you a flavour of what we have been doing recently.


We are proud to have such a diversity of experience and skills within our team.  Over recent months we have added staff with qualifications in:

  • Social Work
  • Training
  • Nursing
  • Physiotherapy
  • Pharmacology


The teams hard work over the previous year was rewarded recently.  Three of the admin team attended a presentation evening where we received our Healthy Working Lives Bronze Award.  Others also presented with their awards included NHS Lanarkshire and Lanarkshire Fire and Rescue.

No sooner was the ceremony over than the pressure was on to achieve our silver award.  Keep an eye out for new announcements and initiatives soon.


Every year Care at Home providers receive an inspection from the regulator.  Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to our self assessment.  Since then Staff, Service Users and their representatives have completed questionnaires on the service.  We are looking forward to our first inspection and will let you know the outcome later in the year.


We have always tried very hard to support people to have their voice heard.  This includes linking with:

  • Disability Groups
  • Carers Groups
  • Advocacy Services
  • Local and National Government
To compliment this we have recently been granted membership of INCLUSION SCOTLAND.  Our membership gives strength to your voice at a national level including the ability to be consulted on new government initiatives.


After a lot of hard work we now have both Android and IOS versions of our COMMUNICATION TOOL.  It continues to be downloaded from countries throughout the world.  To compliment this we have recently launched our PAIN APP.  The app can run on mobile phones and allows the user to record and monitor pain in a simple but effective way.


We recently attended a conference on End of Life Matters in Dumfries.  Organised by DG Voice the conference brought together people who had an interest in end of life care and support from both a personal and professional basis.  The conference was such a great success that a working group is to be established to drive forward positive change in end of life care within Dumfries and Galloway. We have added our name to the working group and hope to be able to offer our support, experience as well as your voice to the discussions.

Hopefully this gives you a flavour of some of the things we have been doing recently.  We are always keen to hear from you, so please get in touch with new ideas for us.


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Inclusion Scotland

We are proud to announce our membership of Inclusion Scotland.  Since our inception we have championed to voice of the people we support in many ways.  Some of these include meetings, press coverage, report to government, creating links and forums.

Inclusion Scotland (IS) is a consortium of disability organisations, individual disabled people and social partners with shared aims.  We work towards eradicating the barriers-physical, economic, cultural and attitudinal - which prevent disabled people from being fully included in society.

IS was founded in 2001, as a direct response to calls from the grass roots of the disability movement for a new national organisation, which would give us a voice strong enough to be heard by policy makers. It is run by disabled people themselves for, as we have the experience of disability, we are best placed to speak out on the issues that are important to us and affect our daily lives. Already over 60 disability groups from throughout Scotland have joined in partnership with us.

Our role is to enable meaningful communication and consultation between disabled people in Scotland and policy makers at local and national government levels and with bodies such as the NHS, all of whose decisions and policies can profoundly affect us. We want to reverse, through civil dialogue, partnerships, capacity building, education, persuasion, training and advocacy, the current social exclusion experienced by disabled people. 

In IS we share the ethos of the social model of disability as opposed to the medical model, which expects disabled people to regard their impairment as their problem and adapt to fit into the world as it is. The social model of disability, however, recognises everyone as equal and looks beyond a person’s impairment at all the relevant factors including the barriers that affect their ability to be a full and equal participant in society.

To learn more about Inclusion Scotland and how they may help you please visit their website by clicking here Inclusion Scotland

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Healthy Working Lives Award

We have all been working hard over the past year to secure our first healthy Working Lives Award, no more so than everyone in our office.

Just some of the things that we have been doing are:

  • New Section of our website
  • E-learning for all
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Walking challenge
  • Healthy eating
  • Runs
  • Abseils down the forth road bridge
  • Sponsorship of "The International Children's Games"
  • Sponsorship of Motherwell FC
  • Handing out pedometers, water bottles, thermometers, first aid packs and lunch boxes

I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard over the past year and we hope you will work with us as we go for our next award.


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Annual Report 2011/12

Our Annual Report is a way of keeping you up to date on everything we have achieved together, and the goals we have set ourselves for the coming year.

To read more please click on the link SCA Annual Report 2012

We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to our success in past year and look forward to working together over the coming year.


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Learning Resources

Did you know that our website gives you free access to e-learning resources.  We have over 16 subjects including:

  • Dementia
  • Fair Access
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Personalisation
  • Communication

If you work with us then you will also have additional e-learning opportunities which you can login to directly from our website.

Whether you are doing one of our SVQ courses, e-learning modules or are just interested in learning more on a subject you love, then we want to help.  For those who prefer good old paper you can access a variety of books or training resources from our office.  

To find out more email Njoki who will be happy to help.

All the best


Our Self Assessment

Once a year we submit a "Self Assessment" to SCSWIS.  This is a list of questions which we ask ourself, give evidence of our strengths, areas for development and a numerical score.

We have achieved a lot together in the past year, just some of which you will find on our Blog.  If you have been involved with us through the list below then your comments will automatically form part of our submission.:

  • Spoken with us
  • Written to us
  • Completed a questionnaire
  • Helped with recruitment
  • Given us suggestions for improvement
  • Attended a meeting

If up till now you have decided not to get involved then it is not too late.  Write, call, or send in our comments sheet so that we can include your views in our submission.

Working together we can make a real difference.

Many thanks


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Quarterly Update

Social Care Alba was established to improve the quality of peoples’ lives, and everything we do is focused on that single goal.  We have been working hard to make sure we listen to your ideas and suggestions. Here is a short update on just a few things we are doing.

  • Design of PAIN TOOL APP
  • Healthy Working Lives Award
  • Distribution of new EMERGENCY CONTACT cards.

We still want to hear more from you and I would like to give people who use our services and staff an OPEN INVITATION TO CONTRIBUTE, to any of our meetings or surveys.  To get involved just email or call us.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Friday, 9 March 2012


We are proud to be the first to design, develop and release an app specifically to help overcome communication difficulties.  Thank you to everyone for their contributions along the way.


For many people the ability to communicate with those around them is hampered by conditions such as Dementia, Stroke, Brain Damage or General Ill Health. The communication tool is designed to bridge that gap. Whether you are a care giver, professional, family member or have yourself a difficulty communicating, this tool helps overcome some of this barrier.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and this app does just that. With over 500 possible images from which to select, communicating your needs, choices or feelings is easy. With just 3 simple taps on the screen you can choose from any of the pictures you desire. You don't have to worry about being limited to the stock images, because you can swap any image for one of your own in seconds. By creating a library of images personal to you, the app allows meaningful communication, reminiscence, memory prompts, memory exercise and more.

The uses for the app are only limited by your imagination. We hope that the frustration and isolation experienced by people with communication difficulties are replaced by experiences of inclusion, dignity and choice.

Nataly Wilson, Director, Social Care Alba

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Healthy Working Lives - Walking Challenge

The Healthy Working Lives Team are at it again.

They are trying to keep the momentum of New Years resolutions going well into Spring.  So with the health of our staff in mind we have issued pedometers to everyone.  YES  even me :-)

They say you should be walking around 10,000 steps a day.  I can only say that I may be a little short of that target. None the less lots of staff will be carrying pedometers for the next 6 weeks.

At the end of the 6 weeks we will be taking the top 3 scores from each team and giving a prize to those who did the best.  There may even be a wooden spoon with my name on it.

Some people are taking our recent challenge even more seriously.  Sandra from the Dumfries team has signed up to a 3 mile sport relief run. If you don't fancy joining her but would like to support Sandra instead, then you can find her SPONSOR PAGE HERE..

Good luck to everyone with the 6 week challenge and of course everyone who is raising funds for good causes through SPORT RELIEF.

Participation - Recruitment

In our last Blog we talked about various ways in which you could participate in developments within the company.

So far people have helped with:

  • The recruitment of staff.
  • Feedback on the quality of staff, management and service
  • The content of our brochure
  • The content of our Service Users Booklet
  • The content of our Staff Handbook
  • The design of our Website
  • The membership of our groups
  • The annual training plan.

Our most recent request was to help us redesign our interview questions.  This saw us write out to all Service Users/Families, Staff and Participation Group members.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply.  We have taken all of your responses and have crated a new set of questions for Personal Assistant interviews.

Even if you can't manage to participate in staff interviews directly, your questions will be asked on your behalf every single time.

We hope that all of these contributions will deliver a service which is meets and exceeds your expectations.

Thank you again.