As we head into our second winter of the COVID-19 pandemic I wanted to thank you for your constant dedication and professionalism as you continue to support the people you work with.
The emergence of the Omicron variant raises a new level of uncertainty at the same time as winter pressures begin. As the situation develops the Scottish Government is updating guidance on testing and self-isolation for workers, along with infection prevention and control measures. I’m sure you’ll keep up to date with the changing guidance as it comes out.
Support for health and wellbeing
Lots of people will be looking forward to spending time with friends and family over the festive period, while many of you will be working to provide comfort and support to people using your service.
It’s important you continue to do all you can to protect your own health and wellbeing, as well as that of others and I know you will take time to support one another and your teams over the coming months.
There is also a wide range of wellbeing support for workers from Scottish Government, including:
- National Wellbeing Hub: self-care and wellbeing resources for all staff, unpaid carers, volunteers and their families.
- National Wellbeing Helpline (0800 111 4191): a 24/7 service offering further psychological support via trained practitioners at NHS 24.
- Workforce Specialist Service: confidential mental health assessment and treatment for regulated health and social care / social work professionals.
- Coaching for Wellbeing: a digital coaching service for all health and social care staff.
If you work in a service providing hands on care, you are eligible for the flu vaccination, as well as your COVID-19 booster. I encourage you to get your vaccines as they may help protect you, your family and those your care for.
Please visit the health and social care workers page on NHS Inform for more information.
At the start of 2020 none of us anticipated that we’d be facing a pandemic and the fact that workers have risen to the challenges of COVID-19 time and again over the past 21 months demonstrates your values, commitment and dedication necessary to deliver high quality care.
I’d like to thank you again for playing your vital role in helping Scotland deal with the pandemic and we will continue to support you in any way we can.
Wishing you all a happy and peaceful festive season.
Chief Executive, Scottish Social Services Council