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The Role of the Troon Community Council

Community Councils are voluntary bodies which exist within a statutory framework and which have been granted statutory rights of consultation. The general purpose of the Troon Community Council is to ascertain, co-ordinate and express the wider views of the entire community within its boundaries. Community Councils will seek to represent and include all sections of their communities, regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, political or religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. They can complement the role of the local authority but are not part of local government.

Community Information

Message from NHS Ayrshire and Arran

As we begin the recovery phase of the Scottish Governments Phase 3 Recovery plan, changes are being made to the way health and care services are delivered to enable some Outpatient Services to re-start. These services will be operating with social distancing measures in place in order to keep patients and staff safe, and prevent the spread of the coronavirus which is still present.

It is important that we all continue to adhere to these social distancing measures and to re-inforce the distancing, hand-sanitising, mask wearing message to our client groups and staff so they understand why these measures are required and understand the need to protect themselves and others.

To help spread the message to our residents and communities we would be grateful if you could display the attached advice sheet and poster about restarting Outpatients Services where you can. There is also a video https://youtu.be/RjNli8JGwDs which might be helpful.  The Information can also be accessed and shared via the Caring for Ayrshire Facebook, Twitter and web page –  www.nhsaaa.net/caring-for-ayrshire


Message from Chief Executive SAC 14th August

Thanks to the stellar efforts of teachers, support staff and services across the Council, our schools re-opened for pupils on a phased basis this week, and will return full time from Monday 17 August.  I appreciate that young people have been away from the classroom for quite some time, and some may find it challenging to readjust to this, and the measures that have been put in place to ensure our schools are safe. If you are a parent or carer in South Ayrshire, and have any questions or concerns about your child’s return to school, please contact your school in the first instance

The Education Secretary announced on Tuesday that all downgraded SQA exam results will be withdrawn, and qualifications will be based on teacher judgement. The SQA will inform schools of the revised results by Friday 21 August to allow schools to tell pupils. All young people affected by this will be issued with a replacement certificate from the SQA. You can read about this in more detail on the Scottish Government website

I’m sure many of you will be aware that we are implementing Microsoft 365 across the organisation. Colleagues from ICT and Organisational Development are working closely with our implementation partner SWORD and, to help progress this roll out, we are now seeking Office 365 Digital Colleagues.  To find out more about this great opportunity watch this short video.  You can also access more information, or register your interest here

The latest edition of SAC Live online magazine is available now.  This month you’ll find information on health and wellbeing; the latest update from our Trading Standards and Environmental Health team; and information on our services as we continue to emerge from lockdown.  You can view the magazine here

Our Culture team recently gave local young people the opportunity to take over their digital channels for the day to showcase their own ‘mini museum’ exhibitions.  Budding exhibition guides provided some fantastic virtual tours which included a ‘Radical Recycling Museum’ and ‘Museum of Curiosities’.  You can view the work of one of our demonstrators of the future here

Nominations are now open for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2021.  This annual honour is awarded to an individual, or group, that epitomises the humanitarian values of the Bard. More information, including how to nominate, is available on our website

Saturday 15 August marks the 75th Anniversary of Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day). This gives us all an opportunity to remember those who served and sacrificed in the Far East during the Second World War. With celebratory events unable to take place due to COVID-19, this year we will commemorate VJ Day virtually across our social media channels Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the day tomorrow

Our Communications Survey is still open and we’d really like to hear from you about how we communicate Council news, messages and changes to service delivery.  If you’re a South Ayrshire resident I’d appreciate if you would take a few minutes to complete the short survey which is available here

As we’ve seen elsewhere in the county, this virus has not gone away.  Therefore, it’s extremely important that we all continue to follow the latest public health advice to help keep everyone safe

Once again, let me extend my thanks and appreciation to all of you for your ongoing effort and dedication during this unsettling time


1st August Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services which are currently operating without issue.

Reopening of Schools

The Scottish Government have now confirmed schools will reopen full time for all pupils in August.  In South Ayrshire schools will reopen on 12th August but in most schools the first three days will be a phased return.  This is to allow us to test new arrangements such as safe pick up and drop off; one way systems; hand washing; break times; social distancing for adults and between adults and children.  Schools will contact parents and carers to confirm who should attend on the 12th, 13th and 14th of August.  All pupils will return full time from Monday 17th August.

Exam results

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) will make exam results available next week (Tuesday 4 August). Results have been determined in line with guidance from the SQA following the cancellation of SQA exams this year because of Covid-19. The basis for awards is a holistic review of a learner’s performance over the duration of the course and Education staff undertook significant work to ensure estimated grades reflect a fair and consistent approach for all our young people. Following quality checks, all estimated grades were submitted to the SQA on 29 May 2020. SQA may adjust estimates where they deem it necessary and therefore no information on estimated grades has been shared with pupils.  Support is available for all pupils and schools will let them know the arrangements for speaking to staff about any concerns.

Digital Education Initiative

Next week we will receive 1200 Chromebooks from the Scottish Government as part of the roll-out of the digital education initiative. The ICT team are working with colleagues in Education to distribute the devices to the identified young people prior to pupils returning on 12 August.

Business Support Grants

We have now paid £22.7 million in business support grants to local businesses. We are working through the final 65 cases remaining cases, to ensure all information has been provided to enable us to verify applications. Applications for the scheme closed at 5.00pm on 10 July 2020.

Shielding

In her Briefing of Thursday 30 July, the First Minister confirmed that Shielding will end, as anticipated, on 1 August 2020.

Free School Meals

As indicated in previous Briefings, the last deliveries of food boxes will take place on 6 August, at which point we will have delivered 50,088 food boxes to children who are eligible for free school meals.

Digital Services

Our Digital Services team have been working hard behind the scenes providing essential support to a range of services during the pandemic. This includes developing a range of online forms to ensure customers can access services digitally. These include creation of an online summer hub booking form to make it faster and easier for key workers to book childcare and  a digital business grant form used by over 2075 applicants.

Ayrshire Cancer Support

Our employee charity partner, Ayrshire Cancer Support, are running their ‘Hope and Memories Walk’ campaign throughout August.  Fundraising activities have been affected by Covid-19 and they urgently need funds to allow them to continue to deliver essential services to those affected by cancer in Ayrshire. The charity is encouraging people to Walk with Hope for someone who is going through their cancer journey, or in memory of someone we have lost. They are also encouraging golfers to take part in Golfathon 2020, playing 4, 3 or 2 rounds of golf in 1 day to help raise money.

Standards Commission For Scotland

The Standards Commission has issued its July update.

Communication

We continue to post information and updates through the local media, in hard copy, on a range of social media channels such as South Ayrshire Council Live Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on our website.


Transitional Support Fund for Childcare Providers

Following the Deputy First Minister’s announcement on 16 July the Scottish Government has today published further information regarding the Transitional Support Fund for Childcare Providers.

The Transitional Support Fund will help childcare providers in the private, voluntary and not-for profit sectors, including out-of-school care providers,meet the extra costs incurred to comply with public health guidance in response to COVID-19. The Fund will provide one-off grants to eligible settings. Grant amounts vary according to the number of Care Inspectorate registered places in your setting.

To be eligible for the Fund your setting needs to be registered with the Care Inspectorate as being:

a ‘day care of children’ service; and
a ‘Private’ or ‘Voluntary or Not For Profit’ service.
This includes private and voluntary settings delivering out of school care; childcare settings in independent schools; and outdoor childcare settings. You will also need to confirm that your setting has already reopened or confirm that your setting will have reopened by Monday 7 September.

The Fund will be administered by local authorities. There will be a standard application form in order to make the application process as straightforward as possible.

The Fund will open for applications by the end of August 2020. The last date for submitting a grant application will be Friday 9 October.

Further information on the Transitional Support Fund, including the levels of grants, is available here. This page will be updated as more information becomes available, including confirmation of the date on which applications can be made.

A further communication will be issued to settings ahead of the Fund opening for applications.
Find out more about our work at: www.careinspectorate.com


Latest update from the Chief Executive: 27 July

Following the First Minister’s review of the COVID-19 regulations yesterday, we have been able to make further progress with our recovery plans

Our Property Maintenance team will resume routine repairs from Monday 3 August. Housing tenants can now follow the normal process for reporting issues with their homes, and more information about this can be found on our website

All public toilets across South Ayrshire have now re-opened. They remain free to access at the moment and will be open from 10.00am until 6.00pm Monday to Sunday, with the exception of Barassie, Girvan Harbour, Maybole and Arthur Street in Ayr which will be open 24 hrs. In order to ensure physical distancing, it has been necessary to limit the number of cubicles and sinks available for use in some of our facilities. Regular enhanced cleaning will be in place at each facility throughout the day. You can find more information about our public convenienceshere

Our Economic Development team launched the 11th issue of their ‘Business Beat’ e-magazine this week which was created in partnership with our Trading Standards and Environmental Health team.   This issue contains information on current guidance and compliance measures for local businesses and is available to read here.  Please share the link with anyone you think may find it beneficial.

Over the last few months, we have been working to support people who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our Information and Advice team has remained on hand to offer free, impartial and confidential advice over the phone.  The skilled advisors have helped residents to maximise their income; check they have applied for the right benefits; appeal DWP benefit decisions; and find debt solutions.   The team can be contacted on 0300 123 0900 or at informationandadvicehub@south-ayrshire.gov.uk.  Information on benefits and welfare advice can also be found on our website

Throughout the crisis, our Employability and Skills team has offered practical advice to residents on how to get a new job and identify new learning opportunities. If you know anyone who is worried about redundancy, please let them know that we are here to help them.  Our friendly officers are available on 0300 123 0900 or at employability.skills@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

Kevin Stewart MSP has written an open letter to social housing tenants.  The letter includes a range of information and advice for individuals and families in Scotland as we move through the different phases of easing restrictions.  The letter has been publicised to our housing tenants and can be viewed here

Due to the continuing low levels of COVID-19 infection in Scotland, residents who have been shielding will no longer have to do so from Saturday 1 August. Those affected will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer outlining the updated guidance and details about the pause in shielding. A SMS Shielding Service has been set up for the latest updates about shielding, which you can join by sending a text to 0786 006 4525. The Scottish Government is also developing a COVID-19 forecasting service for shielding. This will allow people who have been shielding to sign up to an SMS update that tells them about their risk of being exposed to COVID-19 in their local area. You can read the latest shielding guidance here

The Scottish Government has issued updated guidance on Test and Protect. The guidance states that in order to self-isolate safely and effectively under Test and Protect, in exceptional circumstances, a person may be advised to separate from the rest of their household. You can read more about this via this link

NHS Ayshire and Arran are looking for feedback on proposed content for a new mobile app which will offer local and national information on Autism, ADHD, FASD and Learning Disability for individuals, families, carers and professionals. You can access the survey here , it only takes a few minutes to complete and will remain open until Friday 31 July

As hospital outpatient services and visits resume, NHS Ayrshire and Arran have put together some short videos which explain what we should expect if we attend hospital for either visiting or an appointment.  Information for outpatients can be viewed here and you can also watch the short video on visits here.  Full details around visiting people in hospital can be found on the NHS website

With everyone spending more time at home over the last few months, many people have seen their energy bills increase.  Home Energy Scotland are supporting vulnerable households to keep warm and help people manage their energy bills by offering free and impartial energy saving advice.  If you’d like to find out more you can visit their website or call an advisor on 0808 808 2282

Things are still changing quickly at the moment, so I’d encourage you to continue to keep yourselves informed by checking the website regularly.  Remember you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where you’ll find updates about our services


Latest Council update: 27 July

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services which are currently operating without issue.

Early Learning and Childcare

We are on track to deliver 1140 early learning and childcare hours in August 2020, should national guidance on this change as anticipated on 30 July.  These increased hours would be delivered within the funding allocated by the Scottish Government.  Where a building programme is ongoing or not completed, there will be a limited range of options (session times) for parents in some areas. Full details on the approach to early learning and childcare,  including information on the current status of building works, can be found here.

Shielding

Due to the continuing low levels of COVID-19 infection in Scotland, residents who have been shielding will no longer have to do so from Saturday 1 August. Those affected will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer outlining the updated guidance and details about the pause in shielding. A SMS Shielding Service has been set up for the latest updates about shielding, which residents can join by sending a text to 0786 006 4525. The Scottish Government is also developing a COVID-19 forecasting service for shielding. This will allow people who have been shielding to sign up to an SMS update that tells them about their risk of being exposed to COVID-19 in their local area. You can read the latest shielding guidance here.

Test and Protect

The Scottish Government issued updated guidance on Test and Protect on 21 July. This guidance states that in order to self-isolate safely and effectively under Test and Protect, in exceptional circumstances, a person may be advised to separate from the rest of their household.

  • This may be best achieved through provision of alternative isolation accommodation for the individual, or by relocation of their household contacts.
  • Most people will be able to self-isolate effectively in their own homes, and isolation accommodation should only be considered on an exceptional basis.
  • Any decision to facilitate moving someone out of their home would have to be informed by multi-agency decision making, and in keeping with the wishes of all individuals concerned.
  • Isolation accommodation is for the purpose of allowing safe and effective self-isolation, and some hostel-style accommodation may not be appropriate.

Test and Protect guidance places significant reliance on local authorities regarding the provision of ‘out of hours’ services and accommodation to support people under the circumstances outlined above. We are therefore developing an approach to manage this which is being led by the Housing Service.

Letter to social housing tenants from the Minister for Local Government Housing and Planning

Kevin Stewart MSP has written an open letter to social housing tenants which provides information and advice following the publication in May of Scotland’s Route Map for moving out of the crisis.

The letter includes a range of support, information and signposting for individuals and families in Scotland as we move through the different phases of easing restrictions.  The letter has been publicised to South Ayrshire tenants via social media and our website and can be viewed here.

Property Maintenance

The reporting of routine repairs resumed as of Thursday 23 July.  Tenants have been advised to follow the normal reporting process, where they will be given an appointment on or after Monday 3 August

Public Toilets

All public toilets across South Ayrshire have now re-opened. They remain free to access at the moment and will be open from 10.00am until 6.00pm Monday to Sunday, with the exception of Barassie, Girvan Harbour, Maybole and Arthur Street in Ayr, which will be open 24hrs. In order to ensure physical distancing, it has been necessary to limit the number of cubicles and sinks available for use in some of our facilities. Regular enhanced cleaning will be in place at each facility throughout the day. You can find more information here.

Business Support Grants

We have now paid £22.6 million in business support grants to local businesses.

We continue to work through the remaining cases, which number fewer than 100. Of these, the majority of applicants need to provide further information to enable us to verify their application. Applications for the scheme closed at 5.00pm on 10 July 2020.

Support For Local Businesses

The Economic Development team launched the 11th issue of their ‘Business Beat’ e-magazine this week. This issue has been created in partnership with Trading Standards and Environmental Health and provides information for local businesses on complying with current guidance.  The e-magazine can be viewed here.

Communication

We continue to post information and updates through the local media, in hard copy, on a range of social media channels such as South Ayrshire Council Live Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on our website.



Date
  01/July/2020

Status  For immediate release

Council delivers on lockdown medication

At South Ayrshire Council, we’re working with all 29 community pharmacies to ensure residents from Barassie to Ballantrae can still get vital medicines during the lockdown.

We’re delivering prescriptions to people who are shielding, or who live in isolated communities and can’t get to the nearest pharmacy. We have 25 dedicated staff volunteers supporting around 200 people every week.

To make sure those in need don’t miss out, we have also been phoning people on the shielding list to offer the prescription delivery service. So far, our staff volunteers have also made over 850 home visits to people on the list to make sure they’re OK.

John Barr from Monkton was worried he would not get his medication. He said: “It’s been fantastic. I was worried about what I was going to do during lockdown, but this service has been a huge help. First class.”

Fiona is one of our staff volunteers. She said: “I’ve made lots of deliveries all across South Ayrshire. I think most of the people we deliver to, would have struggled to get their prescriptions without our help.”

Jacob, who normally works in our Sport and Leisure service, said: “The comments you get make the job worthwhile; people are so appreciative! They don’t expect the Council to turn up on their doorstep with medicine, but they are very glad when we do.”

Councillor Peter Henderson, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “We are continuing to do all we can to help vulnerable people in our communities cope with the lockdown. Ensuring those in need can get prescriptions is extremely important, so our Community Response Team worked with NHS Pharmacy Advisors to set up the collection and delivery service. This is partnership working at its best and we will continue to deliver prescriptions to those in need for the duration of the lockdown.”

Anyone who is not on the shielding list, but still needs help getting medication, can contact us on the Covid-19 Helpline 01292 616101.

ENDS


Reporting roads, lighting and drainage faults has just been made easier with the proposed  launch of a new Ayrshire Roads Alliance online portal on Monday 29 June 2020.

The Public Information Portal is map-based which means that residents in East and South Ayrshire who want to report a fault can identify the location on the map and leave a comment about the nature of the fault. They will then be given a reference number which they can use to go back online and check the status of the fault, as it moves from being reported to being worked on, to being completed.

For ease of use, residents can also search for the fault location by address, postcode or the reference number. Anyone looking at the map can also see at a glance which faults have already been reported by looking at the icons.

The portal is only intended for reporting general faults, and any emergency faults should be reported directly to ARA by calling 0345 724 0000 for East Ayrshire Council and 0300 123 0900 for South Ayrshire Council.

Access to the portal can be through South Ayrshire Council Website redirected to Ayrshire Roads Alliance website or by direct access.


Reopening of public conveniences

1.1 The purpose of this report is to provide Elected Members with an update on the plans to reopen public conveniences in South Ayrshire in line with the Scottish Governments restriction easing route map.

2. Background

2.1 Full lockdown in Scotland officially began on 23 March 2020 – South Ayrshire took the decision, along with all local authorities in Scotland to close all public conveniences across South Ayrshire, in-line with national guidance. On the 18 June, the Scottish Government announced the move to Phase 2 of the route map through the crisis which allows local people to travel 5 miles within their community for outdoor leisure and exercise and expands further on outdoor gatherings. There is currently no formal national guidance around the reopening of public conveniences and they remain closed across Scotland.

2.2 During this time, South Ayrshire has been developing plans for the phased reopening of public conveniences when allowed to do so. This includes reviewing current cleaning advice for non-health care settings and establishing additional resource requirements to deliver a safe service. In the last week, a working group has been established by SOLACE that proposes to take an approach similar to that of the successful reopening of recycling centres, with a national sector led group to determine an agreed reopening plan. South Ayrshire is participating with the group and working with the Government and Public Health Scotland to establish appropriate hygiene and safety guidance to allow a safety led reopening of public conveniences. At this point it is being suggested that staffed public conveniences could be reopened at Phase 3 of the Scottish Government route map.

3. Further easing of restrictions

3.1 The First Ministers briefing on Wednesday 24 June set out further dates for the easing of restrictions including:

3 July

– travel restriction of 5 miles will be relaxed

– The use of self-contained holiday accommodation – such as cottages, lodges and caravans with no shared services – will also be allowed, along with second homes.

6 July

– pubs and restaurants will be able to open outdoor spaces, such as beer gardens

3.2 It is hoped that good progress will allow the transition to Phase 3 of the route map on 10 July and this will allow people to meet up in larger groups outdoors and a maximum of 2          households indoors. It should be noted that these dates are indicative and based on continued suppression of the virus and will be confirmed on 2 July and 9 July respectively.

3.3 It is clear the pace of lockdown easing is increasing, as is footfall in our towns and coastal areas. We will continue to actively participate within the SOLACE working group and prepare for the reopening of public conveniences as soon as safely practicable and in line with health and Scottish Government guidance.


26/6/2020 Latest update from the Chief Executive:

First of all this week, I’d like to update you on changes to our Administration.  Councillor Peter Henderson was yesterday unanimously elected as the new Leader of South Ayrshire Council.  He takes over from Councillor Douglas Campbell who announced his intention to resign from the role of Leader earlier this month. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing him the very best in his new role. Councillors also agreed changes to Portfolio Holders and details are available on our website

With our COVID-19 recovery plans now well underway, our Elected Members have decided not to take the planned summer recess.  This means Councillors will be present and available to make decisions, address any issues without delay, and assist constituents over the summer

As we enter Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 route map, we’ll see further changes to our services over the coming weeks

The Coronavirus Business Support Grant Scheme will close on Friday 10 July 2020 and no further applications will be accepted after this date. If you know someone who could benefit from the scheme, there’s still some time to apply and details can be found on our website

Parking enforcement will phase back in from Monday 29 June.  Parking attendants will initially focus their attention on critical areas including: junctions, disabled bays and known hot spots where inconsiderate and illegal parking can cause serious disruption. Normal enforcement duties, including on and off-street pay and display car parks, will restart on Monday 6 July. Key workers’ parking permits for on and off street Council parking bays will remain valid at the moment

To help keep everyone safe, plans are in place to ensure that parking ticket machines are cleaned and disinfected regularly. However, if you have any concerns about using parking machines you can download the cashless parking app, RingGo, which allows you to pay for parking without the need for coins. More information, including how to register can be found at www.myringo.co.uk  .You can also register online here

Following the Scottish Government’s schools announcement this week, we are now planning for a full-time return in August.  If you are a parent or carer, your school will keep in touch with you about arrangements for the new term

In perfect timing for the beginning of the school holidays, our playgrounds and outdoor gyms will re-open from Monday 29 June.  Guidance on how you can access these safely can be found on our website

During the pandemic our Social Work teams joined forces with Hansel to ensure that people with learning disabilities, their carers and families were able to access support through a range of new and innovative approaches.  With traditional day services temporarily closed, the usual help that families rely on wasn’t available.  Delivered from Hansel, a range of activities were offered including micro and short breaks.

Armed Forces Day on Saturday 27 June gives us an opportunity to show our gratitude for the Armed Forces community who work tirelessly to keep us safe in the UK and abroad. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Armed Forces have provided critical services to those who need them most. While the pandemic has meant planned celebratory events have been cancelled, we will show our support by raising the flag at County Buildings tomorrow. Walking With the Wounded are running an online Armed Forces Day Quiz.  So if you’d like to test your Forces knowledge, this link takes you to their Just Giving page where you can access the quiz for free. There are many ways that you can get involved and pay tribute to our Armed Forces from home, including #SaluteOurForces. You can find out more about this and other ideas here

I want to extend my thanks to our teachers and education staff for their hard work and commitment over the last few months.  We’ve received some fantastic feedback from pupils, parents and carers on their learning from home experiences. I would like to wish our young people, teachers and support staff an enjoyable, well-deserved summer break and I hope you come back refreshed and ready for the new term



Date
  26/June/2020

Status  For immediate release

South Ayrshire plans for pupils to return in August

We know that the last few months have been challenging for young people, teaching staff and parents.

Our education staff have gone above and beyond to support pupils to learn from home over the last 12 weeks.

South Ayrshire schools break up for summer today, and we have been working hard on plans for blended learning for the new school year in August. We’d like to thank the pupils, parents and carers who took part in our ‘Recovery of Schools and Early Years Centres’ survey. Their feedback helped to shape our plans for blended learning.

We now know that we may not need to put these blended learning plans in place, as the Scottish Government announced this week that schools can expect to re-open full-time in August, with no social distancing for pupils, if the virus continues to be supressed.

Douglas Hutchison, Director- People and Depute Chief Executive said:

“We intend to do everything possible to make sure schools can reopen fully, but we need to ensure the health and safety of all pupils and staff members.

“Schools will now work to make a number of changes before pupils return. The summer break is due to begin this week, and the late announcement from the Scottish Government gives us limited time to make these changes.

“We intend to continue with a planned start date of August 12, but the first week will be a ‘soft start’. This means that pupils may not be in school full days, or every day for the first three days of term, but we aim to have everyone back in school full time by Monday 17 August.

“We’ll keep in touch with pupils, parents and carers over the next few weeks to confirm specific details for each school.

“While many things are uncertain at the moment, one thing is crystal clear, and that is the commitment of teachers, and all staff, to make sure our young people get the best possible chance to recover what has been lost.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to all teachers and education staff for their continuous hard work and dedication.”

Councillor William Grant, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People said: “I’d like to thank parents and carers for their support during this difficult time.

“I’m really proud of all school staff for their innovation and creativity in developing new ways for young people to learn. They have worked tirelessly to support our young people over the last three months, and I want to extend my thanks for their continued dedication.

“Finally, I want to recognise our amazing young people who have shown remarkable resilience and a commitment to learning.

“I wish them a great summer break and hope they come back refreshed, and ready to learn.”

For information on schools and education in South Ayrshire visit www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/schools/



26/6/2020 Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Education- Pupil Return in August

On Tuesday 23 June, Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced that schools can expect to re-open full-time in August, with no social distancing for pupils, if the virus continues to be suppressed.

Schools will now require to make a number of changes before the new term starts in August.  Classes had already been reconfigured to take account of social distancing and will now be rearranged. We will review existing risk assessments in light of the changes. We will also carry out further risk assessments in the context of all pupils being back in order to ensure the health and safety of all staff and pupils.  It is our intention to do everything possible to ensure schools reopen fully in August but there are logistical challenges that need to be overcome.  School holidays start today for pupils and for all school staff which limits the opportunities to make the necessary changes.

It is our hope and intention to have all pupils back in August, however the late change in policy makes this a challenge.  We therefore intend to continue with the planned start date of 12 August but the first week, up to and including Friday 14 August, will be a soft start.  That means that pupils may not be in all day or every day for the first three days of term.  Our current aim is that from Monday 17th August all pupils will be back full time.  This is, of course, predicated on the virus continuing to be supressed and our current position may change in the light of public health advice.

A letter has been issued to all parents and carers explaining the situation. Each school will contact parents and carers directly before the start of the new term to let them know the specific arrangements for their children.

Early Years

We have been informed that there have been no changes yet to the guidance relating to early years provision.  Existing early years guidance results in reduced capacity which makes it difficult to confirm the detail of early years places for the coming year.  These issues will be clarified over the coming weeks.

Fees and Charges

Following the Covid outbreak in March, the Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance, the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive, under emergency decision making powers, agreed to introduce a three month suspension (from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020) of the introduction of inflationary price increases on point of sale charges to the public due to be implemented from 1 April – i.e. those price increases included in the 2020/21 Budget Book.

We are now nearing the end of the three month period of suspension which means that, as we come out of lockdown and services are phased back in, these inflationary price increases will begin to come into force. Customers will be advised of any changes to prices as and when each affected service is reintroduced. This does not affect Council tax, non-domestic rates or house rents

Business Support Grants

We have now paid £20.7 million in business support grants to local businesses. We continue to work through the remaining cases, which number fewer than 205. The Business Support Grant Scheme will close on 10 July 2020.  No new applications will be accepted after this date. Details on the scheme are available athttps://beta.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/article/19562/Business-Support-Grant

Shielding

This week we received the thirteenth batch of shielding names. This takes the total number of South Ayrshire residents on the shielding list to 4755. We have made contact and offered help and support to 4742 shielding residents, representing over 99% of the total. We continue to try to make contact with the remaining 13.

Food Boxes

We will continue to provide weekly food boxes to children who are eligible for free school meals until schools return.  The last week of deliveries will therefore be on the week beginning 3 August.

We have made some changes to the content of food boxes, taking into account feedback from families. The contents of boxes may change from week to week depending on availability of stock, but will usually contain, bread, milk, cereal, fresh fruit and salad.

Going forward we will alternate provision in 2 week cycles, with a larger box provided on week 1 (which will contain some produce which will last 2 weeks), and a smaller box on week 2. This rotational approach will be in place throughout the summer and boxes will be delivered to families on the same day each week.

Re-opening of Licensed Premises

The First Minister announced that she expects beer gardens will be permitted to open as of 6 July, following which licensed premises will be able to open fully from 15 July. Premises are now making plans for reopening, taking account of social distancing and the coronavirus restrictions. As licences for the premises will not change, all enquiries regarding how to comply with the coronavirus guidelines will be directed to Trading Standards and Environmental Health, but of course there will be joint working between departments to provide as much information as possible to assist premises in getting back to business.

Licensing

Alcohol Focus has reviewed the policies of all Licensing Boards in Scotland and published a report on their findings. The report is very positive about the approach taken in South Ayrshire, particularly in relation to community engagement, occasional licences and policies in relation to children & young people. You can access the full report here.

Play Parks

We are on course to re-open play parks on Monday 29 June.



Stay Active at Home with our Active Schools Team

Our Active Schools Team have developed a programme which offers sports equipment packs to families who need support to keep active and engage in sport at home.

Thanks to generous donations of equipment and funding from local sports clubs, businesses, local funding partners and national governing bodies, the team will be able to work with schools to identify families who need support to get active at home.

Families will initially have access to indoor activity packs, including football; handball; tennis; badminton and fitness, with more activities to follow.

The project has brought local groups and businesses together to promote positive partnerships, and to encourage families to stay active during the pandemic to support their physical and mental health.

You can find out more about our Active Schools team by visiting their website, or following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


19th June 2020

Latest update from the Chief Executive:

Following the First Minister’s review of the COVID-19 regulations yesterday, we have been able to further progress our recovery plans in several areas

Our Grounds Maintenance team is busy putting the necessary arrangements and signage in place to assist with physical distancing at our play parks, which are set to re-open on Monday 29 June.  I’m sure that this will be great news for many of you with young children; however, please don’t be tempted to visit the play parks before the 29th, and remember to keep your family safe by observing physical distancing and respecting government guidance. We’ll keep you updated on progress around the re-opening of public toilets which remain closed at the moment

We have amended the school holidays to reflect the earlier start to the autumn term of Tuesday 11 August.  The four days of ‘lost holidays’ have been added to the February 2021 weekend which will give staff a full week off

Teachers and school support staff have been working hard over the last few weeks to prepare for the safe return of young people when the new school term begins in August. This has been a very complex exercise and schools have done everything they can to maximise the time young people can spend in school. Every school is unique – in space available, layout and in pupil and teacher numbers. This means that we can’t have a one size fits all approach and most pupils will attend school for part of each week, with face to face learning supplemented by online and blended learning from home. If you are a parent, your school will contact you directly over the next few days with information on your child or children’s pattern of attendance. (For information all Troon Primaries and Marr College will be operating a 2 rotation attendance at school (initially it was thought that Struthers would have to operate a 3 rotation). The intention is to get every pupil back into full-time education at the earliest opportunity – however as a Council we are driven by both the Scottish Government guidance on social distancing, and a commitment that they will meet any additional costs (which if we stay at 2m social distancing will be considerable) will be met.)

Throughout this pandemic our schools have taken an innovative approach to the way they support and engage with young people. Teachers have embraced the digital technology available to them to create learning platforms and keep in touch with pupils. To celebrate the end of term, some schools have held virtual Sports Days, which include a range of fun activities and challenges for pupils to complete at home. Transition activities have also been adapted to online events, including videos and virtual tours to reassure pupils prior to their move to P1, S1 or a different year group

Our Housing Options and Support team has provided much needed help and advice on a range of housing issues to clients affected by the COVID-19 crisis.   Sadly, the increase in relationships breaking down during lockdown has resulted in a much higher demand for homeless temporary accommodation, with the team currently handling over 400 ‘live’ cases.  Officers have gone above and beyond to turn temporary furnished properties around swiftly, avoiding the need for families to use bed and breakfast accommodation. The team also man our 24/7 homeless standby phone line; provide services and support to our sheltered housing residents; deal with anti-social behaviour complaints and maintain regular wellbeing contact with clients.  More information on housing support can be found here

Our Revenues team has now paid out a massive £20.5 million in business support grants to local eligible businesses in need of financial support, with the Phase 3 Online Application now live on our website. If you know anyone who could benefit from these grants, please direct them to our website where comprehensive information can be found

We also joined forces with the other Ayrshire Councils this week when we launched a new COVID-19 Business Support Helpline.  Any Ayrshire business can now call one single telephone number, 0330 6781611, to seek help and advice.  More information can be found on our website

Some of you have raised queries around the use of Skype and Microsoft Teams.  Our ICT Enterprise Architecture team has put together a series of Q and A’s around this which are now available to view on The Core

Sunday 21 June will be the 6th Annual International Day of Yoga. Yoga is known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation – something we could all do with right now!  You can take part via our website and social media channels

I’d encourage you to continue to keep yourselves up to date by checking thewebsite regularly.  Also, why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where you’ll find a range of information on our services

Finally, I’d like to end with some non-COVID related news.  Earlier this week the Council purchased Belleisle House.  We will now begin to look at how we will restore this unique building and make plans for its future



SAC Update

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Licensing

The First Minister announced yesterday 18 June that, while we are now entering Phase 2 of easing lockdown restrictions, some changes will not yet come into effect. Many licensed premises with beer gardens had anticipated being permitted to open this weekend, but they will have to remain closed for a further period. These are matters which are entirely outwith the control of the Licensing Board, however we will continue to liaise with the trade and to pass on any information from the Government as it is made available. The next review is anticipated on 2 July and the full re-opening of licensed premises is not expected until Phase 3. Guidelines have now been published which will allow the licensed trade to make plans for re-opening –  https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tourism-and-hospitality-sector-guidance/

Re-opening of Play Parks

Further to the First Minister’s announcement yesterday, playparks can reopen from Monday 29 June. We are therefore putting arrangements in place to reopen on 29 June, ensuring signage is put up to promote public health and physical distancing.

Re-opening of Public Toilets

We are participating in the SOLACE working group to take a national approach to the re-opening of public toilets.

School Holidays

We have amended the school holidays for 20/21 to reflect the earlier start to the autumn term of Tuesday 11 August.  The four days of ‘lost holidays’ have been added to the February 2021 long weekend.

Housing and Homelessness

The social effects of COVID-19 have increased the need for homeless temporary accommodation and the demand for housing advice and support.

The number of current homeless applications being managed by our Housing Options & Support Team has risen since March of this year – from 331 at 31 March to 410 at 15 June 2020. Although the level of new homeless applications has not risen significantly in comparison to normal trends, the Council’s ability to discharge our duty to households and to secure permanent housing solutions has been reduced as a consequence of the Covid-19 restrictions to service delivery.  Additionally, the number of households requiring temporary accommodation has increased due to the limited other options available to applicants.  We have therefore increased our stock of temporary accommodation by 14% since lockdown, using longer term empty properties from our own stock and additional private sector leased properties.  There are 285 units of temporary accommodation in use across our hostels/supported accommodation units, dispersed temporary accommodation within our own stock, private sector leased properties and temporary accommodation provided by Ayrshire Housing.  This is the highest number we have needed since September 2012, but so far we have avoided the need to use bed and breakfast accommodation.

We have also seen a spike in complaints about individuals in temporary accommodation who have not complied with the government’s social distancing guidance. We continue to work with clients, maintaining regular contact to ensure that they are supported during this challenging time.

Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund

The number of local organisations who have successfully secured funding now number 14, with grants awarded totalling £55,712.00 as detailed in the table below.

Organisation Project Funding
Voluntary Action South Ayrshire ​To support the costs of two new part-time staff who will co-ordinate food processing orders as part of the food delivery service VASA is providing to 3000 elderly and vulnerable people in South Ayrshire. ​£4,584.00
Girvan Youth Trust ​To contribute to providing stationery, games, puzzles  and toiletries to young people living tin the wider Girvan area as part of a fortnightly Care package. ​£1,000.00
North Carrick Community Benefit ​To contribute towards the cost of staff, volunteers and the production/distribution of information about the support available for people affected by Covid-19 living in the North Carrick area of South Ayrshire. ​£5,000.00
Kirkmichael Village Renaissance ​To replenish the stocks of the community shop in Kirkmichael, which is the only local shop serving an immediate village population of 400 people. ​£5,000.00
1010 Trust ​To provide freshly cooked nutritious meals packaged in a way which can be easily reheated. ​£5,000.00
Maybole and North Carrick Community Resilience Team ​To provide a free delivery service for food, prescriptions and hearing aid batteries to people of any age group who are in self-isolation due to Covid. ​£3,675.00
Vics in the Community ​To develop a dedicated response to the present COVID-19 crisis including meal provision, footballs for physical health and materials for mental health. ​£5,000.00
Broken Chains (Ayr) Limited ​To increase the Support Worker’s hours by 10 hours per week to deliver services differently so that clients can be supported remotely and provided with food vouchers for the next three months. ​£3,350.00
Girvan Community Sport Hub ​To contribute to the purchase of sports equipment which will be shared with and loaned to vulnerable and disadvantaged families in the South Ayrshire area, encouraging children to keep fit and active during the lockdown period. ​£2,103.00
South Ayrshire Autistic Society ​To purchase IT equipment, supermarket vouchers and craft supplies to support families with autistic children in South Ayrshire. ​£3,500.00
Straiton Village Co-operative Limited ​To ensure the community run shop in Straiton has the stock and volunteer support in place to provide a home delivery service to residents who are self- isolating. ​£5,000.00
Wellington Mental Health and Wellness Trust ​To grow the existing remote counselling services to meet new demands from people suffering mental health problems due to covid-19. ​£5,000.00
Moving Arts Scotland CIC ​To provide art materials, tutorials and on-line health and wellbeing content to support 100 people in Ayr to produce art and crafts and reduce social isolation. ​£2,500.00
Ayrshire Cancer Support ​To contribute to increased costs of delivering a cancer patient transport service and increased demand for counselling and wellbeing helpline services. ​£5,000.00

Support For Local Businesses – Business Support Grants

We have now paid £20.5 million in business support grants to local businesses and have fewer than 190 cases to process, pending receipt of information required to verify applications.

Support for Local Businesses – Bed and Breakfast Hardship Fund

This fund launched on 15 June and is specifically for small Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) who have faced hardship due to COVID-19, but were ineligible for other support, as they do not have a business bank account. The Fund offers a one-off grant of £3,000 and applications should be made online. Details of eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found on the council website –  https://beta.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/article/19481/Information-for-Businesses

Belleisle House Hotel

The sale of Belleisle House Hotel concluded on 18 June, which is the date of entry for the Council. The purchase price of £275,000 was reduced to £153,835 to account for the sum of £121,164 which was due to the Council because of the emergency works following the fire.

Proposed AIG Women’s British Open (Royal Troon Golf Course 20-23 August 2020)

Discussions are currently taking place with the R&A on the possibility of holding the AIG Women’s British Open at Royal Troon from 20-23 August 2020. Should the event go ahead, it will not be open to spectators. There would, however, be TV coverage. The R&A will make a decision on whether the competition will run in early July.

In the meantime, the R&A has asked our Planning team to proceed with a proposed Section 11 Access Exemption Order to suspend public access rights during the event. This is in the interests of player, staff and public safety and to help minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19. Although the event has not yet been confirmed, the Planning team is making the order now to allow time for public and community feedback, for consideration of any objections and for the Government to decide whether to approve the order. This means the order would be in place for the start of the event, should it go ahead. A public notice will be placed in the local press next week detailing the Proposed Access Exemption Order and asking for views.


Date  10/June/2020

Status  For immediate release

Supporting our unpaid carers

Carers Week (8-14 June) is a great opportunity to highlight the contribution unpaid carers make to families across South Ayrshire, and the challenges they face – even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have policies in place to help staff who have unpaid caring responsibilities, and the support we give employees who are carers has already led us to achieve a Carer Positive Established Award.

We want to do more to support staff who look after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner, so we recently launched our employee Carer Survey to gather feedback and suggestions on what else we can do to help. Employees and managers can also tap into our dedicated e-learning course, which provides information on the impact of caring.

Through the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), we’re also working with the South Ayrshire Carers Centre to ensure all unpaid carers receive practical and emotional support. Although the centre is closed at the moment, help and guidance is still available over the phone and on social media.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the centre has supported around 14 young carer families with hardship payments to help with fuel and food costs. They helped Ellen, who looks after her grandfather and younger siblings to apply for a young carers grant. The family said: “The carers centre team have just been fantastic in supporting us all during lockdown. Thank you.”

The Centre also carry out wellbeing checks with unpaid carers who are shielding, and ensure carers take time to relax and have fun, by providing art packs, virtual quizzes and other online events.

Janice, who is currently shielding, and looks after her 19 year old son who has additional support needs said: “Thank you to all staff for the support during this time, it has been much appreciated.”

As well as providing practical and emotional support, the centre has produced a letter which carers can use as identification when they are accessing goods and services for those they care for.

Councillor Julie Dettbarn, Adult Health and Social Care Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “It’s fantastic that we have been recognised for our efforts to help staff who care for a loved one, and we want to build on this going forward.

“Now more than ever, unpaid carers need to feel valued and supported, and we will continue to work with our partners to make this happen.”

More information about support available to unpaid carers, including how to access PPE, can be found on the Council website https://beta.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/article/19523/Support-for-Unpaid-Carers.

To take part in some of the virtual events taking place during Carers Week, visitwww.facebook.com/SouthAyrshireCarersCentre/

ENDS

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges unpaid carers face and recognising the contribution they make to families and communities through the UK. The theme for national Carers Week this year is Make Caring Visible.

A carer is anyone who provides unpaid support to a relative, partner, child, friend or neighbour due to illness, disability, frailty, a mental health condition or a substance misuse problem.

https://www.carersweek.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1OnPmvPn6QIVBuztCh2QaA2sEAAYASAAEgJ9ZPD_BwE


SAC council update 2/6/20

Shielding

We have completed initial enquiries with every resident on the shielding list, with the exception of 80 people who were added by the NHS in a new batch of names received today. Additionally, there are 18 residents whom we have been unable to contact despite calling and/ or writing to them and visiting their homes. We are now working with Police Scotland to ensure the individuals concerned are safe.

Volunteering Training Programme

Further to the community planning approach we are taking to volunteering, we now have 468 Community Planning Partnership (CPP) volunteers. All volunteers will take part in online volunteering training from next week. Of the 468, we have identified 30 people who have the digital skills required to act as digital volunteers for shielding residents who may be eligible for digital support through the Connecting Scotland initiative.

Feeling Good: Positive Mindset App

Scottish charity, the Foundation for Positive Mental Health, is offering free access codes to their Feeling Good App during the pandemic period. The app is NHS Digital accredited and is designed to help people build essential skills to become mentally stronger and more resilient to stress. The app is free to download until the end of June, with free access for 6 months
thereafter.

Communication

A range of communications has been prepared to mark Volunteering Week (1 – 7 June). We have linked in with internal Council services and some external partners, to highlight just some of the volunteering work that has taken place across South Ayrshire during this pandemic. Coverage can be seen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout this
week.​

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Recovery Group

A Covid-19 Recovery Group has been established to plan for a transition from lockdown through the stages of recovery. This group meets weekly and is working with Service Leads to determine how and when services can be restored within the parameters of national guidance.

Business Support Grants

We have now paid £19.5 million in business support grants to local businesses.

We continue to work through the remaining cases, which number fewer than 200. Of these, the majority require to provide further information to enable us to verify their application.

Covid Helpline

The employee volunteers who staff our dedicated Covid helpline have now handled 15,612 calls. These volunteers handle calls to and from shielding residents, from members of the public who are looking for Covid related support and from people who have been advised to self-isolate through the Test and Protect scheme.



RIJB SAHSCP COVID-19 BRIEFING – 29 May 2020

South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership will issue a weekly briefing to provide IJB members with information on the planning and preparation for COVID-19.

Confirmed Cases

The Scottish Government publishes an updated picture of cases and testing at 2pmeach day. For more information, please click on the link to the Scottish Government website: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

The National Records of Scotland have published figures of all deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate by the doctor who certified the death. This includes cases where the doctor noted that there was suspected or probable coronavirus infection involved in the death. For more information, please visit the National Records of Scotland website: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats Week 21 (18 May to 24 May 2020) figures are below.

Scotland figures

  • As at 24th May, there have been a total of 3,779 deaths registered in Scotland where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The first mention of COVID-19 in a registered death certificate was the week beginning 16th March 2020.
  • Of the total number of deaths registered in week 21 (18 to 24 May), there were 230 where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, a decrease of 105 from the previous week (11 to 17 May). This is the fourth weekly reduction in a row.
  • Three quarters (76%) of all deaths involving COVID-19 to date were of people aged 75 or over.
  • The proportion of COVID-19 deaths which took place in care homes has risen over time but has dropped back in recent weeks and now represents 54% of all COVID-19 deaths in week 21. The number of deaths in care homes fell for a fourth week.

 Ayrshire and Arran

  • The number of COVID-19 deaths registered between weeks 1 and 21 (year to 24 May) of 2020 in Ayrshire and Arran was 262.
  • Of the 262 deaths in Ayrshire and Arran, 127 occurred in hospital, 116 happened in care homes and 19 occurred at home or non-institutional setting.
  • Overall, the rate of COVID-19 deaths in Ayrshire and Arran was 7.1 per 10,000 population.

 South Ayrshire

  • The provisional figures on deaths registered where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate in South Ayrshire between weeks 1 and 21 (year to 24 May) of 2020 was 99.
  • Of the 99 deaths in South Ayrshire, 47 occurred in care homes, 47 happened in hospital and 5 occurred in home or non-institutional setting.

Shielding

There are now 4463 individuals on the Shielding list in South Ayrshire. Work continues to provide support from General Practice, South Ayrshire Council, VASA and wider community groups. HSCP staff are now seeking to address some of the emerging challenges of the Shielded group for example, mental health and well-being, loneliness and physical health. GP Practice colleagues have made contact with the majority of patients and there is now an updated Anticipatory Care Plan (Key Information Summary) in place for 95% of these patients contacted.

HSCP staff and partners are now preparing for the next Shielding phase and awaiting guidance from Scottish Government

Test and Protect Launch – 28 May 2020

Test and Protect, NHS Scotland’s approach to controlling the spread of coronavirus in our communities, was rolled out yesterday (Thursday 28 May). Test and Protect is Scotland’s way of putting into practice the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy. The aim is to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community by:

  • Identifying cases of coronavirus through testing
  • Tracing the people who may have become infected by spending time in close contact with them
  • Supporting close contacts to self-isolate, so that if they have the disease they are less likely to transmit it to others.

What to do if you have symptoms: You and your household should not leave home, will need to request a test and, if the result is positive, help NHS Scotland to identify who you’ve had contact with. (This will be done confidentially.)

What happens when you are phoned by the Test & Protect service as you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus: Do not leave home for 14-days. A test will be arranged if appropriate. Also, the other members of your household do not need to isolate unless they have also been contacted by Test & Protect service or you start to develop symptoms.

For more information, please click here

Care Home Safe Practice Poster

Health Protection Scotland and the Care Inspectorate produced a poster to support frontline health and social care staff to undertake safe, effective infection and prevention control practice in an accessible and understandable format.

Multicultural Counselling Support Project

BEMIS is the national umbrella body supporting the development of the Ethnic Minorities Voluntary Sector in Scotland. In response to the current challenges and impact of the Covid-19 situation, BEMIS initiated a pilot multicultural counselling provision for the diverse Ethnic Minorities, and this support has proved vital with referrals from across Scotland. We are in a position to sustain this crucial service with support from the Wellbeing Fund until the end of July 2020. The Multicultural Counselling Support Project focuses on supporting mental health needs for ethnic minority individuals and families by providing multilingual culturally- and religiously-sensitive counselling support. Counselling will be delivered remotely by telephone or online (via WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype, etc.). In addition, the counselling provision will be in line with the ethical standards of BACP and other Counselling authorities. Click here for more information.

Funding Opportunities for Voluntary Organisations and Charities (attached)

Please see attached COVID-19 funding opportunities for voluntary organisations and charities.

Resources from Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs

Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs has put together a list of helpful resources on our website for families affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use.
Click here to access the resources.

Advice for Parents and Carers – Changes to Coronavirus Restrictions

As Coronavirus restrictions begin to change, you may have questions about how these changes affect your family. Parent Club has published information to support you with the changes to outdoor restrictions.

Dementia Awareness Week 2020 1 – 7 June 2020

Dementia Awareness Week takes place between 1 – 7 June 2020.  Dementia Awareness Week is focused on raising awareness of dementia and making sure that people living with dementia in Scotland continue to have access to the support they need and deserve.

Social isolation, loss of networks and disrupted routines will be a huge challenge for those people living with dementia and their carers during this crisis, particularly since they will face restrictions for an extended period of time.

Carers Week 8 – 14 June 2020

Carers Week commences from 8 to 14 June 2020. Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

People across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of COVID-19. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support. Carers need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding.

Caring’s impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and work should not be underestimated, and carers are facing even more difficult circumstances this year. Whilst many feel that caring is one of the most important things they do, its challenges should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough. 

It is vitally important that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society, and that they get the support they need.

Better Health Hub

NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s Better Health Hub aims to support people to live healthier lives. There are many things that can affect people’s health and wellbeing. At the hub, staff can talk about what matters to you and work with you to take positive steps to better health. They can also signpost or refer to services in the community that can offer more support. This now includes Better Health Near Me which is a video-calling service for people to get help with their health and wellbeing.


Update from SAC 1/6/2020
Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

New COVID-19 Ayrshire Regional Testing Site

A new COVID-19 Ayrshire regional testing site is now operating in Prestwick.  This new testing site, on Welsh Road near Prestwick Airport, replaces the mobile testing unit in front of the Airport’s terminal building. Tests have to be booked in advance and more information can be found at  https://beta.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/…/19676/Test-and-Protect

Car Parks

Following a request from Police Scotland on Sunday afternoon, we re-opened North Esplanade car park, Links Road, Prestwick due to the volume of traffic in the local area. The car park will be closed again tonight and we will review the re-opening of all car parks that are currently closed over the coming weeks.

Care Homes

We have now carried out visits to 13 of the 26 care homes in South Ayrshire and anticipate completing the majority of visits by the end of next week.

Recycling Centres

As confirmed in previous Briefings, our Household Waste Recycling Centres, including two additional ‘pop-up’ sites (for general/black bag waste only) in Ayr and Girvan, reopened today. We put out extensive communications to the public in advance of reopening. These included press releases, social media, radio adverts, maps of each centre and surrounding roads and a short video to advise on the public health measures in place. We also advised the public that we expected centres to be busy and encouraged them to consider delaying visits if possible.

As anticipated, centres were extremely busy from opening this morning. Traffic management has been successful at, and around each site. Waste Management Officers based on sites will link with Communications team to issue live tweets/Facebook updates as necessary to advise the public of queues.

Golf

The reopening of golf courses has been extremely popular and we have now issued 2078 flexible memberships. Staff are actively reminding golfers to observe the measures we have put in place to ensure physical distancing is maintained at courses. The the vast majority of golfers are adhering to these measures.

Support For Local Businesses

The Economy and Regeneration Team launched the eighth issue of their e-magazine Business Beat. This issue focusses on Advice and Funding around Tourism and can be accessed here.

Communication

Last month saw a further increase in SAC Live Facebook followers, with the total post reach for May in excess of 352,000.  Some of our top reaching posts were around the re-opening of Household Waste Recycling Centres (41,899 reach); special/bulky uplifts resuming (20,073 reach); and information on current COVID-19 related scams (19,406 reach).



Update from SAC 28/5/2020

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Shielding

We received an additional 226 names for the Shielding list this week. We now have 4,669 shielding clients in South Ayrshire. As detailed in previous briefings, we have safely carried out visits to 580 homes of shielding residents who did not respond to our calls or letters. Of these, 25 residents needed support. There are a further 169 shielding residents who have
not responded to calls or letters from us and we will carry out further visits to each of them to establish if they need help or support.

Connect Scotland

We have received confirmation that South Ayrshire will get 145 devices as part of the Government’s ‘Connect in Scotland’ initiative. These devices are for shielding clients who have no digital access. Applications for devices can only be made by officers or others who support shielding clients, and those who nominate a client will be required to support the client in the setting-up of the device being issued. We are putting plans in place to ensure ligible residents are identified and devices issued before the end of June.

Date  28/May/2020

Status  For immediate release

Trading Standards and Environmental Health provide invaluable service to South Ayrshire

Our Trading Standards and Environmental Health team have been at the forefront of helping to protect, and keep our residents and business owners safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Pavement marking to assist with social distancing while shopping for essentials,  raising awareness of new scams and fraud, and dealing with noise complaints are just some of the things the team have done to make things safer, and a little easier, for all of us.

Their input has been invaluable at a time of uncertainty for many local companies, with the team providing support and advice to over 870 businesses since restrictions began on 23 March.

Local businesses have welcomed this support, with one business owner saying: “The information provided by Trading Standards and Environmental Health has provided a road map to help us guide our way out of this closure, and re-open our business when it is safe to do so. Somewhere to turn for professional advice during such an unsettling time has been amazing.”

In response to residents’ concerns, the team have also produced a door sticker to deter unwanted callers and mailers. The free sticker can be requested via our COVID-19 helpline on 01292 616101, or a printable version can be found on our website.

Councillor Phillip Saxton, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Wellbeing said: “I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone in the Trading Standards and Environmental Health team who have really gone the extra mile to help protect our residents and business owners during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“While this is an unsettling time for everyone, the team have quickly adapted their service delivery to meet new demands. Their ongoing hard work and commitment to providing reassurance, support and advice to those who need it most has really made a difference.”

Anyone looking for advice or assistance can contact the team on 0300 123 0900.

For the latest updates on our services visit https://beta.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

SAC update

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Golf

We have put plans in place to safely open golf courses, with some restrictions, from Friday 29 May (pending final confirmation from the First Minister on 28 May). We have carefully considered national guidance on safe play and are taking the following interim measures to ensure we comply:

-All courses will be open for social play only;

-Tee times will be restricted;

-Customers can play up to two rounds per week to allow fair access and ensure social distancing requirements are maintained;

-Full season ticket memberships remain suspended. As we can’t offer the same access to courses at the moment as we did pre-Covid, it would be inappropriate to reintroduce our traditional 8 course Season Ticket membership at this point. A temporary, new Flexi-Golf South Ayrshire membership scheme will therefore be introduced as an interim measure;

-All tee times will be available to Flexi-Golf members 7 days in advance, on a first come, first served basis;

-Customers should play at their nearest course to comply with current travel restrictions.

We look forward to welcoming golfers back and are committed to re-opening our facilities safely to ensure the wellbeing of customers and staff. We will review the above measures on an ongoing basis and adapt them as national guidance allows. More information on these interim measures can be found on our website.

Health and Social Care – Care Homes

We implemented Scottish Government guidance on Enhanced Professional Clinical and Care Oversight Of Care Homes from 18 May last week. This guidance stipulates that every Health Board and its Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) colleagues in the Local Authority must put in place a multi-disciplinary team comprised of senior professional roles. This team is responsible for providing support to each care home in their area, with particular focus on infection prevention and control, but also to provide appropriate expert clinical support to residents who have Coronavirus regarding:

  1. Care needs of individual residents;
  2. Infection prevention and control measures, including PPE and cleaning  requirements;
  3. Staffing requirements including workforce training and deployment;
  4. Testing arrangements for outbreak management and ongoing surveillance

In South Ayrshire, the Chief Nursing Officer is overseeing the process and daily meetings are taking place. HSCP staff are arranging isits to all 26 care homes to provide assurance and support in relation to PPE, workforce, infection control procedures and basic care provision, and are linking in with the Care Inspectorate. Three visiting teams have been set up and
the first visit took place on Friday 22 May, with the remainder beginning from today.

Communication

We continue to post information and updates through the local media, in hard copy, on a range of social media channels such as South Ayrshire Council Live Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on our website.​


IJB SAHSCP COVID-19 BRIEFING – 22 May 2020

South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership will issue a weekly briefing to provide information on the planning and preparation for COVID-19.

Confirmed Cases

The Scottish Government publishes an updated picture of cases and testing at 2pmeach day. For more information, please click on the link to the Scottish Government website: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

The National Records of Scotland have published figures of all deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate by the doctor who certified the death. This includes cases where the doctor noted that there was suspected or probable coronavirus infection involved in the death. For more information, please visit the National Records of Scotland website: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats

Scotland figures

  • As at 17th May, there have been a total of 3,546 deaths registered in Scotland where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The first mention of
    COVID-19 in a registered death certificate was the week beginning 16th March 2020.
  • Of the total number of deaths registered in week 20 (11 to 17 May), there were 332 where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, a decrease of 83 from the previous week (4 to 10 May). This is the third weekly reduction in a row.
  • Three quarters (76%) of all deaths involving COVID-19 to date were of people aged 75 or over.
  • The proportion of COVID-19 deaths which took place in care homes has risen over time but has dropped back in recent weeks and now represents 55% of all
    COVID-19 deaths in week 20.

Ayrshire and Arran

  • The number of COVID-19 deaths registered between weeks 1 and 20 (year to 17 May) of 2020 in Ayrshire and Arran was 241.
  • Of the 241 deaths in Ayrshire and Arran, 113 occurred in hospital, 109 happened in care homes and 19 occurred at home or non-institutional setting.
  • Overall, the rate of COVID-19 deaths in Ayrshire and Arran was 6.5 per 10,000 population.

 South Ayrshire

  • The provisional figures on deaths registered where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate in South Ayrshire between weeks 1 and 20 (year to 17 May) of 2020 was 93.
  • Of the 93 deaths in South Ayrshire, 45 occurred in care homes, 43 happened in hospital and 5 occurred in home or non-institutional setting.

Shielding

South Ayrshire now has 4527 individuals who are Shielding in South Ayrshire. Because of the long term nature of their self-isolation, work is now being developed regarding on both supporting their mental/emotional and physical health. Work continues to support them in practical ways – for example food and medication. As the initial shielding period becomes more imminent (18th June) there is more planning both nationally and locally, to look at supports for this group in the medium/longer term.

Resources for South Ayrshire Families

South Ayrshire Council continue to provide food boxes to families with children receiving free school meals. If services would like any other resources distributed to families along with their food boxes, please contact Linda Warwick on 01292 559403 or Linda.Warwick@south-ayrshire.gov.uk.

South Ayrshire Speech and Language Therapy Service (attached)

From Monday 25th May, the Speech and Language Therapy service will stop running on a pan-Ayrshire basis and resume as a South Ayrshire only service.. If you are concerned about speech, language or swallowing difficulties, call 07970 657 681 Monday to Fridaybetween 10am and 2pm.

Foster Care Fortnight

During these unsettling and challenging times, dedicated foster carers are making a difference to children’s lives across South Ayrshire. We’re supporting Foster Care Fortnight (11 to 24 May), an annual campaign which raises the profile of fostering. We are actively encouraging people to consider how they might be able to help a child and you can find more about foster care; adoption; supported care placements and shared care here. There will also be a radio campaign seeking to recruit more foster carers across South Ayrshire, so there are a range of ways to find out more, if you or any one in your family or social groups are interested.

Learning Disability Week

This week we have been celebrating Scottish Learning Disability Week 2020 (18 – 24 May).  The theme for 2020 is ‘My Environment – my place, my planet.’

Scottish Learning Disability Week 2020 is an opportunity to share the stories of people with learning disabilities getting involved to help make positive change in their environment – whether it be in their own home and community, or in the wider world.

The team in the Learning Disability Service have been full on organising a whole range of activities and events. So far, they have:

Organised an Art Colouring competition currently running with over 70 entrants.

o   Planted up 2 shrubs and 3 planted patio containers which were hand delivered to Girvan Core and Cluster.

o   Planted up 2 patio containers which were hand delivered to Ardfin Court (Turning Point).

o   Planted up 2  patio containers  which were hand delivered to Margaret Blackwood Housing.

o   Hand delivered 10 recycled water bottles to service users with “a message in a bottle”.

o   Hand delivered 36 bunches of flowers to carers between yesterday and today.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week has also been Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 (18 – 24 May).

This year’s theme is ‘Kindness Matters’. In these difficult times, it’s never been more important that we are kind to ourselves and support our family and friends with their mental health.

Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference.  We know from the research that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. The research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships. Kindness to ourselves can prevent shame from corroding our sense of identity and help boost our self-esteem. Kindness can even improve feelings of confidence and optimism.

To view the Kindness Matters video, please click here.

Patients and service users of mental health services, provided by South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, have been reflecting on the current lockdown and have reported positively on the continuity of contact from services, reassurance that other people feel similar regarding the current situation and some feel that their personal resilience is stronger than they thought.

Other positives highlighted are neighbours/communities helping each other out and looking out for one another and families are reconnecting via video calls and people enjoying family time together. A service user stated that she now has more contact with her family than ever before.  They are engaging in a video call each week with her son hosting a quiz. 

The NHS Ayrshire and Arran App has lots of information on mental wellbeing. Please see attached poster for information on how to download the app.

Samaritans Scotland is encouraging everyone to be kind to themselves with their new, free self-help app. The app is full of simple techniques and activities which can help you feel better. Find more information here.

Young Scot’s ‘Aye Feel’ campaign gives information on how young people can look after their own wellbeing, available support from organisations and tips on how to promote a positive mindset. Find more information here.

Penumbra, one of Scotland’s leading mental health charities has produced a useful information pack for young people on responding to change and managing wellbeing during COVID-19.


Date  21/May/2020

Status  For immediate release

South Ayrshire Council Household Waste Recycling Centres Set to Re-open

Our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) will re-open on Monday 1 June at 8:00 am.

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready for the much anticipated re-opening of our HWRCs.

In addition to our HWRCs at Ayr, Girvan, Maybole and Troon, we will also set up two pop-up sites in Ayr and Girvan for general/black bag waste.  Information about their locations and operating hours will be made available on our website.

We know that many residents will be eager to access the sites, so we expect that they will be extremely busy in the first few weeks of re-opening.  No trailers, vans or horse boxes will therefore be permitted within any site before Monday 15th June.

Our priority is to keep our employees and residents safe while accessing our HWRCs, so to help us to do this we ask that residents:

  • Do not go to any of the sites if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19, or is ‘shielding’ because of an underlying health condition;
  • Bring proof that you live in South Ayrshire in the form of a driving licence, or a council tax bill. If you don’t then disposal of waste may be refused;
  • Adhere to the site rules. Make sure only one person steps outside your vehicle to unload it, and adhere to social distancing within the site;
  • Only come along to the sites in the first few days of opening if it’s absolutely necessary. We have extended opening hours on our sites from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, so please try to avoid peak times. If your visit to the HWRC can wait a bit longer, then please hold off;
  • Don’t bring items that are too big or heavy to handle yourself, as our site attendants will be unable to help you unload your car and dispose of your waste;
  • Sort your waste before you arrive to minimise the time you need to spend on the site;
  • Follow the temporary traffic management and queuing systems which are in place at all sites as there will be a reduced number of vehicles allowed into any site at any one time. Plans for each HWRC will be made available soon on our website;Allow extra time for your trip – it’s likely that there will be traffic delays at, and around each site;
  • Do not touch your face, and bring sanitiser if you can, to clean your hands before you drive away;
  • Be courteous and patient with our staff who are there to help you.

Councillor Ian Cochrane, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, said:  “I understand that many local residents will be keen to dispose of their waste.  While it’s great news that the national guidance has changed to allow us to re-open our Household Waste Recycling Centres, I’d urge people not to overwhelm the service in the first few days of opening.

“We know that when these centres opened in England, there was traffic congestion and delays, so please only visit the centres if it’s absolutely essential.

“I’m very proud of the work our Waste Management team in South Ayrshire have done to make sure the sites are ready to re-open safely on 1 June, particularly the additional effort that has gone into developing the temporary pop-up sites.

“It’s still not business as usual, and restrictions apply in all of our centres to keep the public and our employees safe, so I’d urge residents to work with us as we resume this service. The ongoing patience and support of the public is much appreciated as we begin to come through to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

For the latest updates on our services visit https://beta.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Reopening of Golf Courses

The First Minister confirmed today that golf will be able to return within a few days of the easing of lockdown restrictions on the 28th May. We have already put in considerable work to plan for reopening in anticipation of a change to current restrictions. We are awaiting further details from Scottish Golf and Sport Scotland as to what measures have been agreed with the Scottish Government to allow golf courses to reopen for play as we must ensure that our draft plans comply with these. We are informing golfers of the situation through social media and our links with clubs. We will provide further updates as soon as we receive clarification on the national guidance.

Schools 

The First Minister announced today that schools will reopen from 11 August using a blended model (part school based and part online learning). The Depute First Minister and Cllr McCabe of COSLA have also published specific guidance for schools today.  Central teams and head teachers will now develop plans for a phased return consistent with the guidance to ensure we open safely and in line with Covid guidance. Teaching staff continue to support pupils using online and digital learning. We will discuss proposals for schools with Elected Members where there is an element of local authority decision making.  Further information will be made available as we work through the advice published today.

Early Learning and Childcare

The First Minister announced today that  Early Years Centres will reopen from August. The Scottish Government has removed the duty to increase the number of free early learning and childcare hours from 600 to 1140 as a result of the Covid pandemic.

This reduction in free allocation, along with the public health guidance and physical distancing measures we must put in place, means that fewer children will be able to attend each Early Years Centre and hours and sessions available may change.

As always, the safety and wellbeing of children, parents, carers and staff is our absolute priority.

We will contact eligible families over the next week to confirm the offer of an early learning place. Once restrictions are lifted, these families will be able to benefit from their full allocation of the additional hours.


19/05/2020

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Shielding Residents

We have now contacted all 4409 residents on the shielding list by phone, email or letter. Of these, we have spoken to 3813 residents and completed initial checks with them to establish and coordinate the help they need. We issued letters last week to the 596 people for whom we have no phone number or who have not responded to our calls asking that they get in touch with us. To ensure the wellbeing of people who have not responded to our letters or calls, our 19 employee volunteer pharmacy drivers will call at each address from today to offer any help or support.

Deterring Unwanted Callers

Our Trading Standards and Environmental Health (TSEH) Team have received reports of residents receiving unwanted doorstep calls and leaflets from people offering a range of services. Residents, particularly those who are self-isolating, are concerned this may put them at an increased risk and that some of the services on offer may be scams. We have therefore produced a door sticker which can be used to deter unwanted callers and mailers. Residents can request a free doorstep warning sticker via the Covid helpline (01292 616101) or by downloading one from our website.

Lockdown Lowdown Survey

The Scottish Youth Parliament, YouthLink Scotland and Young Scot partnered recently to deliver LockdownLowdown – a survey of nearly 2,500 young people from across Scotland on their concerns about COVID-19. Key findings have  been published, outlining what young people are worried about and the impact that COVID-19 is having on their lives. Young people can continue to submit any concerns  through a weekly check-in on social media on @YoungScot’s Instagram stories. You can find out more and view the survey findings  here-https://syp.org.uk/our-work/political-work/covid-19/ or   on Twitter using the hashtag #LockdownLowdown.

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Connecting Scotland – Widening Digital Access To Young People

As part of the national Connecting Scotland strategy, we are working to reduce digital exclusion and widen access to online learning for local young people. Education Services and ICT staff have worked in partnership with schools to identify children and young people in South Ayrshire with limited or no access to ICT equipment or broadband.

We have identified 6 pilot schools – Girvan Academy, Sacred Heart Primary School (PS), St Cuthbert’s PS, Newton PS, Tarbolton PS and Dailly PS. We  are repurposing devices from existing school equipment and the ICT team have worked to make sure that all devices can be used safely and appropriately outwith the school environment. We are issuing approximately 50 laptops or tablets to young people who need them in this first, pilot phase.  In some cases we are also providing dongles to make internet access available to young people at home.

It is our intention to continue to roll out this approach, working with schools across South Ayrshire and the Scottish Government to provide further devices.

Support For Local Businesses

The Economy and Regeneration Team launched the seventh issue of their e-magazine Business Beat. This issue focusses on support for tourism related businesses  and can be accessed here.​

SAHSCP COVID-19 BRIEFING – 15 May 2020

South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership will issue a weekly briefing to provide information on the planning and preparation for COVID-19.

Confirmed Cases

The Scottish Government publishes an updated picture of cases and testing at 2pmeach day. For more information, please click on the link to the Scottish Government website: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

The National Records of Scotland have published figures of all deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate by the doctor who certified the death. This includes cases where the doctor noted that there was suspected or probable coronavirus infection involved in the death. For more information, please visit the National Records of Scotland website: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats

Scotland figures

  • As at 10th May, there have been a total of 3,213 deaths registered in Scotland where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The first mention of COVID-19 in a registered death certificate was the week beginning 16th March 2020.
  • Of the total number of deaths registered in week 19 (4 May to 10 May), there were 415 where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, a decrease of 110 from the previous week (27 April to 3 May). This is the second weekly reduction in a row.
  • From 4 May to 10 May, three quarters (76%) of all deaths involving COVID-19 to date were of people aged 75 or over.
  • The proportion of COVID-19 deaths which took place in care homes has risen over time but has dropped back slightly in the latest week to represent 57% of all COVID-19 deaths.

Ayrshire and Arran

  • The number of COVID-19 deaths registered between weeks 1 and 19 (year to 10 May) of 2020 in Ayrshire and Arran was 220.
  • Of the 220 deaths in Ayrshire and Arran, 103 occurred in hospital, 98 happened in care homes and 19 occurred at home or non-institutional setting.
  • Overall, the rate of COVID-19 deaths in Ayrshire and Arran was 6.0 per 10,000 population.

South Ayrshire

  • The provisional figures on deaths registered where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate in South Ayrshire between weeks 1 and 19 (year to 10 May) of 2020 was 84.
  • Of the 84 deaths in South Ayrshire, 41 occurred in care homes, 38 happened in hospital and 5 occurred in home or non-institutional setting.

Shielding

South Ayrshire now has 4438 patients identified in the Shielding category – many of them requesting assistance for food and medicine supplies. GP Practices have contacted patients and, in most cases, an updated Anticipatory Care Plan (Key Information Summary) has been put in place.

The Partnership is working closely with colleagues in South Ayrshire Council, Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA) and local community projects to provide support.

Joint Letter to Care Home Staff in Scotland

A letter has been issued to all care home staff in Scotland from Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, and Scottish Care CEO, Donald Macaskill, and can be accessed here

Public Health Response to Care Home Admissions

This is a Public Health response to a query received from SA HSCP/Care Homes regarding admission of residents to care homes with an ongoing COVID 19 outbreak.

“In general, we would not recommend admission of a person from their own home to a care home while a COVID-19 outbreak is ongoing. Also, we would not recommend the transfer of a resident from one care home to another if either the discharging or receiving care home has an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. However, there may be certain circumstances in which we might support admission/transfer – for example if there is a section of the receiving care home that is physically clearly separate from other sections containing residents with COVID-19 and with separate staffing arrangements.  Also, repatriation of a care home resident to a care home from hospital. It would be helpful if SA HSCP and care home managers could contact us in Public Health in order to risk assess any proposed admissions to a care home with an ongoing COVID 19 situation.”

Supporting our Unpaid Carers (attached)

South Ayrshire Carers Centre is working hard to support unpaid carers, in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As well as providing practical and emotional support, the Centre has produced a letter which can be used as identification, for example, as carers pick up prescriptions, or get shopping for the vulnerable.

All unpaid carers currently registered with South Ayrshire Carers Centre will be issued with the letter in the next two weeks. The letter identifies the owner of the letter as someone who is caring for the vulnerable.

Kayleigh Hamilton, manager (South Ayrshire Carers Centre) said: “In the current lockdown situation we are acutely aware that many carers are worried they may be challenged if they have to travel to carry out their caring role. We hope this letter will give carers peace of mind when they are out in the community due to their caring commitments. The Carers Centre has liaised with Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA) to raise awareness of this initiative with local retailers and supermarkets. South Ayrshire Council and South Ayrshire Health and Social Care partners have also been in contact with the South Ayrshire Division of Police Scotland so their officers are also aware of the scheme.”

If you are or know an unpaid carer and not currently registered with South Ayrshire Carers Centre and feel this letter would be of benefit, please contact the Carers Centre on 01292 263000, email or via Facebook www.Facebook.com/SouthAyrshireCarersCentre

The Partnership has also developed a Supporting Unpaid Carers during Coronavirusdocument (attached) which can also be shared. This is a working document which will continue to be developed and updated during the COVID-19 pandemic

Testing for Unpaid Carers

Unpaid carers and young carers have been included in the priority groups of key workers who are able to access testing for coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you are a carer or young carer, you can find further information on eligibility and access to testing here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/

Guidance for Households with Possible Coronavirus Infection

It’s very important that you stay at home if you have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) or you live with someone that has symptoms. Household isolation will help to control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community and the most vulnerable.

Household isolation means you and all household members should remain at home and shouldn’t go to work, school, public areas or use public transport. You shouldn’t go out to buy food or other essentials.

Avoid close contact with others by:

  • not having visitors
  • not using taxis or public transport
  • asking a friend or neighbour to get your shopping or arranging for a delivery to be left at your door
  • not sharing towels, clothes, toothbrushes or razors

The 14-day period starts from the day the first person in your house became ill.

For detailed information and advice please go to the NHS Inform website


Self-Isolating Warning Sticker

South Ayrshire Council Trading Standards designed a door sticker to prevent people receiving unwanted mail. The sticker also provides useful contact numbers people on the inside whilst relaying the message that no unwanted mail or cold callers are welcome on the outside. These stickers are currently being printed and will be distributed soon. They are being sent to those living in South Ayrshire who are on the shielding list and will also be distributed by the communities team and by VASA.

To request a sticker, please call Trading Standards on 01292 616101. It would be very much appreciated if you could share that these stickers are available and encourage your service users to request these direct at the number above or you can request these on their behalf. If you would benefit from a small supply to distribute yourself then please contact Samantha.McCluskey@south-ayrshire.gov.uk.

Mental Welfare Commission Advice

The MWC has published new advice on the coronavirus situation for people who use mental health, learning disability and dementia services and for their family or carers. Please click here to access the latest information.

Healthcare for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

NHS Inform has published guidance to make it clear that everyone, no matter their immigration status, has free access to COVID-19 treatment. Click here for more information.

The Scottish Refugee Council have updated the health and support section of their website, with information about food, helplines and using technology in various languages. Click here for more information.

Child Contact and Coronavirus: Answers to Common Questions

The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre has published information and answers to frequently asked questions around child contact between parents. Please click here for more information.

Parent Club

Parent Club provides information for parents and expectant parents on a variety of topics including looking after yourself and your family, learning at home and feeding your family. Click here for more information.

New Click Helpline for Women who Sell/Exchange Sex

The CliCK service has launched a new helpline for women who sell/exchange sex or images online to get in touch with a CLiCK women’s worker.

The helpline number is 0300 124 5564 and is available during the following times:

For more information on the CLiCK service, visit https://www.click.scot/

Be Aware of Scams

There has been reports of fraudsters posing as charity volunteers offering to help with shopping, offering fake virus testing or claiming to be raising funds for charity. If you have any concerns, contact 0300 123 0900 and ask for Trading Standards and Environmental Health.

Lives in Lockdown: Parents’ Accounts

 Parenting Across Scotland (PAS) is asking parents and carers to share their experiences of life in lockdown. Their aim is to share parents’ views with the Scottish Government to give parents and carers the best support possible during the pandemic. If you, or any parent or carer, that you know would like to share their story, please email Alison Clancy or complete the online form.

Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice Seeking Young People’s Views

 

The Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ) is looking for young people over 18 years old who are in contact with youth justice services or have previous experience of the youth justice system to share their views and experiences of COVID-19 and lockdown. For more information, please click here or call 0141 444 8622.

Stay Connected Funding

Due to the incredible response the closing date of the STAY CONNECTED fund is now  WEDNESDAY 20th MAY 5pm.

Champions for Change South Ayrshire Champions Board have launched our Stay Connected Fund. This fund is designed to support young people with care experience, aged between 14-26, with the impact  of Covid-19 and the social changes that come with it. Young people can apply for up to £250 which will help them to:

  • Cope with social distancing or isolation
  • Improve or maintain their physical wellbeing
  • Improve or maintain their mental wellbeing
  • Help stay positive with creative outputs or activities

For easy access to the application form please follow the link below and scroll to the top of the page: https://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/grants/#grantsource

The Champions Board have specifically ring-fenced some of this funding to invite young people to apply for £240.00 which will cover one year’s worth of mobile phone data. This is a great deal and would encourage young people to take up this offer to help them stay connected.

If you or a young person have any questions about the Stay Connected Fund, please email

Dawn.parker@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  Tel: 01655 884882 or Marion.Young@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  Tel: 01292 612626

Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Booklet

 

Neighbourhood Watch Scotland have produced a booklet packed with practical tips on how to keep you, your family and your community safe, including protection from scams, doorstep crime and rogue traders.

Please share with family, friends, neighbours and community groups.


Website: Changes to South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership Services

Twitter: Follow us on @SAHSCP

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sahscp

14/5/2020 Latest update from SACouncil.

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Shielding

We received a list of 164 new names yesterday, bringing the total number of residents on the shielding list to 4442.

Covid Testing

Residents who meet the eligibility criteria can access Covid testing at Prestwick Airport. The service currently has capacity and residents can check if they qualify and book a test at the following link:https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test

Private Water Supply User Assistance

As a consequence of the very low rainfall we have experienced recently, Environmental Health have been contacted by two private water supply (PWS) users requesting assistance with an emergency supply. We have contacted the Scottish Government and Scottish Water who have supplied emergency supplies of bottled water so we can assist those PWS users who are uffering a scarcity of supply. We have also advised SEPA of these requests for their records. South Ayrshire residents with PWS supply issues should contact Environmental Health for advice and assistance by calling 0300 123 0900.

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)

As detailed in previous Briefings, Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) across Scotland are currently closed in line with national guidance in response to the Covd-19 pandemic. As it stands, travelling to a recycling centre to dispose of excess household waste is not classified as an essential journey and would therefore be open to challenge by Police Scotland.

We cannot re-open centres until these guidelines are changed. Councils in Scotland are working together through the Waste Managers’ Network, CoSLA, SOLACE, SEPA, Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government to develop a Scotland wide approach to the re-opening of HWRCs. A recent State of Readiness survey across all councils in Scotland suggests that councils would require on average 2-3 weeks to re-open after any change to national guidelines is made. In anticipation of this, in recent weeks we have been working on our own plans and are close to finalising arrangements for each site in South Ayrshire. Given the work already undertaken by the service, we would expect to be in a position to re-open HWRCs within a week to ten days of the guidelines being altered.

Unlike many other authorities, we are continuing to provide a full household collection service, other than special uplifts, and this should mitigate to some degree the impact when centres re-open. We do, however, anticipate that many residents will want to take their excess waste to a centre in the days immediately following re-opening, resulting in queues. We are therefore considering the use of temporary sites in key locations to alleviate pressure during the first two weeks of opening. We have engaged with an external Traffic Management organisation to draw up plans for each centre and have begun discussions with local Police to analyse and organise likely additional support requirements.

We are also developing a communications plan to try to prevent congestion at sites. We will provide further updates when any change in national guidance is announced.

Supporting Unpaid Carers

South Ayrshire Carers Centre is supporting unpaid carers to cope with the (COVID-19) pandemic. As well as providing practical and emotional support, the Centre has produced a letter which carers  can  use as identification when they are accessing  goods and services for those they care for e.g. collecting prescriptions or shopping. All unpaid carers currently registered with South Ayrshire Carers Centre will be issued with the letter over the next two weeks. Carers can find out more by contacting the Carers Centre on 01292 263000, at https://www.facebook.com/SouthAyrshireCarersCentre or by email.

Support For Local Businesses

The Economy and Regeneration Team launched the sixth issue of their e-magazine Business Beat. This issue focusses on funding your business during the pandemic.

Communication

In addition to the regular information and updates which we provide in a range of ways, we are focusing each week on how the council has made a difference to people during the pandemic. This week we are covering some of the key achievements to date. This will be communicated in a number of ways including through a press release and social media.


A new resource has been published to support community organisations to carry out their vital work safely during the Covid-19 outbreak.

www.scdc.org.uk/news/article/2020/5/15/supporting-communities-safely-advice-for-community-groups-organisations-and-volunteer-networks

A direct link to the resource is available here:

https://www.scdc.org.uk/supporting-communities-safely

The resource is designed to be interactive and they will seek to respond to questions and observations from users and update where appropriate.

12/5/2020 South Ayrshire Update

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Business Support Grants

We have received 1785 applications for Business Support Grants and, of these, we have processed and paid 1299. We aim to process and pay all applications within 10 working days, however this is not possible where applicants have not provided all the information required. In many of the applications which are outstanding, applicants have not registered as
ratepayers, which is a requirement to be eligible for the Grant. We are actively contacting customers where we need more information and have issued communications
on our website and through social media to explain the situation and to reiterate information on how to register as a ratepayer. We are advising customers that we will contact them if we need more information.

We went live with Phase 2 of the Business Support Grant (Multiple Applications for Same Ratepayer) on Thursday 7 May.

Foster Care Fortnight

We are promoting Foster Care Fortnight, highlighting the ways in which dedicated carers  can make a difference to children’s lives in South Ayrshire. We are actively encouraging people to consider how they might be able to help a child by getting involved in oster Care Fortnight #changeafuture. More information about foster care; adoption; supported care placements; and shared care can be found on our website at: www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/icare/

Communication

The VE Day coverage across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram was extremely popular, reaching a total of 69,405 people and generating 4,265 engagements.

11/5/20 SA Health and Social Care Partnership

Confirmed Cases

The Scottish Government publishes an updated picture of cases and testing at 2pm each day. For more information, please click on the link to the Scottish Government website: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

The National Records of Scotland have published figures of all deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate by the doctor who certified the death. This includes cases where the doctor noted that there was suspected or probable coronavirus infection involved in the death. For more information, please visit the National Records of Scotland website: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats

Updates from Scottish Government

·         Emergency loan fund for SME housebuilders (07 May 2020)

·         Getting people online (07 May 2020)

·         £75 million boost for Scottish university research (06 May 2020)

·         Extra payment for unpaid carers (06 May 2020)

·         Preparing for economic recovery (05 May 2020)

·        Aid for private rental landlords (05 May 2020)

·         Looking after each other during COVID-19 (04 May 2020)

·         Short-term prisoner release (04 May 2020)

·         Supporting mental health (03 May 2020)

·         Supporting people affected by drug use (03 May 2020)

·         Support for autistic people (03 May 2020)

·         Testing expansion (01 May 2020)

·         Pupil Equity Funding (01 May 2020)


Shielding

South Ayrshire now has 4278 patients identified in the Shielding category –  many of them requesting assistance for food and medicine supplies. GP Practices have contacted patients and, in most cases, an updated Anticipatory Care Plan (Key Information Summary) has been put in place.

The Partnership is working closely with colleagues in South Ayrshire Council, Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA) and local community projects to provide support.

VE Day Celebrations (attached)

Nursery Court Day Service

Nursery Court Day Service had organised VE Day afternoon tea parties this week for service users, however, due to the current circumstances these have been cancelled. So staff have been delivering a VE Day gift to every service user which consists of a commemorative coin and tribute certificate (see attached). Service users are delighted to receive these and some have been recalling stories of tea parties in their street on 8th May 1945. Service users from Nursery Court Day Service also took part in a very moving tribute of ‘We’ll Meet Again’. To watch the video, please click here.

Scotland’s Service Directory

NHS Inform has developed Scotland’s Service Directory where you can find the names, addresses, opening times and service details for all NHS health services in your local area. The SSD will expand to include all health and wellbeing services within Health and Social Care Partnerships.


Stay Connected Funding

Champions for Change South Ayrshire Champions Board has launched a Stay Connected Fund. This fund is designed to support young people with care experience, aged between 14-26, with the impact of Covid-19 and the social changes that come with it. Young people can apply for up to £250 which will help them to:

·         Cope with social distancing or isolation

·         Improve or maintain their physical wellbeing

·         Improve or maintain their mental wellbeing

·         Help stay positive with creative outputs or activities

Applications will be screened weekly.

The Champions Board has specifically ring-fenced some of this funding to invite young people to apply for £240.00 which will cover one year’s worth of mobile phone data. We think this is a great deal and would encourage young people to take up this offer to help them stay connected.

If you or a young person have any questions about the Stay Connected Fund, please email

Dawn.parker@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  Tel: 01655 884882 or Marion.Young@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  Tel: 01292 612626

For easy access to the application form please follow the link below and scroll to the top of the page

https://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/grants/#grantsource


GP and Community Pharmacy Opening Hours on Public Holiday

All GP Practices will be open, providing normal contracted hours, on the public holiday. Please find details here https://www.nhsaaa.net/news/latest-news/pharmacies-open-in-south-ayrshire-this-bank-holiday/

Voices from Individuals and Community Organisations

Policy Scotland is supporting the pooling of expertise and knowledge to understand the implications of the sudden economic and social changes resulting from COVID-19. Policy Scotland has published an Evidence Round-Up : Voices from individuals and community organisations which highlights the impact of COVID-19 at a local level.

Supporting our Unpaid Carers

South Ayrshire Carers Centre is working hard to support unpaid carers, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well as providing practical and emotional support, the Centre has produced a letter which can be used as identification, for example, as carers pick up prescriptions, or get shopping for the vulnerable.

All unpaid carers currently registered with South Ayrshire Carers Centre will be issued with the letter in the next two weeks. The letter identifies the owner of the letter as someone who is caring for the vulnerable.

Kayleigh Hamilton, South Ayrshire Carers Centre manager said: “In the current lockdown situation we are acutely aware that many carers are worried they may be challenged if they have to travel to carry out their caring role. We hope this letter will give carers peace of mind when they are out in the community due to their caring commitments

The Carers Centre has liaised with Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA) to raise awareness of this initiative with local retailers and supermarkets.”

South Ayrshire Council and South Ayrshire Health and Social Care partners have also been in contact with the South Ayrshire Division of Police Scotland so their officers are also aware of the scheme.”

If you are an unpaid carer not currently registered with South Ayrshire Carers Centre and feel this letter would be of benefit, please contact the Carers Centre on 01292 263000, email or via Facebook www.Facebook.com/SouthAyrshireCarersCentre

Clear Your Head and Feel Better

A campaign is underway to help people cope during the coronavirus pandemic. ‘Clear Your Head’ highlights the practical things people can do to help them feel better whilst staying at home, acknowledging these are worrying and uncertain times for many.

The campaign website – clearyourhead.scot – offers tips on how people can look after themselves if they feel things getting on top of them. This includes things like keeping to a routine, staying active within the current guidelines, making time to do the things you enjoy, and keeping in touch with people. The website also points to sources of advice including NHS Inform, and helplines including NHS24, Breathing Space, SAMH and the Samaritans – encouraging people to reach out if they need help.

 

Human Trafficking and Exploitation – Message from Police Scotland

Across the world many countries are in the midst of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this circulation is to work together to protect and safeguard the vulnerable and those most at risk of human trafficking and exploitation.

Police Scotland National Human Trafficking Unit continue their ongoing engagement with key partners to ensure we are actively looking for and responding effectively to any incident or report of Human Trafficking or exploitation. We recognise that communities can provide valuable information which can assist us in this regard.

With restrictions on movement and activity being in place, we recognise that there are fewer opportunities for potential victims of human trafficking to be reported to the Police and partner agencies. This raises concerns about reaching out to those who are most vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.

The current situation will see the demand increasing for the hiring of labour in the retail, delivery, food production and agricultural sector. We are asking our communities to be vigilant to the possibility that people are being exploited and to help us tackle it.

People may see an increase in the following:

·         groups of people waiting to be collected for work or dropped off where this was not previously apparent;

·         houses of multiple occupancy where potential victims may be living; or

·         sudden increase in homelessness.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Communities will be aware of what goes on within their own areas. We would actively encourage any changes which raise suspicions or concerns to be reported.  These reports can be reported anonymously to the following numbers:

·         Police Scotland – 101

·         Modern Slavery Helpline – 0800 121 700www.modernslaveryhelpline.org

·         Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111www.crimstoppers-uk.org

The information provided will assist the Police and partner agencies in identifying potential victims of exploitation and ensure that the most vulnerable are protected.

For more information, click the following links:

·         Modern slavery and COVID-19: What to look out for and how to get help – Information from the Home Office

·         Modern slavery and COVID-19: Information from NHS England

 

 

Information for People with Dementia, their Carers and Families

Alzheimer’s Scotland has created a suite of information resources for people with dementia, their carers and families throughout the coronavirus pandemic. This includes information on activities, support for families and what to do if you have to go into hospital during this time. This is being updated on a regular basis as the situation progresses, so please check back to see the most up-to-date information. For more information, please click the following link: https://www.alzscot.org/information-during-coronavirus?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Website: Changes to South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership Services

Twitter: Follow us on @SAHSCP

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sahscp


Latest SAC update

Delivery of Critical Services

We continue to provide critical services and these are currently operating without issue.

Covid Shielding

We received a list of 233 new names from the NHS this week. This takes the total number of shielding clients in South Ayrshire to 4278. We have completed initial contact with 71% of these.

Testing – Key Workers

Key workers can access testing where they are absent from work because of Coronavirus symptoms, or are self-isolating because a member of their household has symptoms. We have a process in place to ensure that council key workers can access the NHS Ayrshire and Arran testing facility at Crosshouse Hospital. Home tests are also available to key workers who are
unable to travel to appointments at Crosshouse. Where the NHS Ayrshire and Arran testing process is at capacity, we will refer key workers to the UK Government Testing Programme at the Glasgow Airport Testing Centre.

Grounds Maintenance

A number of employees in the Grounds Maintenance team have recently returned to work following Covid related absence and we are now in a position to increase service provision, including grass cutting and summer bedding. We will do this in a planned way, taking an area by area approach.  This means we may focus on a particular area or neighbourhood  over a
number of days or weeks,  before moving on to the next. It should be noted that some grassy areas will require several cuts, with the length of the grass being reduced in stages. This service will begin from Monday 11 May in the following locations:

  • Carrick:
    Girvan, Maybole then working out to villages;
  • Kyle: The
    villages followed by Prestwick and Troon;
  • Ayr:
    Heathfield followed by South Ayr.

Communication

We continue to post information and updates through the local media, in hard copy, on a range of social media channels such as South Ayrshire Council Live Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on our website.​