Scottish Government Blogs

August 28, 2015
by Ruth Allen
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Study on the scientific basis for regulating deep-sea fishing by depth published

A new study paper entitled “A scientific basis for regulating deep-sea fishing by depth” has been published. The study, which draws upon deepwater trawl survey data collected mainly by Marine Scotland Science over the past 15 years, was undertaken by Glasgow University and Marine Scotland Science.

The European Parliament has been debating how to manage its deepwater fisheries in a more sustainable way.

One proposal has been to prohibit bottom trawling at depths greater than 600 m. To date, however, there has been little evidence to support this.  The results of this new study, that is based on scientific trawl survey data, show that at depths between 600-800m the commercial value per standardised trawl falls while the number of species impacted and the proportion of catch that is discarded (notably deep-sea sharks) increases. Trawling deeper than 600 m is thus less rewarding and results in increasing impact on the environment. Thus there is now a stronger scientific case for limiting bottom trawling to depths shallower than 600-800m.

Marine Scotland is currently carrying out further analysis on the impact of various depth-related restrictions which, along with the findings of this report, will help us build on our policy position.

More Information


August 28, 2015
by Linda White
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Strengthening the Links Event


‘Strengthening the Links’ is a series of collaborative events that form a key part of the continuous learning and networking process about workforce issues arising as a result of the integration of health and social care.

The fourth event in the series, run by the  Scottish Government Health Workforce Directorate,  will be held on 29 October in Edinburgh.

The overall purpose of the event is:

  • To share valuable learning and experience both within and across sectors.
  • To facilitate peer support and networking around common workforce challenges and opportunities.

The event brings together those responsible for strategic human resources across health and social care, including representatives from the third and independent sectors and staff side partners – recognising that stakeholders need to be involved in discussions to enable the delivery of effective integrated services.

Building on from previous events, October’s theme is Progress Towards Integration, offering attendees opportunities for interactive discussion and reflection around the practical aspects of integration with opportunities to learn from, and network with, others.

The programme includes a mix of presentations, workshops and interactive discussions with:

  • Perspectives on how we are moving from policy to reality
  • Opportunities to hear from those who have been there and done it
  • Reflections from frontline staff on how it feels for them

To register for a place, contact 0131 244 2029  or  0131 244 5079, both in  the Scottish Government Health Workforce Directorate

August 28, 2015
by Linda White
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National Conversation – Creating a Healthier Scotland: What Matters to You?

From August 2015 to April 2016 the Scottish Government is holding a national conversation on health and social care services in Scotland.  The conversation is seeking views on what a healthier Scotland should look like in the next 10-15 years from now and how people in Scotland can be supported to be as healthy as they can be.

To help get the conversation started three broad questions have been issued:

  •  What support do we need in Scotland to live healthier lives?
  •  What areas of health and social care matter most to you?
  •  Thinking about the future of health and social care services, where should our focus be?

Take part in the conversation

A facilitation pack is now available to help you host local conversations. This material is designed to give you a bit more background on the current situation in Scotland, where there have been successes and some of the long term challenges we face.

There are three parts to the facilitation pack:

  • The discussion leaflet – this sets out what the current situation in Scotland is, highlighting the need to change health and social care services and the way they are delivered. We have included some broad questions as a starting point to help you get a conversation started.
  • Background information slides – these provide a range of information on different aspects of health and social care. The slides could be used for a presentation at the start of a discussion or simply to provide background information to people in your group if they want to know more about a specific issue.
  • What matters to you?’ items - these include a flyer summarising the purpose of the national conversation which you can download to use in publicising any discussions you plan to have.

 Join in the discussions online at:

Twitter:          @scotgovhealth #healthierscotland

Facebook:      /




August 28, 2015
by Linda White
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Chief Officers Spotlight: Ron Culley, Western Isles


To my mind, the integration of health and social care is centrally focused on answering two important questions. First, how do we use optimally the resources delegated to the Integration Joint Board? Second, what does the delivery of good and effective integrated care and support look like? The former is at the heart of the strategic commissioning process while the latter connects to organisational change and the operational cohesion of the partnership. Both questions demand a complex response.

These are the two questions I’ve been asking people in the first six weeks of taking up post. A friend advised me to get out as much as possible during the early days, to resist the temptation of being drawn into a perpetual cycle of committee meetings. So during that time I’ve travelled from the butt of Lewis – the most North Western point of the British Isles – to the island of Barra 160 miles to the south, and everywhere else in between. I’ve asked those questions to almost everyone I’ve met: third sector representatives, carers, GPs, nurses, AHPs, home care and care home staff, politicians, middle managers and members of the public. It is unsurprising that I’ve had a multitude of views expressed in response.

But there a few themes in common that have emerged: the need to create the conditions of effective inter-disciplinary working, stripped of organisational politics; the need for empowered localities that provide a stronger connection between how resources are used and the needs of the community; the need to redesign our system of care to sustain the independence of the people who use our services.

I’m particularly interested in the potential of locality planning. We need to take advantage of the strong communities which breathe life into our locality arrangements. Our localities may be small in population terms, but they have a strong sense of identity and have a thirst for decision making to be brought closer to them. It may seem unwise in the face of a sustained period of austerity to push power and resources away from the traditional of centres of power – some would argue it’s a sure way to lose control. But as long as accountability is passed along with the delegated resources, then I think we can achieve greater efficiency and better outcomes.

So six weeks in, I’m optimistic that we can overcome the challenges we have by engaging with staff and communities, by prioritising, by innovating, by using the data, by taking calculated risks. Above all, by integrating our care.

Le dùrachd

August 27, 2015
by Linda White
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People Connect

As we move towards the integration of health and social care, how we communicate across sectors is vitally important. Connecting, sharing best practice, and learning from each other’s experiences will help us to understand the needs of those who use health and social care services.

People Connect, an online social directory is now available to help staff working in health and social care to connect with each other. With over 1000 people already signed-up, this social directory, similar to “LinkedIn”, supports person to person knowledge sharing and lets you connect with colleagues in other health and social care organisations who are working to achieve the same outcomes. You can also work together to address common issues by setting up a community of practice and share your achievements, stories and resources.

“I use People Connect to connect with staff from different sectors across Scotland. People Connect has enable me to host some great conversations, share best practice and support innovation. The connections I have made on People Connect have been key to bringing about service improvements and enhanced working relationships.”

Carol from Knowledge Services

It takes less than 10 minutes to set up your profile so follow the steps below to get connected.

Getting Started

1. Visit

2. Enter your NHS Scotland Athens username, all staff in health and social services are eligible to apply for a free username (to request one please visit the knowledge network)

3. Develop your profile – bearing in mind that the more information you enter the better the connections you will make.

4. Add links to Twitter or LinkedIn if you have a profile.

5. Go to Connect to search for people using a topic or name OR browse the tags.

6. Use the filters on left to narrow your results.

7. Email one or more individuals with your question or discussion topic, alternatively join a relevant community of practice

8. Tweet about People Connect using #pplconnect

NHS Education for Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government and NHSScotland’s Quality Improvement Hub have developed this innovative platform to make it easier for you so join and connect with your colleagues.

For more information contact:

Joanna Hansen




August 27, 2015
by blog administrator
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Scotland at the Milan Expo

Scottish food, drink, tourism and sustainability will be the focus of a four-day Scottish showcase at the World Expo in Milan next month.

‘Scotland at the Expo’, a programme of events to be held at the Milan Expo 2015, was announced this week at the Italian Consulate (25 August) by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop.

Working with UK Trade and Investment, the Scottish Government’s ‘Scotland at the Expo’ programme will take place at the UK Pavilion from 10-13 September.

As part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015, ‘Scotland at the Expo’ will reach an estimated 75,000 visitors to the UK Pavilion from Italy, Europe and the rest of the world.

VisitScotland will promote Scotland’s great food and drink to an international audience. Visitors will sample some of Scotland’s best whisky and beer and taste authentic Scottish food specially devised for the Expo by top Scottish chef Tom Lewis.

Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government will share examples of innovation and sustainable best practice from across Scotland’s food and drinks sector with policy and industry experts from Italy and Europe.

Tom Lewis will showcase Scottish produce through cookery demonstrations and an appearance on Italian TV’s Expo Cooking Show – ‘The World on a Plate’. Pizzas with a Scottish twist and Scottish beer, cheese and honey will also be available to sample.

The UK Pavilion, known as ‘The Hive’, will resonate to the sound of bagpipes and Scottish bee entrepreneur Warren Bader of Plan Bee will help visitors understand what their supermarket would look like without bees.

Europe Minister Humza Yousaf at the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo in July.

On Saturday 12 September, the Italian Orobian Pipe Band and a ceilidh with Ceilitaly will bring the Expo to life.

The Scottish Government is working with a wide range of partners to deliver ‘Scotland at the Expo’ including Visit Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink, UK Trade & Investment, the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy, Diageo, the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK and Varvello.

Over 25 Scottish food and drink companies are supplying great produce for Scotland at the Expo. These are:

Argyll Smokery
Barony Mill
Cambus O May
Connage Highland Dairy
Donald Russell
Dunlop Dairy
Errington Cheese
Golspie Mill
Great Glen Charcuterie
Inverloch Cheese
Isle of Skye Baking Company
Isle of Skye Sea Salt
Knockraich Creamery
Loch Arthur Creamery
Mara Seaweed
Peelham Farm
Plan Bee
Stag Bakeries
Summer Harvest Oils
Taste of Arran
Fyne Ales
Williams Bros
Traquair Ales

Follow @ScotGovEurope and the hashtag #ExpoScot for updates on Scotland at the Expo.

August 26, 2015
by Ruth Allen
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Vacancy: IT Development Manager (Closes 21st September)

Applications are invited for an IT Development Manager within Marine Scotland Science Division, IT unit based the Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen.

Within the Science IT Unit there is a small team responsible for ensuring the development and maintenance of IT systems necessary to support and assist colleagues in wider marine management functions for Marine Scotland Science, Marine Scotland Performance Aquaculture and Recreational Fisheries, and Marine Scotland Planning and Policy divisions.  The Information Technology Unit supports a diverse group of users and this is an exciting opportunity to join the team as a key project team member contributing to all of the stages of the IT application development lifecycle process

Read more and apply…

More Information

August 21, 2015
by Sarah Griffiths
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The spotlight is on… Investors in Young People Accolade

In July 2014 the Investors in Young People (IIYP) framework was launched by Investors in People Scotland. A key recommendation from the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, the framework supports organisations looking to recruit, retain and develop young people, and recognition for those that are already doing this. The framework has been created in consultation with organisations, stakeholders and young people and focusses on three key elements of Youth Employment – Attraction and Recruitment, Support and Development and Retention.


Youth unemployment is far higher than the all age unemployment rate. In terms of the economic landscape, many companies and organisations face challenges such as an ageing workforce, skills gaps and shortages, a need to develop talent for long term succession planning and a need to understand future customer need. Employing and developing young talent can be the solution. Investors in Young People supports organisations from across the private, public and third sectors to assist them in meeting their business objectives by engaging and developing a talent pipeline for the future.

Currently over 170 organisations have been awarded with the IIYP accreditation.

Organisations assessed against the IIYP framework can be awarded Standard, Silver or Gold level accreditation. Whether an organisation gains Standard, Silver or Gold is dependent on how embedded an organisations Youth Employment strategies are. 


Any organisation that wishes to evaluate their Youth Employment strategies, gain an understanding of how Young People can help them meet their organisational goals, or who wish to become an employer of choice for Young People by becoming IIYP accredited should contact the Investors in Young People team on 0131 625 0155 for more details.

More details on IIYP can also be found on the Investors in Young People website at, on our Twitter handle @IIYPScotland, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Read here how the Shaw Trust gained their IIYP award here.


August 21, 2015
by Sarah Griffiths
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Creating a Fairer Scotland

The Scottish Government is inviting you to have your say on what a fairer Scotland should look like in 2030, and the steps that should be taken to make this vision a reality.

Scotland is a great country to call home. But we can make it an even better place. Achieving this will require a strong competitive economy and a fairer, more equal society. The two go hand in hand.

Right now people across Scotland are working to that end. Working together we can do even more to secure better opportunities for all of us and for future generations.

To get there, more of us need to join the conversation that is already happening about the kind of Scotland we want to see in the future. We want you to share your ideas as well as the future is a shared one.

By the end of 2015 we want to have created opportunities for the widest possible range of voices to be heard. This will include a series of events in the autumn that brings people from across the country to discuss what practical steps we need to take to create a fairer Scotland.

There has been a blog set up for this conversation. We will be posting up-dates from the conversations that are happening all across Scotland, blog posts from different organisations and projects, and hosting conversations on the topics that matter to you.

We would like you to share your experiences, ideas and views, to tell us about what you experience in your life, and get involved with the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.