Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Glossary of Terms

The terms used within this section have been devised to be applicable across various sectors and we have tried to keep the language and terminology as non-specific as possible. However, inevitably not every term or designation will be understood by everyone. To assist with this potential difficulty we have compiled a glossary of terms.

These further definitions are listed below:

  • Capacity is the ability to make, communicate and retain the memory of an informed choice.
  • Care Inspectorate is a non-departmental public body independent of the Scottish Government although accountable to Ministers and the Scottish Parliament for its actions. The Care Inspectorate is responsible for regulating care services which were formerly regulated by NHS Boards and Local Authorities. Care Services are required to register with the Care Inspectorate and are subject to regular inspection. The Care Inspectorate takes an active role in encouraging improvement in the quality of services and making information available to the public about the quality of these services. The Care Inspectorate also has a responsibility to investigate any complaints it receives from any source concerning any care service.
  • Case Manager is the professional with lead responsibility for an individual's community care assessment and care plan. This may be a social worker, occupational therapist or community nurse.
  • Core Group is a group of professionals, carers, family members and the adult who meet regularly to ensure the Support and Protection Plan is working and to review and amend it as required.
  • Adult Services Duty Worker is the professional within Orkney health and Care, who provides a 24-hour duty service, accessed via the Council Offices or the Balfour Hospital switchboard out of hours. The Duty Worker during the day may be a social worker or occupational therapist.
  • Independent Advocate is a member of an advocacy service which operates independently of other service providers. Advocacy is about safeguarding individuals who are in situations where they are vulnerable and who are not being heard. This often involves speaking up for them and helping them to express their views and assist them to make their decisions and contributions. Contact with the appropriate advocacy service can be made through the local authority, NHS Board or Local Health Council.
  • Information Sharing Protocol is the document which the Council and the Board of NHS Orkney have agreed enabling them to safely share information on a need to know basis. It also protects the rights of service users to see their records.
  • Line Manager/Supervisor is the person who has managerial responsibility for an individual worker.
  • Mental Health Officer is a local authority social worker who has undergone specific post-qualifying accredited training in mental health. This person then has certain delegated powers under Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 and the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to act in cases where the person lacks capacity or has a mental disorder.
    Council Officer is defined as a qualified and registered social worker, occupational therapist or nurse, employed by the Local Authority and with a minimum of 12 months post-qualifying experience in adult assessment and protection. The Council Officer has certain delegated powers under the Act and is appointed by the Local Authority.
  • Mental Welfare Commission is a National body appointed by the then Scottish Executive to oversee and protect the rights of those with a mental disorder. The Mental Welfare Commission has a duty to investigate any complaint it receives concerning the welfare of anyone with a mental disorder including dementia, learning disability or acquired brain injury.
  • Place of Safety can be a formal or informal arrangement to allow an adult to be accommodated safely without the risk of further abuse, for example, hospital, care home or the home of another family member.
  • Social Care is a range of settings, statutory and voluntary including care homes, care at home and hospitals, where vulnerable people are looked after or assisted with their essential living tasks.
  • Social Worker is a qualified and registered social worker.
  • Social Work Manager is a qualified and registered social worker with a management role and responsibilities. In the majority of adult support and protection cases this role will be undertaken by the Principal Social Worker Adult Services or the Senior Social Work Practitioner, Adult Services. When this person is not available the role will be undertaken by any appropriate Manager, available and identified to lead a protection investigation.
    Staff Member, for the purpose of these guidelines, includes anyone who is employed in a social care setting, or who is a volunteer for a social care agency.
  • Whistle Blowing is a means by which staff can safely raise their concerns within their organisation about matters of suspected or actual malpractice. This allows an individual to bypass the formal line management arrangements if necessary Protocol for dealing with Advocacy Referrals under the terms of The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007.