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COVID-19 (Coronavirus info)

Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

Handling calls from the media

Handling calls from the media 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, you may receive media calls into your care home.

It is very important that staff know how to handle any calls which come in.

Numbers of COVID-19 deaths: The Scottish Government’s daily and weekly updates on the number of COVID-19 related dea...

Numbers of COVID-19 deaths:

The Scottish Government’s daily and weekly updates on the number of COVID-19 related deaths now include such deaths in care homes. This information is reported by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) when COVID-19 is recorded on a death certificate. Callers asking about this can be directed to these national figures, 

Unsolicited calls

Some unscrupulous reporters may not say they are from the media to trick you into giving out information. Whilst the majority of reporters will do the right thing, please be aware that some may not. Staff should be wary when they take calls from people they do not know.

Local Authority Care Homes staff should immediately pass the caller on to the media team for their Council – local ou...

Local Authority Care Homes staff should immediately pass the caller on to the media team for their Council – local out of hours contact details are listed below: 

East Dunbartonshire 07768 033166

East Renfrewshire 07393 805804

Glasgow 07780 520937

Inverclyde 07766 686035

Renfrewshire 07535 520071

West Dunbartonshire 07817 122397 

For staff in all other Care Homes:

If a journalist calls, stay calm and be polite. Ask the following and note the answers:

  • Name of the caller
  • Which organisation/publication they work for
  • What information they want and by when
  • A contact number/email address they can be reached on
  • List the question(s) but do not give an immediate response
  • Respond by saying someone will call them back once they have gathered the information requested 

Then contact your line manager to deal with the call.

If your Care Home / organisation has a communications team, they can provide a single point of contact for journalist...

If your Care Home / organisation has a communications team, they can provide a single point of contact for journalists. 

They will:

  • give a consistent response to enquiries
  • be aware of potential pitfalls in conversations with the media
  • take a wider view in the care home or organisation’s best interests
  • answer the query directly with a previously drafted response
  • find out more before giving a response
  • help draft a statement for the media 

If your Care Home / organisation does not have a communications team, you can follow these tips: 

  • Establish the call is legitimate
  • Respond as either a spokesperson for your organisation or in lieu of a senior manager at the care home
  • Keep to the facts and make your statement as concise as possible
  • Any statement should show compassion, especially if this involves the death of a patient
  • There is no need to answer all the questions asked
  • Reply by email before any deadline
  • Ask for confirmation that your response has been received
  • Remember that ‘No comment’ as a response can look bad, and may potentially damage your care home’s reputation
Last Updated: 02 February 2021