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Dealing with health and care professionals

Dealing with health and care professionals
If you need help caring for yourself or someone else, you'll probably come into contact with a variety of health and social care professionals, such as social workers, occupational therapists or district nurses. They are there to help you and are experienced professionals.

What to do before a meeting

You can get a lot more out of meetings with health and social care professionals by preparing as much as you can. If you need advice about this, there are organisations that can help.

Visit Being Heard: a self-advocacy toolkit for carers on the Carers Scotland website for information and techniques to help carers who want to speak or advocate for themselves.

Other organisations can help with advice on specific issues, like the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS), which supports patients and carers in their dealings with the NHS.

What to take to a meeting

If you are meeting a professional such as a social worker, to have an assessment of your care needs, think about the key questions you'd like to ask beforehand, write them down and have them handy at the meeting. It's also useful to have any relevant documents to hand.

Useful things to take with you might include:

  • identification
  • list of key questions
  • relevant letters or other correspondence
  • another person for support

You might also be asked for information on:

  • your income
  • your savings
  • your housing situation
  • your benefits

Citizens Advice Scotland provides information on many different topics, including what to bring to a bureau, which details the most useful documents to bring to meetings.

Support at a meeting

If you find it difficult to communicate or get your point across, it may be useful to bring a family member, friend or advocate to meetings.

Contact the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance to find an advocate or phone them on 0131 556 6443.

Interpretation and translation support

You can get help if you need a translator for spoken languages or sign language. The agency you're meeting with may be able to provide interpretation or translation services. For example, you can ask for an interpreter for appointments with Citizens Advice Scotland.

You can also contact your local council to find out what interpretation and translation services it offers or what other organisations supply them.


If you don't feel your meeting went well, you can follow up any concerns or complaints.

Further information

Visit Being Heard: a self-advocacy toolkit for carers on the Carers Scotland website.

Contact Age Scotland helpline on 0800 12 44 222.

To find an advocate, visit the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance website or call 0131 556 6443.

Citizens Advice Scotland provides information on benefits, housing and employment, and on debt, consumer and legal issues.

The information was last updated on: 16th December 2020


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