Room for im­prove­ment in ser­vices for the el­derly

Care In­spec­torate ranks SLC third out of 10 au­thor­i­ties

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil have been told to make im­prove­ments to their ser­vices for older peo­ple.

The Care In­spec­torate have re­leased their find­ings af­ter a joint in­spec­tion with Health­care Im­prove­ment Scot­land be­tween Septem­ber and Novem­ber last year.

Across nine qual­ity in­di­ca­tors, three were found by in­spec­tors to be ‘good’ and six ‘ad­e­quate’.

The Re­former un­der­stands so­cial work of­fi­cers at SLC were dis­ap­pointed with the scores.

How­ever, the grades rank South La­nark­shire third out of 10 lo­cal au­thor­i­ties who have been in­spected un­der new reg­u­la­tions since 2014.

The re­port notes: “Pos­i­tive per­sonal out­comes were be­ing achieved for most older peo­ple. The ma­jor­ity of older peo­ple we met were con­tent about the care and sup­port they re­ceived.

“There was ev­i­dence of ef­fec­tive multi-dis­ci­plinary work­ing and a com­mit­ment to pro­vide good stan­dards of care to ser­vice users. Staff were gen­er­ally mo­ti­vated and worked well to­gether.

“Most were en­thu­si­as­tic about what in­te­gra­tion of health and so­cial care ser­vices could of­fer to im­prove out­comes for ser­vice users.”

In terms of the rate of emer­gency ad­mis­sions to hos­pi­tal, SLC was in line with the Scot­tish av­er­age.

How­ever, the pro­por­tion of older peo­ple who had to re­main in hos­pi­tal longer than nec­es­sary due to a lack of suit­able al­ter­na­tives was higher than av­er­age.

In­spec­tors found the bal­ance be­tween hos­pi­tal, care home and com­mu­nity care pro­vi­sion was im­prov­ing. The part­ner­ship was sup­port­ing most ser­vice users at home rather than in care homes. But while some progress had been made in joint com­mis­sion­ing of health and so­cial care ser­vices, more work was needed to de­velop a com­mis­sion­ing ap­proach that fur­ther shifts the bal­ance of care to­wards com­mu­nity ser­vices.

There were also high lev­els of respite care pro­vi­sion for older peo­ple and this was val­ued by car­ers who re­ceived it but ap­proval pro­cesses to en­able respite to be pro­vided for the first time were some­times lengthy.

Peo­ple with de­men­tia did not al­ways get the sup­port they needed quickly fol­low­ing di­ag­no­sis.

Karen Reid, the Care In­spec­torate’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “We found that older peo­ple were in­volved in de­ci­sions about their care and sup­port but self­di­rected sup­port for older peo­ple was in its early stages and was not as ex­ten­sive as for other groups of peo­ple.

“The op­tions avail­able for peo­ple were some­times lim­ited by the lack of ser­vices in some ar­eas.”

Harry Steven­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of so­cial work at SLC said “Over­all, the South La­nark­shire Part­ner­ship In­spec­tion re­port com­pares favourably with oth­ers which have been car­ried out across Scot­land in this rel­a­tively new in­spec­tion regime.

“The re­port iden­ti­fied ar­eas of good prac­tice and found no ar­eas of weak­ness across the nine qual­ity in­di­ca­tors. It also made nine rec­om­men­da­tions for im­prove­ment, some of which have al­ready been ad­dressed since the in­spec­tion.

“The part­ner­ship has been work­ing closely with all in­ter­ested groups and the wider pop­u­la­tion to make lo­cal pro­vi­sion the best it can be, and we are de­vel­op­ing an ac­tion plan to iden­tify fur­ther spe­cific ac­tions for im­prove­ment.”

Res­i­den­tial care Among South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s ser­vices for the el­derly is David Walker House in Ruther­glen

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