Room for improvement in services for the elderly
Care Inspectorate ranks SLC third out of 10 authorities
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