Committee calls for review of national care standards


Nurse helping elderly woman in care home A review of the National Care Standards has been called for by the Health and Sport Committee in its report published today.

"We need to ensure that Scotland maintains its lead in the regulation of the social-care workforce"
- Committee Convener Duncan McNeil MSP
The committee report on the inquiry into the regulation of care for older people stated that a review of the ten-year-old National Care Standards is now overdue.

The committee believes that the NCS should address changes such as the move towards a greater integration of health and social care, the rise in the number of older people with dementia and the issue of widespread prescription of psychoactive medications to care-home residents.

The committee believes that equality and human rights should be embedded in the delivery of care services for older people and that the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland should work together to achieve this.

Committee Convener Duncan McNeil MSP said: “We need to ensure that Scotland maintains its lead in the regulation of the social-care workforce.

"We believe that a review of the National Care Standards with human rights at its heart will achieve that.

“If our care services are to be of the highest quality, the workforce should be registered, investment must be made in their training and development and employers must pay staff at least the living wage.”

Deputy Convener Bob Doris MSP said: “The committee has found that the current regulatory system is sufficiently rigorous and this should reassure service users and their families.

"However the report contains a number of key recommendations in relation to identifying areas for improvement including ensuring there is a greater role for service users, carers and relatives within the process.

“We welcome the commitment already made by the Scottish Government to ensure at least one annual unannounced inspection of care homes and personal care and support services and believe this will enhance public confidence in the inspection regime.

"However we are keen that this report should drive further improvements.”

The committee also asked the Scottish Government for responses on:

  • Extending the Care Inspectorate’s powers in relation to the procurement and commissioning of care services.
  • The suggestion that the Care Inspectorate’s increased duties should be subsidised by an increase in the fees charged by the Care Inspectorate to inspect service providers.
  • The Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Mental Welfare Commission should work together to achieve greater clinical pharmacy involvement to address committee concerns on the widespread prescription of psychoactive medication to care home residents.

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