Warning over care at home ‘market’

© Kzenon
Thursday 10th October 2019

Inspectors have flagged up warning signs about significant social care challenges in an area of Scotland.

National regulators say there are ‘significant challenges’ among private care at home providers that East Renfrewshire health and social care partnership contracts to look after vulnerable residents.

A team from Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate examined services at the partnership earlier this year.

They found tech solutions were helping improve people’s care, with more than 1300 face-to-face GP appointments saved by a remote blood pressure monitoring scheme.

Elsewhere, data-tracking was being used to bring down emergency hospital admissions from care homes.

Inspectors also praised 'effective leadership' at the organisation.

But they say ‘staff sometimes found it hard to get care at home services for individuals’ and warn of ‘on-going risks’ to social care in East Renfrewshire.

healthandcare.scot reported in August that a major UK care company had pulled out of the area because it could not recruit and retain enough carers.

Care Inspectorate chief executive Peter Macleod said: “We found that from a strategic perspective the partnership had taken decisive improvement actions.

“The partnership needs to make progress implementing its improvement plan for its care at home service. This will depend on the effectiveness of the operational management of this service.

Robbie Pearson of Healthcare Improvement Scotland added: “Care at home is a critical service that delivers vital personal care to many older people and other individuals. This issue constitutes a considerable risk for the partnership and progress needs to be made to implement its improvement plan.”

East Renfrewshire partnership said it was 'pleased' with the overall findings of the report but pledged to work on issues it raised.

A spokesperson said: "We will be prioritising the five areas of improvement identified and will continue to strive to provide the residents of East Renfrewshire the best health and social care possible."