Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has been reassured on the future of care homes following a statement from Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nicola Sturgeon. The Cabinet Secretary will be introducing changes to the way in which care homes are inspected fulfilling a key commitment to ensure the quality of care received by our elderly people.
As a result of the changes, care homes in Scotland will now be subject to an unannounced inspection at least once a year. Regulations will be introduced to Parliament to specify the minimum frequency of inspections which will all be unannounced. This will help to safeguard the standard of care between inspections to ensure the quality of care does not deteriorate during the intervening time. Resources will be put in place to allow inspectors to conduct additional visits allowing them to closer scrutinise homes they may have concerns over.
Ms Sturgeon was also able to reassure those involved with Southern Cross homes that new owners have largely been found and through the work of the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA, they have ensured continuity of care to the relief of residents and their families.
Ms Sturgeon said “I believe that in general care services in Scotland are of a good quality and respond well to the needs of both older people and the people who care for them. I also believe that the arrangements in place for the regulation and inspection of care homes are fundamentally robust. However I have also been clear that there are aspects of the care regime in Scotland that are worth further consideration.
“That is why I have today announced a strengthening of the regulation and inspection regime and work to provide protection against the challenges presented by circumstances such as the failure of Southern Cross.
“I recognise that until the transfer of former Southern Cross homes to the new operators is complete that there will be anxiety and concern. But I want to reassure people that we will continue to work with both Southern Cross and the landlords, as well as COSLA and the inspectorate to ensure we get the best result for all Scottish residents.
“This is not the end of our work and over the next months I will set out my plans for the integration of health and social care for older people, work on self directed support and further work on quality and standards of care.”
Linda Fabiani said “I am reassured by the Cabinet Secretary’s statement that the Scottish Government is working tirelessly to ensure the best possible care for our care home population.
“We have two former Southern Cross care homes in East Kilbride and I know the collapse of the firm has caused great distress for residents, their families and the staff who work there. However, I also know that the response of the Scottish Government to ensure continuity of care has eased many concerns and made a very stressful situation bearable for all those concerned.
“I welcome the statement from the Cabinet Secretary who has made the care and wellbeing of our care home population a key commitment and I am relieved like so many others in East Kilbride, that the future of Kingsgate Nursing Home and Cathkin House Care Home is secure.”