Health and Social Care

A busy year ahead for the Care for Older People Team

January 10, 2014 by No Comments | Category Uncategorized

The Care for Older People team has a busy year ahead. Some of the projects we are working on include:

1. Healthier living Individuals and communities are able and motivated to look after and improve their health and wellbeing, resulting in more people living in good health for longer, with reduced health inequalities.

2. Independent living People with disabilities, long term conditions or who become frail are able to live as safely and independently as possible in the community, and have control over their care and support.

3. Positive experiences and outcomes People have positive experiences of health, social care and support services, which help to maintain or improve their quality of life.

4. Carers are supported People who provide unpaid care to others are supported and able to maintain their own health and wellbeing including by having a life outside of caring.

5. People are safe People using health, social care and support services are safe-guarded from harm and have their dignity and human rights respected.

6. Engaged workforce People who work in health and social care services are positive about their role and supported to improve the care and treatment they provide.

7. Effective resource use The most effective use is made of resources across health and social care services, avoiding waste and unnecessary variation.

Following engagement across Scotland with practitioners and public, feedback has been positive and will ensure when we move to formally consult later this year we will have the best possible start.

  • Our input to the Review of the Care Standards – we are working with colleagues responsible for the Review in so far for our team’s interest, that is where these affect care for older people. Feedback from our engagement events last year was that we should look at aligning the Outcomes for Health and Wellbeing with the standards – we will keep you updated as work progresses on this.
  • Care Information Scotland redesign – the redesign project team had their first management meeting earlier this month and are now gearing up to drive the redesign of Care Information Scotland forward. The aim is to extend the information signposting service to all care groups and carers and not only older people (which is the limit of the current service). Content, technical and stakeholder teams will now drive forward the changes towards a new service.  SNOOK a service design company were recently appointed following a tendering exercise to assist with the delivery of the change. Plans are being finalised but it is likely there will be focus groups across Scotland and user testing of the new web platform as part of the redesign.

We have set up an online feedback page, for those people who were unable to attend our recent engagement events, so you can have your say on a number of important issues in health and care including the outcomes for health and wellbeing. The survey is at:

  • Residential Task force – work has been underway with the Residential Task force looking at how we can improve provision for the future. The report will be published shortly – and we’ll post a link to the blog when it is. The next steps will be for Ministers and local authorities to digest the findings before consulting more widely on any recommendations. We are likely to arrange some events locally in the near future to listen to views – if you have an interest please follow this blog to keep informed and register interest.
  • Charging Review Working Group – this group is having its second meeting next month to look at reviewing the charges that apply to residential care. This is tied into the work of the Residential Task force – we will post regularly as and when we have any updates to share. We also continue to work with COSLA and stakeholders on COSLA’s local authority guidance for charging for non-residential social care.
  • The British Irish Council (BIC) – officials from the Care for Older People team recently travelled to London to meet with colleagues from across the UK and the Republic Ireland as part of the social inclusion strand of the BIC The BIC was established following the Good Friday Agreement to share knowledge and good practice. Ministers have agreed the current theme for the social inclusion work sector is preventative spend, particularly in the context of an ageing population. Scottish and Welsh Government officials co-chair this work strand and will support the production with the BIC secretariat of a report taking on board findings from across the administrations. At the London meeting the Joseph Rowntree Foundation presented to officials on the impact of loneliness, we heard about innovative housing for older people (provided in very mixed demographic areas rather than being separated from the rest of the younger aged community) and also shared updates on the work in all of our own administrations. Ministers will meet in Edinburgh later this year to discuss the final report findings. We will keep you updated with progress leading up to the Ministerial summit in Edinburgh. You can also follow the BIC Twitter feed at:
  • Social Work Complaints – work continues to develop a system for handling social work complaints. We hope to submit recommendations to Ministers imminently. This work is being taken forward separately to the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill, as social work complaints go further than the area of health and social care covered by the Bill, for example, children’s social work, and criminal justice social work.
  • 15 minute visits – we continue as a team to discuss with stakeholders the concerns around 15 minute visits which has received much media attention. This is a complex issue around the commissioning of care and we look forward to listening to stakeholders attending an event in Edinburgh on the opportunities and challenges. We will post to this blog when the details of the event, which is being organised by stakeholders, are known.
  • Pharmaceuticals – our team works with the team responsible for the implementation of Prescription for Excellence which was published last year. We will be looking at the aspects of the review that are relevant to care homes and care for older people generally, working with our the Chief Pharmaceuticals Officer colleagues – we will update the blog with further details as they emerge.
  • Annual uprating of Personal Expenses Allowances, Capital Limits and Free Personal Care payments – every year these rise with inflation so work is going on behind the scenes to amend regulations for implementation of the uprating in April 2014.
  • Contingency Planning – we are working with stakeholders including Scottish Care and CoSLA to develop a robust system for contingency planning for provider failure including a risk register assessment – we will keep you updated as we further develop our plans.
  • UK engagement/ Westminster Care Bill – our team is liaising with colleagues in the Department of Health on the aspects of the Care Bill that extend to Scotland.
  • The integration of health and social care – we are assisting our colleagues with this work and will also be looking at those issues relating to its implementation for the care for older people.

We are also supporting Scottish Ministers at various events over the next few months and attending various meetings with stakeholders. We will blog regularly and also keep you informed via our Twitter feed of anything relevant to the care for older people agenda.

Please follow this blog to ensure you have regular updates.


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