New arrangements to significantly increase oversight of Scotland’s care homes have been published today by The Scottish Government.
From tomorrow, clinical and care professionals at NHS boards and local authorities will have a lead role in the oversight for care homes in their area. Every Health Board and local authority must put in place a multi-disciplinary team comprised of key clinical leads and the area’s Chief Social Work Officer.
The team’s remit will include daily discussions about the quality of care in each care home in their area, with particular focus on implementation of infection prevention and control, and the provision of expert clinical support to residents who have Coronavirus.
The short paper ‘Coronavirus (Covid 19) – enhanced professional clinical and care oversight of care homes’ also highlights issues around testing and contact tracing with escalation measures in place if issues cannot be resolved.
The paper builds on recent actions to ensure care home residents can be kept safe, including new guidance for the sector and amendments to the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill which would ensure the swiftest possible intervention if care home residents are being put at serious risk due to services failing.
During Week 19, from 4 to 10 May 2020, more than half of all registered deaths occurred in care homes. But, the number of deaths in care homes went down for the second week in a row, from 314 to 238.
As at 10 May 3,213 deaths were registered where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate, according to the National Records of Scotland statistics.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:“The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on Scotland’s social care services. It is of paramount importance that those using services, including residents of care homes and those supporting them, are provided with the best possible care and the Scottish Government is doing everything in its power to ensure that is the case.
“All organisations including care providers are responsible for effective and safe care in their services and are expected to work closely together and at pace to give effect to these arrangements. While these are unprecedented times, everything possible must be done to protect care home residents and staff from the effects of Covid-19.
“These new arrangements will ensure clarity and consistency across the country about the role of Health Boards and local authorities in helping to keep their residents safe from coronavirus and should be seen alongside other recent action The Scottish Government has taken, including publishing revised guidance for the sector, and amendments to the Coronavirus Bill being discussed at parliament next week. I want to assure staff, residents and their families that a safe residential environment in care homes remains our top priority.”