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25th September 2017

Expectations of Care: New Standards in Scotland

New health and social care standards are being introduced in Scotland, to be fully implemented during 2018. The standards are concise, and are contained in a 20-page booklet which applies to every kind of care service. This includes services where care is only part of the service, and which might therefore not be registered.

I think it useful to become familiar with the layout and content of the standards as they are being introduced. This will prepare services to hit the ground running in 2018. It will enable the quality of support to be maintained in accordance with these increased expectations.

Headline Outcomes

The standards are simply laid out according to five 'Headline Outcomes'. Each of these has descriptions of what can be expected, based on the five agreed principles of the new standards. Each week I will try to go over one of these headline outcomes, describing briefly what people choosing the service should expect, and what the service should do to meet these expectations.

(The complete standards can be downloaded at: the Scottish Government website.)

Outcome 1: High quality care and support that is right for me

The first outcome is: ' I experience high quality care and support that is right for me’. In the following, I discuss the expectations under each of the five principles of care as laid out under that outcome:

  • Dignity and respect
  • Compassion
  • Being included
  • Responsive care and support
  • Well-being

Dignity and respect: This principle implies that high quality care and support is delivered with respect for the person's gender, race, age, faith or other qualities. Human rights, privacy and dignity is upheld for each person. Independence and community involvement is supported discreetly and respects the person's preferences.

Compassion: High quality care is provided by people who enable the person to get the best out of life. They do this by enabling their potential, anticipating and discuss with sensitivity issues such as loss, or death and dying. If cared for in a group context, the person feels comfortable with this, and with the size of the group.

Being included: High quality care recognises that each person is an expert in their own needs and choices, and can normally participate safely in the community and with their peers.

Responsive care and support: High quality care and support is attentive to the person’s views and choices. This includes professional support in the person’s assessment and anticipation of these needs. These will be laid out in the personal plan, including any changes as these may occur. The person’s care and support is right for them, and they are supported to live in their own home where this is possible. Needs are met in a safe and effective manner. The person can use technology to assist with their own health and wellbeing.

Wellbeing: High quality care and support meets the person’s needs holistically, including social, emotional, health and learning opportunities and activities. People have access to health screening, lifestyle choices, and any experiences of trauma or neglect are addressed. There is a varied and healthy diet, and the person is involved in menu planning. Meals meet cultural preferences, and people can eat with others, including staff, where appropriate. People can drink fresh water at all times, and can choose to grow, cook and eat their own food where this is possible.

Conclusion

Some of the points arising in the above discussion may be thought provoking. I think they are all feasible and amount to best practice in care. Next week I hope to discuss the second headline outcome, 'I am fully involved in decisions about my care and support'.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Tony Clarke

Scottish Care Inspectorate Specialist

Tony began care work as a care assistant in care of the elderly here in Scotland in the 1970s. He very much enjoyed promoting activities, interests and good basic care. After a gap to gain a social work qualification, he worked in management of care services, latterly as a peripatetic manager which gave him experience of a wide range of services.

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