Malcolm highlights gaps in the inspection regime for care homes
Question on the inspection of care homes with special reference to the Elsie Inglis care home Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
To ask the Scottish Executive for how long a care home will be able to operate without being subject to inspection under the recently revised inspection procedures. (S4O-00018)

Nicola Sturgeon (The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing):
Care homes with low risk assessment and minimum grades of “good” will be inspected by Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland every second year at a minimum. Care homes with grades below “good” or with a high risk assessment will be subject to at least two unannounced or short-notice inspections every year. SCSWIS also undertakes random sampling of good-performing care homes as part of its annual inspection plan.

Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
Is the cabinet secretary concerned that, if relatives had not complained, the next inspection of the Elsie Inglis nursing home might have been in October 2012, two years after the previous routine inspection? Will she look again at the maximum interval between inspections as well as at other aspects of the inspection system that I and others raised in the debate earlier this morning?

Nicola Sturgeon (The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing):
I have already said to Malcolm Chisholm - although I have no hesitation in repeating it - that I will look carefully at the points that he made. I think that we have a shared interest in ensuring the highest possible standards of care in our care homes.

The changes were made - this was subject to discussion in Parliament before the election in the context of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill - to ensure that we have a more risk-based system in place. I think that most members of the Parliament agreed with that. However, in doing that we need to ensure that there is adequate scrutiny. In particular, we need to ensure that where a care home quickly deteriorates, systems are in place to identify that and deal with it as appropriate.

I am more than happy to have further discussions with Malcolm Chisholm and, indeed, other members around the issue, because it is in all our interests that our confidence in the inspection regime is very high.

Read Malcolm's speech the previous day >>>
June 9th 2011