Press Release, 15th October
Inspection Watchdog must examine reasons for poor elderly care

Commenting on the recent thematic inspection report produced by Healthcare Improvement Scotland into care for the elderly Labour MSP Duncan McNeil has called on the inspection watchdog to examine the reasons for the poor levels of care that have been identified.

Duncan McNeil, who also convenes the Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee, expressed his concern that HIS do not investigate the reasons despite the fact that same issues come up time and again.

The local MSP said:

“HIS must get to the heart of problem and analyse the reasons for the poor levels of care. I was astonished to find that at present they don’t do this. Only by understanding the reasons can HIS ensure that the NHS Boards develop action plans that will work in the interest of elderly patients”.

The MSP has also expressed concern that HIS toned down their language in their inspection reports after receiving feedback from NHS boards. HIS worked with staff from NHS boards to refine the format and tone of the reports. Reports now focus on areas of strength as well as areas for improvement.

Duncan McNeil said:

“We already know that we have a serious situation on our hands. But by toning down the language there is a danger that the true extent of the problem will be kept hidden. There is also a risk that the NHS boards become complacent”

“Boards should stop viewing this as a media management exercise and focus on how to resolve the poor level of care and support that has been identified”