Since the new Health and Social Care Standards were published by the Scottish Government in June last year, the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland have been working alongside people experiencing services, as well as providers, other agencies and partners, to raise awareness of the new standards and to implement them into care services.
The new standards are different, as they no longer focus on specific requirements for different regulated care settings. Instead, they provide a single set of standards for people experiencing health, social care or social work services in Scotland that is significantly more rights-based, person-led and outcome-focused.
Henry Mathias, the Care Inspectorate’s Strategic Lead for Health and Social Care Standards and who is also on the Standards’s Implementation Steering Group, has been encouraged by feedback from services that are embedding the standards into their care provision.
He said: “We are really pleased that the standards are being embraced within the care sector generally. I was at a meeting with members of the Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland, and it was very heartening to hear from many of these members that they are not only taking the standards on board but have already started to use them as an improvement tool – and that is exactly what they are intended to do
“The Church of Scotland charity, Crossreach, also said that they are actively using the standards as a quality assurance tool, both for their registered and non-registered services.
“Care services tell me that they really like the fact that the new standards are quite specific in terms of the experiences and outcomes that people can expect from their care provision.
“In fact, they are quite empowering, giving people more control over the quality of their care experiences and supporting their rights.”
The Care Inspectorate is developing methodology to reflect the requirements of the new standards. It is currently piloting a new quality indicator framework in care homes for older people (see article above) and, from April, all inspections of registered services will be referencing all the requirements and recommendations of the standards.