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All across Scotland, the 31 Integration Joint Boards have been meeting to begin their official work in running social care in Scotland. This is a major shift in policy that has been given an easy ride so far. The NHS is one of our national treasures and bring social care together with health can surely only be a good thing. But as our article on Page 2 suggests, the NHS may not always guarantee good care.
The minutes of all Joint Boards are available online for anyone to have a look at. We analysed the agendas and papers for 62 meetings of 31 Integrated Joint Boards to see what they talked about.
There is no mention of Learning Disability Services in these meetings between March and June of 2016. Often the poor relation of social
work, we worry about a lack of priority for people with learning disabilities. We did spot one reference inside the papers of the Glasgow Board which promised a further review of Learning Disability Services for the year 2017-18 as part of another “efficiency drive.”
The importance of tackling the “Delayed Discharges” of older people. Is clear. Some explain that the Scottish Government has provided a strong financial incentive if targets are reached to reduce delays of more than 2 weeks. Most IJBs discuss delayed discharges at every meeting. Some had 4 agenda items dealing with this.
Delayed Discharges are about people who no longer need hospital care but can’t leave hospital for various reasons. This is an expensive cost to health boards. A former Cabinet Secretary for Health said “The average cost of keeping someone for a week in an acute hospital across Scotland is £4600 a week. While on average, to keep and treat someone in a home setting is £300 a week.”
in December we said in 11 councils people were getting less Direct Payments after the Act came in than they had before. New figures including the take up of other options were published in July 2016 and show that both Falkirk and Inverclyde actually did better than that getting more people into SDS packages than the previous year. But the 8 of others were still doing worse than the year before SDS was introduced.
Glasgow has been undergoing its Personalisation process since 2009 and says that over 1700 people are now getting Option 2. We think this shows a problem with just using numbers to explore SDS. Glasgow worked out the cost of service for these people, then transferred that money to their existing social care provider in their name and declared that was their equivalent to Option 2.
After our earlier article Social Work Scotland wrote to us to complain that we were being unfair. They said that SDS must be about more than just how many people make the choice, it must be about the outcomes people get. We agree. It’s a shame that councils’ don’t publish any information on the outcomes that people get from SDS.
As a result, the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland has decided to carry out its annual survey on the experience of people with learning disabilities with SDS. We also welcome the views of family and paid carers. You can be one of the first to complete our survey here.
Our ambition is for sustained public investment in the development of a modern, nationwide infrastructure of social care support.
The social care support we envision will be an instrument of transformative social change.
It will protect, promote and ensure human rights and tackle inequalities for disabled people and carers. We believe that this infrastructure will also play a critical role in building and sustaining Scotland’s social and economic prosperity.
This infrastructure should facilitate the delivery of a statutory framework of common outcomes, underpinned by clear and consistent nationwide rights and entitlements. In order to reflect and adapt to the varied local contexts across Scotland, we believe the administration and delivery of this social care support should be a local matter, involving local government and other statutory and non-statutory agencies and organisations, disabled people and carers.