Elderly care provider is told to improve urgently

Elderly care must improve in the Capital.

Elderly care must improve in the Capital.

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A FIRM with a share of Edinburgh’s £120 million care-at-home contracts has been told to make urgent improvements in its service to the elderly.

Concerns raised by the Care Inspectorate related to medication, staff training and visit times.

Manchester-based Homecare Support has been given until March 31 to perform better.

Only 32 such ‘non-technical enforcements’ demanding work to be fixed were issued nationally last year – less than three a month.

Homecare Support was one of eight providers chosen by the city council after a tender process last year, starting work over the summer.

Inspectors want to see scheduled visits agreed with people who use the service, and that pre-arranged times and durations are adhered to.

They also warned Homecare Support to make sure the right medication is dispensed at the right time and a record kept.

A Care Inspectorate spokesman said: “The Improvement Notice we have issued clearly lays out the improvements we must see so that the care provided to people improves quickly.

“We will check on the progress made following this Improvement Notice and if we are not satisfied that the matters raised are addressed urgently we will not hesitate to take further action.

“We continue to work with Edinburgh council and this service to ensure standards improve.

“Everyone in Scotland has the right to safe, compassionate care which meets their needs and respects their rights.”

Inspectors will carry out another unannounced visit to Homecare Support after March 31 – with the ultimate threat of legal action if improvements fail to be implemented.

Rob McCulloch Graham, of the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Edinburgh council and the Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board have been working with the Care Inspectorate and Homecare Support to improve their practice. We agree with the Care Inspectorate’s decision to issue an “Improvement Notice” to Homecare Support and we will continue to support both the Care Inspectorate and Homecare Support, who have one of eight contracts to provide care for a proportion of elderly residents in Edinburgh.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com