THE care watchdog which aims to ensure Scotland’s nurseries, homes and childminders are up to scratch is appealing for a new wave of helpers to get involved in its work.
Already renowned as an innovative care regulator, the Care Commission is breaking fresh ground with its work to get more and more people involved in driving up standards of care.
Staff with the Care Commission inspect just under 15,000 care services every year, which help the most vulnerable people in society, including the very young, the very old as well as those with learning difficulties or physical disabilities.
Now it wants more Scots to sign up for a variety of roles, including joining in with the inspection of care services and developing new ways to help care users find the best services for their needs.
Jacquie Roberts, Chief Executive of the Care Commission, said the organisation’s new Involving People Plan ensured it was continuing to build the momentum in improving the quality of care achieved over the past seven years.
She added: “We have worked steadily to improve the care landscape, with the clear aim of letting people know if care services are good quality and will keep them or their loved ones safe.
“The next stage in our evolution is to give even more influence to those who actually use care services, so they can tell if a service they are interested in or using is good enough to meet Scotland’s National Care Standards.”
Three of the most important elements of the Involving People Plan require volunteers to offer their services in the following areas:
- the Lay Assessor Scheme lets members of the public with an interest in care get involved in the inspection process. After a four day induction they join inspectors to give an entirely independent perspective on how services are performing
- the Involving People Group is ideally suited for people using care services, or caring for someone who does. The group meets four times a year with a view to developing new, user-friendly ways to improve care. Virtual membership lets volunteers take part by post or by email
- the Equality Consultation Panel aims to tackle discrimination and is open to people who use care services and their carers, as well as well as any groups or organisations which promote people rights or tackle inequality. Again, members can take part through meetings or by letter and email.
Ms Roberts added: “People want to know they can have a say in the care they receive and have a voice which will be heard to help bring about improvement. They also want to know who can help when things are going wrong.
“There is absolutely no doubt that better quality care will come from better involving the people who receive it.”
The plan was drawn up after extensive consultation with a wide range of groups and individuals. It streamlines the Care Commission’s work by bringing together three areas which were previously separate – communication, consultation and engagement.
As well as delivering improvements and increased variety in the way the Care Commission tells people about its work, it also aims to widen the ways they can get involved, via phone, the internet or by attending meetings and events.
Anyone interested in finding out more about how to take part can contact [email protected], phone 0845 603 0890, or write to the Care Commission, Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee, DD1 4NY.