Important learning from social care’s response to COVID-19

Section: Health and Social Care IntegrationType: News Item Date Published: 29th September 2020
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A new report from the Care Inspectorate explores care at home and housing support services during the pandemic.

While much focus has, rightly, been on what’s happened in Scotland’s care homes, most people who require social care support live in their own homes. It’s therefore crucial that the impact of COVID-19 on this part of the sector is examined as well.

A new report from the Care Inspectorate – who spoke to Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) and service providers – contains the following key messages:

  • Despite uncertainty and fear about health risks to themselves, their families and people who experience care, housing support and care at home staff worked hard and flexibly to ensure there was capacity to meet needs and keep people safe throughout this pandemic.
  • People who experience care and their carers declining their usual supports, to reduce the risk of infection, contributed significantly to maintaining services during the pandemic, but carers needed more support to sustain the effort of providing care.
  • Social isolation, disruption to daily activities, limitations on physical activity and the suspension of reablement adversely impacted on the health and wellbeing of people who experience care and carers.
  • The increased use of technology and creative alternative approaches to support had positive outcomes for some people who experience care and these developments should help inform new service responses.
  • HSCPs effectively prioritised support for people with critical needs, but how this was managed in terms of the impact of this prioritisation on packages for other people using services was very variable across the partnerships.
  • HSCPs and service providers worked collaboratively in almost all partnership areas to find creative and effective solutions to key challenges such as maintaining staff capacity and shortages of PPE, with the most robust responses to the challenges involving fully integrated, responsive approaches between all partners.
  • The requirements for care at home and housing support providers to provide similar data and information to a range of agencies was time-consuming and onerous for providers.
  • The challenge of responding to COVID-19 further exposed the complexity of and weaknesses in funding for care at home and housing support services. HSCPs and service providers were concerned about future funding for these critical services.

The Care Inspectorate is a scrutiny body that oversees care service providers across Scotland. Based on this research and analysis, they make 16 recommendations that are important for the delivery of good care at home and housing support services in the context of the pandemic and beyond.

You can read the Care Inspectorate report here: (this link will take you away from our website).



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