From Brenda Steele, Northern Correspondent:

The latest offering from those Common Weal Types:

https://sourcenews.scot/social-care-from-a-crisis-to-a-catastrophe/

The latest Common Weal paper by leading care expert Nick Kempe, ‘Lessons Learned?’, examines data from the Care Inspectorate, the body responsible for monitoring social care standards in Scotland, about the state of play in care homes five months after the pandemic crisis began.

The sub-title is:

Two thousand deaths later, has infection control in care homes improved?

Let us look at the author.

https://commonweal.scot/policy-library/predictable-crisis

Author Nick Kempe was Head of Service for Older People in Glasgow and, when seconded to Scotland Excel, developed national commissioning in Scotland. He played a central role in the development of the National Care Home Contract and then led on the development of the cost of care calculator for Care Homes in Scotland.

So Nick Kempe is employed by

www.scotland-excel.org.uk

Scotland Excel offers a range of procurement, training and consultancy services which deliver savings, efficiency and capability. Learn More. Discover the impact of procurement. Find out how Scotland Excel is helping councils to deliver better and more effective public services for their communities.

According to the website Scotland Excel handles:

Social care

Construction

Transport & environment

Corporate

Sustainable procurement

Community benefits S

Drilling down to the Social Care section

Scotland’s local authorities spend around £3bn each year on social care services, much of it with specialist third and independent sector care providers.

Commissioners need to find the right service for each person’s needs and, with such a wide range of options available, this can be a challenging task. In 2011, the social care category team was formed to work in partnership with local authorities and providers to deliver innovative procurement solutions across a range of goods and services.  Since then, Scotland Excel has developed a portfolio of social care contracts which comprises:

  • care agency workers
  • care homes for adults with learning disabilities
  • children’s residential care
  • fostering services
  • secure care services
  • community meals
  • telecare and telehealth technologies

Developing a cost of care calculator doesn’t seem to have much to do with what the Care Inspectorate does.    Neither does  delivering innovative procurement solutions across a range of goods and services.

Sounds more like a bean counting manager type  rather than checking up on infection control, procedures on changing PPE etc. etc.  and if you look at his article that is exactly what Mr Kemp is doing only this time it is counting how many inspections and how often.

So what makes him an expert on what the Care Inspectorate does when they visit a care home?   How does he know what needs to be done and how often?

Why is he jumping on the media Care Home Crisis bandwagon?  Why now?

Of course Mr Kempe isn’t the author of the article that quotes from his work.  The unknown reviewer digresses from worrying about the Inspectorates performance to rehash the  old story of patients moved from hospitals to care homes  as reported in the Sunday Post and for good measure drags in a GMB study of how care workers are exploited.  The Review seems longer than the paper.

All this before the portentous conclusion.

Whether it is an under-resourced Care Inspectorate or hyper-exploited social care staff, ‘is this really good enough?’ is the question all of us should be asking. With 46 per cent of all deaths from Covid-19 in Scotland coming in care homes, we shouldn’t take our eyes off the social care scandal.