Scanlon tackles health secretary over care home reports

THE North’s Conservative spokesperson for health has called for greater detail on care homes to be made available to MSPs.

Mary Scanlon used the last health questions before parliament’s summer recess to raise the issue of care home inspections with health secretary Nicola Sturgeon.

“I asked the cabinet secretary for health if MSPs could be sent electronic copies of all care home reports and updates following inspections so that we have the same information on care home inspections as we receive for schools,” she said.

Mrs Scanlon questioned whether all reports and follow-up reports by the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care could be reported electronically to constituency and regional members within seven days.

This, she said, would be to ensure all members of the parliament get the same information on care homes as they currently receive for school inspections.

The cabinet health secretary “absolutely agreed” with the Highlands and Islands MSP on the importance of transparency and appropriate follow-ups, adding they are “vital components of the inspection regime”.

“If weaknesses are identified, that is a sign of the success of the regime, but we should expect those weaknesses to be followed up and rectified,” said the minister.

“I am more than happy to relay Mary Scanlon’s specific suggestion to social care and social work in Scotland to discuss its practicality.”

Ms Sturgeon said she would get back to Mrs Scanlon in writing, which the Highlands MSP said was encouraging.

“MSPs all value the information we get about school inspections, praising well-performing schools and raising questions with those who do not meet the high standards expected by pupils and parents, so why should care home reports be any less important?” asked Mrs Scanlon.

“Given the recent concerns relating to care homes, it is important members are given up-to-date information following all inspections and also the action taken to ensure that quality standards are being met.”