Out-of-date care reports judged ‘unacceptable’

COUNCIL officials have been criticised for failing to provide up-to-date information on the state of the town’s care facilities, reports MIKE DELANEY.

Ian Sloan hit out after councillors were given an annual ‘report card’ on centres for elderly, young and disabled people, based on inspections by care watchdogs, the oldest of which dated back to September, 2010.

Mr Sloan, who will bid to become a Labour councillor for Glenrothes at May’s elections and who is a leader of the Save Our Care Homes campaign, opposed to moves to take the facilities out of local authority control, said the time gap meant the reports “bear no relevance to the current standards and situations in the care homes and other Fife Council facilities.”

He cited one report, prepared for Glenrothes Area Committee by social work services and based on an inspection that had happened at Alan McLure House – where his mother is a resident – in February last year by the Care Commission – an organisation that no longer exists.

He said: “The report did not contain the results of an inspection carried out in late September by the new Care Inspectorate which concluded that ‘this was a positive inspection.’

“The home was also given higher grades in this recent inspection than was presented to the councillors at the meeting.

“I find it unacceptable that such an important local government committee looking after the interests of the people of Glenrothes should be supplied with out-of-date and obsolete information, when social work services are fully aware of the recent, much more relevant reports of the Inspectorate.”

Mr Sloan also believed private care homes should have been included in the report for comparison purposes with council facilities.

Councillor Fiona Grant, the committee chairwoman, had also raised the issue during the meeting.

She told the social work staff presenting the report: “I’m not sure we are particularly satisfied with that.

“Would it be possible for the committee to have in future the current year’s inspection?

Social work head of service, Roseanne Fearon, said: “There is a time lag involved in bringing these reports to our area committees and, unfortunately, the inspection information in some instances can be dated.”

“Officers attending area committees will provide a verbal update to councillors on any new relevant information.”