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27 Jun 2017
Dundee Stronger Together

All across Scotland, the 31 Integration Joint Boards have been meeting to begin their official work in running social care in Scotland.   This is a major shift in policy that has been given an easy ride so far.  The NHS is one of our national treasures and bring social care together with health can surely only be a good thing.   But as our article on Page 2 suggests, the NHS may not always guarantee good care.Learning Disability is the elephant in the room

The minutes of all Joint Boards are available online for anyone to have a look at.  We analysed the agendas and papers for 62 meetings of 31 Integrated Joint Boards to see what they talked about. 

There is no mention of Learning Disability Services in these  meetings between March and June of 2016.  Often the poor relation of  social
work, we worry about a lack of priority for people with learning disabilities.   We did spot one reference inside the papers of the Glasgow Board which promised a further review of Learning Disability Services for the year 2017-18 as part of another “efficiency drive.”

The importance of tackling the  “Delayed Discharges” of older people. Is clear.  Some explain that the Scottish Government has provided a strong financial incentive if targets are reached to reduce delays of more than 2 weeks.  Most IJBs discuss delayed discharges at every meeting. Some had 4 agenda items dealing with this.  

Delayed Discharges are about people who no longer need hospital care but can’t leave hospital for various reasons.  This is an expensive cost to health boards.  A former Cabinet Secretary for Health said “The average cost of keeping someone for a week in an acute hospital across Scotland is £4600 a week.  While on average, to keep and treat someone in a home setting is £300 a week.”

 

The families of two children with severe learning disabilities have been successful in a judicial review into local authority cuts to short breaks services, which they said would leave their children socially isolated.

The families of a 14-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl from Newbury, known only as DAT and BNM, instructed public law experts Irwin Mitchell to take on West Berkshire Council over the cuts, which will see the budget for short breaks services provided by voluntary sector organisations slashed by 48%. The decision was made at a meeting of West Berkshire Council on March 1 this year and reaffirmed at another meeting on May 31.

Irwin Mitchell applied to the High Court for a judicial review on the basis that the £215,600 funding reduction is unlawful as it breaches a number of legal duties, including those arising out of the Children Act 1989 and the Equality Act 2010.

The High Court declared today [July 22] that West Berkshire Council did not properly consider its legal duties before deciding to make the cuts, and that the subsequent decision was merely to “rubber stamp” the first decision without being able to cure the original flaws.

The hearing took place on June 22 and 23 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London with the judge siding with the families, forcing the council to rethink its plans.

A care provider has been fined £190,000 following the death of a disabled resident who broke his neck at a nursing home in West Yorkshire.

Watchdog the Care Quality Commission prosecuted Leeds-based St Anne's Community Services after 62-year-old Kevin McNally died at the home in Smithies Moor Lane, Birstall, in April last year.

Bradford Magistrates' Court was told that Mr McNally, who had Down’s syndrome, epilepsy, dementia and a severe learning disability, had lived in the nursing home since 2012.

In April 2015 two care workers had gone to Mr McNally's bedroom to help him take a shower using a shower commode chair. The shower chair fell forwards while he was loosely strapped in. Staff attempted to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead in hospital.

Jenny Ashworth, prosecuting, told the court that the provider had failed to adequately control the risk of serious injury and the accident was avoidable.

This accident was entirely avoidable. The risk of people sustaining serious injuries because safety or posture belts are not used properly has been well known for some time. Yet St Anne’s Community Services failed in its duty to ensure that care and treatment was provided in a safe way, and as a result Kevin McNally died. It is a tragedy which need not have happened.

"When serious incidents occur, we now have additional powers to hold providers to account in the courts. In future if we find that a care provider has put people in its care at risk of harm, we will always consider using those powers to the full to prosecute those who are responsible."    – Debbie Westhead, deputy chief inspector of adult social care

Please download some of the following resources to help people understand more about the EU referendum

 The Easy Read Guide to the EU Referendum

The EU Referendum Pointless Quiz  (Big File - right click and then open file with Power Point)

The EU Referendum Workshop Presentation  (right click and then open file with Power Point)

Coming soon

Why you should vote leave - Jim Sillar - LDAS Big Meeting 24/5/16

Why you should vote remain- John Edwards - LDAS Big Meeting 24/5/16

 Regular website visitors will be aware of the long term campaign for guidelines on the use of restraint for disabled childrem.  

Now Beth Morrison has been  awarded Special Award for Outstanding Achievement at BILD PBS Leadership Awards