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Public performance reports

Community care

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-2022.  Connect Priorities should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others. In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our Priorities show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

For daily updates, stories and what’s going on in your area, visit our information and news website South Lanarkshire View.

Each year we produce an Annual Performance Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect Priorities. To complement these we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports which focus on key areas of council business. This report outlines the performance in relation to our community care service and how this links to the outcomes of our ambition to ‘Improve health, care and wellbeing’.

Note: Some 2020-21 performance and results were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Community care is the term used to describe the care and support arrangements that are available to support the needs of our most vulnerable people, whether by age, disability or mental capacity. Social Work Resources provide and commission a range of services that ensure service users are supported to remain in their homes. Support available ranges from care at home, meals at home, equipment adaptations and occupational therapy, assistive technology along with a number of community living services including the community mental health teams, care and support serviceresidential care home and day care services.

Local councils have a duty under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 to assess a person's community care needs and decide whether to arrange any services. Any assistance should be based on an assessment of the person's care needs and should take account of their preferences.

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 provides the legislative framework for integration of health and social care in Scotland. It requires Local Authorities and Health Boards to integrate adult health and social care services. The Integrated Authority is South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership (SLHSCP). The Partnership’s activity is overseen by the Integration Joint Board (IJB)  The partnership has now produced its second Strategic Commissioning Plan and an Annual Report which sets out its intentions for the future of communities in South Lanarkshire.

The Social Care (Self Directed Support ) (Scotland) Act 2013 necessitates whole scale change in the way in which assessment and care management and support planning is developed alongside service users and carers offering them choice and control over what care services and support they opt for from (1) Direct Payment (2) Individual Service Fund (3) Council Managed Support or (4) mixture of the previous three.

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 makes provision about unpaid carers, including the identification of carer’s needs for support through adult support plans and young carers statements; the provision of support to carers; the enabling of carer involvement in certain services; the preparation of local carer strategies; and the establishment of information and advice services for carers.

The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 play an important role in guiding how some services are delivered.

The Care at Home service continues to offer support to the most vulnerable individuals throughout the pandemic. The service benefitted from initial support from colleagues redeployed from other council resources to enable the creation of a community meals service and welfare check for those with lower-level need. This released valuable home carer hours to focus on those with greater complex needs and offered additional support to those discharging from hospital.

A challenge for the service during this period was the impact of staff absence, with a significant number of staff shielding, self-isolating or absent from work due to sickness. Fortnightly meetings were held with external Care at Home providers to offer support, share information and ensure appropriate responses were in place to meet emerging issues.

Communication with carers was paramount and agreement to extend Microsoft 365 accounts to all Home Carers, provided access through organisational email addresses and MS Teams. This has transformed the way in which we can engage with staff who work in the community in a more responsive, efficient and safe way. The service has also introduced a sector leading IT system called Total Mobile to transform the way it schedules and allocates work and communicates with staff and service users. This system will bring efficiencies to the scheduling process, be more responsive to changes in service user circumstances and offer improved continuity with a more personalised care service.

The Care Inspectorate is the independent scrutiny and improvement body for care services in Scotland. They make sure people receive high quality care and ensure that services promote and protect their rights. All our care services are registered and inspected by the Care Inspectorate and you can view the individual reports on their website.

They currently inspect on five themes: Care and Support, Environment, Staffing and Management, Leadership and People's Wellbeing, however in March 2020 they suspended their normal inspection programme in response to Scottish Government COVID-19 national restrictions. They have now revised their inspection priorities and inspections will resume remotely using digital and other means.

Please see table below for current grades for Care at Home Services within South Lanarkshire:

Current Care Service Grades
Care Service Last Inspection Care/Support Environment Staff Management/Leadership People's Wellbeing Improvements Required Improvements Recommended
Clydesdale/Larkhall 26/10/2018 5 NA 4 NA   0 0
East Kilbride 24/01/2020 4 NA 5 5   0 0
Hamilton/Blantyre 17/06/2021 3 NA NA NA 3   4
Rutherglen 24/11/2020 3 NA 4 4 4 1 0

Grades Guide:     1.Unsatisfactory     2. Weak     3. Adequate     4. Good     5. Very Good     6. Excellent

 Look at our short video on Supporting your Independence and our video illustrating Care at Home Services in South Lanarkshire.

Care homes for older people were required to adapt rapidly to the outbreak of COVID-19, and the service has since been consistent in its application of the changing guidance, implementation of enhanced infection prevention and control measures.

In our care homes, suitably qualified and trained staff look after service users over the 24-hour period. Service users are supported with all aspects of daily living. This would include care and support to maintain their personal care needs, such as assistance with bathing, washing, dressing, going to the toilet and taking medication. Each SLC care home has WIFI to allow service users to maintain contact with loved ones as well, supporting the use of laptops, phones and other technology that we all use in our daily lives.

The council has five care homes, providing 192 placements with a further 39 independent care home providers, with 2336 registered places.

Please see table below for current grades for Care Homes within South Lanarkshire:

Current Care Service Grades
Care Service Last Inspection Care/Support Environment Staff Management/Leadership People's Wellbeing Improvements Required Improvements Recommended
David Walker Gardens 19/11/2019 5 NA NA NA 5 0 0
Dewar House 05/12/2019 3 NA NA NA 3 2 1
McClymont House 09/01/2020 5 NA NA NA 5   0
McKillop Gardens 28/01/2020 5 NA NA NA 6   0
Meldrum Gardens 01/11/2019 4 5 3 5 4 1 2

Grades Guide:     1.Unsatisfactory     2. Weak     3. Adequate     4. Good     5. Very Good     6. Excellent

Follow the link to the list of the council’s Care homes. Social Work Resources also offers advice on choosing a care home and care home options and you can watch our video illustrating Residential care in South Lanarkshire.

Buildings were required to close on 19 March 2020, in response to government COVID-19 guidance. An Outreach Service was established immediately to ensure those most vulnerable, who had been attending day services were offered individualised support at home. Working closely with care at home services, steps were taken to reduce the footfall within service users’ homes, with day services seeking a service variation to enable them to also carry out personal care tasks within service users’ homes. Prior to the pandemic, an evidence-based review of all adult an older people's day services was underway. An appreciative inquiry approach was taken to consult fully with all stakeholders during 2019 and early spring 2020, to gain views and opinions about what works well in the current day service model and where there is scope to improve. Review activity has now recommended and, whilst there is steady progression to resume some building-based services, Outreach support will continue during the period of recovery. More information can be found in our Annual Performance Spotlights.

Arrangements have remained under review throughout the pandemic. The service, offering support to adults with a learning disability to live safely within their own home in the community was established in 2004 and has seen little change since its inception. The need to embed policy directives such as Self-directed Support (SDS), South Lanarkshire's Eligibility Criteria and the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 were considered drivers to review the service. It is anticipated that the review will provide individuals with greater choice and control over their care and support to achieve outcomes that matter to them and ensure there is sufficient capacity to continue to meet those outcomes going forward.

TEC has seen an unprecedented rise in services accessing technology enabled care as an option to provide care and support since early March 2020, as a result on restrictions on travel, shielding and social distancing. Consultations have risen from 75 in the month of February 2020 to a current average of over 1,800 consultations per week. Services are now redesigning their care pathways to include video consulting, Near Me, following its regular use by a wide range of health and social care and independent providers to maintain the quality-of-care provision throughout the pandemic.

A review was completed at the end of January 2020, with a recommendation to streamline the assistive technology pathway and improve efficiency and effectiveness including:

  • the development of tech hubs in three SLC care homes
  • the development of an assistive technology assessment on the Social Work information system
  • the collation and submission of telecare benchmarking data to the national TEC programme

The number of assistive technology requests dramatically reduced at the start of lockdown. However, demand for assistive technology installations quickly bounced back with 382 assistive technology items being installed in service users' homes between September and November 2020, a 137% increase on those installed during the same period in 2019.

The assistive TEC team continues to be involved in a range of COVID-19 related activities. One notable example is that the team procured, configured and distributed tablets to all South Lanarkshire Council care homes and Childrens Houses at the start of lockdown. Care Homes have used the tablets to enable video consultations between residents and health professionals using NHS Near Me, together with enabling residents to keep in touch with their loved ones.

Carers are people who provide unpaid care, without whom the demands on the council’s Community Care Services would greatly increase. It is estimated that there are approximately 38,000 carers of all ages across the South Lanarkshire area. Carers’ support is provided in a variety of ways.  Further information is available on the Carers pages of our website whilst South Lanarkshire’s Carers' Strategy outlines how carers are currently supported and areas for future development. The council undertook a procurement exercise in relation to Carers Services late 2019 and a new service contract commenced with Lanarkshire Carers providing Adult Carer support and services and Action for Children  providing Young Carers support and services.

The Money Matters Advice Service Welfare Rights Officers have supported Carers to claim benefits :

Carers supported by Welfare Rights Officers Total
2017-2018 962
2018-2019 1057
2019-2020 1080
2020-2021 546

In total for 2020-2021 the outcomes for Carers supported by dedicated Welfare Rights Officers were:

  • Weekly benefits: £66,500         
  • Backdated benefits: £671,452         
  • Annual benefits: £4,129,452

We will continue to report on the number of Carers supported by dedicated Welfare Rights Officers and amount of benefits awarded and increase the number of Carers supported by the commissioned carer support from Lanarkshire Carers.

We will take forward the following key areas for improvement:

  • continue to implement the Supporting Your Independence (SYI) approach by increasing the number of suitable referrals to home care going through the SYI intervention process
  • continue to maintain grades of “good” and above for external inspections of our registered care services
  • continue to engage and consult with stakeholders in relation to the improvement and re-design of day services for adults and older people
  • take forward any actions resulting from multi-agency inspections of older peoples services carried out by the Care Inspectorate and Health Improvement Scotland
  • continue to support Carers to continue in their roles as a carer

Resource Plans are prepared each year by all council Resources to outline the key developments they intend to take forward in the year. In addition to the continuing demands presented by COVID-19 there are several factors which present specific challenges to Social Work Resources in relation to the demand for key service provision. In the coming year Social Work Resources will take forward all necessary actions, where reasonable and appropriate, to mitigate or reduce the Resource's exposure to these risks.  More information on performance and actions relating to community care can be found in the Social Work Resource Plan, the Chief Social Work Officer Report and the IJB Annual Performance Report.

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans. In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect Priorities are prepared.See Quarter 2 (September) and Quarter 4 (March - year end) for performance reports for further information.

More information on our objectives can be found in the Council Plan Connect and also the Annual Performance Spotlights.

Local Government Benchmarking Framework  (LGBF) allows councils to work together, to use performance information in a way which will help understand variations, share knowledge, expertise and good practice, with a view to making improvements. At the core of the framework is an agreed suite of performance indicators. We report the results for these indicators, over time, on the website. Additionally, you can compare our LGBF results with other councils' using the mylocalcouncil tool. Not all local authorities are alike and so family groups of eight ‘similar’ councils have been set up for comparison purposes. Workshops take place throughout the year to discuss the indicators and results – South Lanarkshire Council is actively involved in these discussions.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (March 2022).