care services for older people are improving across the UK as councils work
towards implementing government guidelines on modernising social services, the
Social Services Inspectorate has concluded, writes Gideon Burrows.
SSI inspected domiciliary, residential and nursing care provided for older
people in 21 councils between October 1999 and November 2000. Their findings
were published this week.
national picture was that these services were beginning to make an important
difference for the better,” the report said, but it warned that standards in
domiciliary care were a widespread problem.
were praised for improvement in cultural responsiveness, and modernisation led
by Best Value reviews. Joint work between social services and NHS was also
found to further modernisation of services.
inspectors said that management infrastructure and direction in older people’s
services were being “over influenced by the priorities of the council’s
Value reviews led too much from the perspective of the priorities of the
council’s in-house services,” said the report.
also said there was a lack of attention to service users with mental health
problems and sensory loss.
chief inspector, Denise Platt, said the report showed the emergence of new and
innovative services making a real difference to people’s lives.
can be cautiously optimistic about progress being made by most councils to
implement the modernising agenda for older people’s social care services and
ensure that care is person centred,” she said.
1998, a new national agenda for improving older people’s care was set out for
councils in the government white paper ‘Modernising Social Services’. Key
aspects included promoting the independence of older people, and better joint
working between health and social services to help people get the services they