Scots inspectors bid to cut duplication

Scotland’s local authorities and the country’s Care Commission have begun talks aimed at streamlining the inspection process for community care providers.

Initial talks with the aim of identifying and reducing duplicated work had taken place, the Scottish parliament’s health committee was told last week by Alan McKeown, health and social care policy manager at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

Further talks, instigated after local politicians raised concerns in late 2005, are likely to focus on clarifying the “memorandum of understanding”, which governs who asks what and why. But this falls short of demands from care providers for a single or unified inspection process.

Annie Gunner, director of umbrella organisation Community Care Providers Scotland, said: “Whatever the motivation or reasons, the practical effect is that two sets of agencies look at largely the same evidence and documentation, which takes up an enormous amount of management time on the part of providers.”

She added that it was an unnecessary duplication and that the solution “must be more joint working, and perhaps even statutory requirements”.

Pat Wells, a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ patient partnership group, said it was important for local authorities to stay involved in the inspection process.


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