An article examined the variety of meanings and practices of practitioners in performing 'adult protection' work in Scotland. It called for further research in order to deepen understandings, and for policy-makers to engage with the research as they developed their adult protection work.
Source: Fiona Sherwood-Johnson, 'A different kind of practice? Meanings attached by practitioners to the idea of "adult protection"', Journal of Social Work, Volume 14 Number 5
A report provided findings from a project that examined, and worked towards, the realization of the potential of the alcohol licensing system to reduce alcohol-related harm in Scotland.
Source: Laura Mahon and James Nicholls, Using Licensing to Protect Public Health: From evidence to practice, Alcohol Research UK
A think-tank report examined how patients accessed their family doctors in Scotland, and whether it was possible to improve arrangements to encourage better provision of service. It made a range of recommendations, including: for the publication of more, and clearer, information about services; for improved online access and information; for greater choice of family doctor practice, to be aided by allowing new practices to open; to standardize practice regarding ownership by private companies; and for all providers to publish annual accounts.
Source: Ben Thomson, Geoff Mawdsley, and Alison Payne, Examining Access: Survey of GP practices in Scotland, Reform Scotland
A report said that mental health was a priority area in Scottish healthcare, and that the focus on data collection, monitoring, and evaluation, and on improvement and delivery, was a particular strength. It said that better indicators could be developed to monitor specialist community services.
Source: Alessia Forti, Mental Health Analysis Profiles (MhAPs): Scotland, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The Scottish Government published an analysis of responses to its consultation on proposals for a Mental Health (Scotland) Bill.
Source: Consultation on Proposals for a Mental Health (Scotland) Bill: An analysis of responses, Scottish Government
An audit report in Scotland said that councils had started to make changes to social care, but progress in implementing self-directed support had been mixed among councils, and they had adopted different methods of allocating social care spending. It said that the risks and advantages associated with each model needed to be managed carefully without unnecessarily limiting people's choice and control over their support. The report said that social care professionals had welcomed SDS because it had the potential to improve support for people who needed it, but called on councils to work more closely with people, and with their carers, providers, and local communities, to develop the choices that would improve people's lives. The report made a range of recommendations for councils in their implementation of the policy.
Source: Self-directed Support, Audit Scotland
The Scottish Government published its strategy for children's sport, alongside the response to an earlier consultation.
Source: Giving Children and Young People a Sporting Chance: Scotland's sport strategy for children and young people, Scottish Government
The Scottish Government published a Bill designed to: amend the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, including the creation of a new central register of advance statements (a record of how a mentally ill patient would choose to be treated if their condition caused their loss of capacity to decide) and provision for people to choose not to have an assigned named person to make decisions about their treatment; to make provision about a range of mental health disposals in criminal cases; and to extend the victim notification scheme, which provided victims of crime committed by people with mental health disorders with information about the release or abscondment of offenders.
Source: Mental Health (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Government, TSO
The mental health watchdog for Scotland said that there had been some improvements made to National Health Service continuing care settings for people with dementia since 2007, but there were still wide variations in the quality of care and treatment, particularly concerning the use of psychotropic medication, the quality of the environment, and the availability of meaningful activity. The report made a series of recommendations to NHS Boards and the Scottish Government.
Source: Dignity and Respect: Dementia continuing care visits, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
The Scottish Government published its national walking strategy, with the stated aims of: creating a 'culture of walking' where everyone walked more often as part of their everyday travel, as well as for recreation and well-being; creating better quality walking environments; and enabling easy, convenient, and safe independent mobility for everyone.
Source: Let's Get Scotland Walking: The National Walking Strategy, Scottish Government
A report by a committee of MSPs said that the ageing population combined with a decreasing overall annual Scottish Government budget would make progress in shifting care for older people from hospitals to the home more difficult. The report said that spending on health and social care for older people would need to rise from approximately £4.5 billion in 2011-12 to nearly £8 billion by 2031 to meet increasing demand. The report acknowledged progress made to date in some areas, but made a range of recommendations, including for better use of existing data and for proposals to address limitations in the available data on longer term trends and spending on older people.
Source: Report on Reshaping Care for Older People, 6th Report 2014, SP Paper 562, Scottish Parliament Public Audit Committee
The Scottish Government began consultation on proposals to review the national care standards, based on a range of human rights-based proposals for developing the standards to improve the quality of care and protect vulnerable people. The consultation also asked whether a shared set of standards for health and care should be developed so that people working in health and care services would have a common understanding of what quality meant and would work to common core values. The consultation would close on 17 September 2014.
Source: National Care Standards Review: Public consultation, Scottish Government
A report provided the findings of the Infant Cremation Commission, which had examined existing policies, guidance, and practice regarding the cremation of babies and infants in Scotland and the handling of their recoverable remains (ashes). The report made recommendations.
Source: Report of the Infant Cremation Commission, Scottish Government
The Scottish Government began consultation on draft regulations regarding the implementation of the provisions of the Care Act 2014, as they applied to Scotland and the issue of cross-border placements. The consultation would close on 18 August 2014.
Source: Consultation on the Draft Regulations Relating to the Care Act 2014, Scottish Government
Links: Consultation document
An article examined access to, and experience of, later abortion by women in Scotland. It said that reasons for seeking later abortion were complex and varied. The law in England allowed later stage terminations than in Scotland, but the article said that women in the study perceived that the resources required to travel to England were a potential barrier to access, and felt that such travel was distressing and stigmatizing. The article concluded that it was necessary to reduce barriers to access and to improve local abortion provision.
Source: Carrie Purcell, Sharon Cameron, Lucy Caird, Gillian Flett, George Laird, Catriona Melville, and Lisa McDaid, 'Access to and experience of later abortion: accounts from women in Scotland', Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Volume 46 Number 2
A paper examined alcohol-related deaths in Glasgow. It said that Glasgow's poor health was compounded by high levels of deprivation in the city and, since the 1980s, alcohol-related deaths in the most deprived areas had risen more than those in the least deprived areas. In the city as a whole, alcohol-related deaths had decreased slightly in the early 2000s, which the paper attributed to the impact of the economic downturn and restrictions on alcohol multiple-buy offers, but there had been a disproportionate increase in alcohol-related deaths in young working-age females, and there were still significant differences in alcohol-related mortality across the 21 wards in the city.
Source: Alcohol-related Harm in Glasgow: A national, city and neighbourhood perspective, Glasgow Centre for Population Health
The Scottish Government published its response to a consultation on proposals to amend the regulations on the frequency of local authority guardianship supervision visits, and the requirement to provide information to local authorities.
Source: Adults with Incapacity (Supervision of Welfare Guardians etc. by Local Authorities) (Scotland) Regulations 2002: Scottish Government response to the consultation, Scottish Government
A report examined the messages from Better Life – a programme of work developed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that explored how to achieve a good quality of life for older people with high support needs. It said that seven key challenges had been identified (including: challenging ageist assumptions; meeting needs of diverse individuals; and giving service users a voice), and the report considered ways in which to respond, within the contemporary policy context in Scotland.
Source: Delivering A Better Life for Older People with High Support Needs in Scotland, Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services
A report examined the quality of National Health Service patient care in the four United Kingdom countries since devolution, based on analysis of around 20 indicators from the 1990s onwards. It said that there had been significant improvements across all four countries, with the performance gap between England and the rest having narrowed in spite of policy differences between the four countries. The report said there had been particular progress in Scotland, but that waiting times in Wales had risen since 2010. All countries had increased the amount spent on healthcare, but spending had slowed in response to austerity. The report compared results with an earlier study in 2010 and also analyzed the north east of England as a comparator to the devolved countries.
Source: Gwyn Bevan, Marina Karanikolos, Jo Exley, Ellen Nolte, Sheelah Connolly, and Nicholas Mays, The Four Health Systems of the United Kingdom: How do they compare?, Health Foundation/Nuffield Trust
The Scottish Government published its response to a consultation on proposals for services for the management of chronic pain. The report outlined ongoing proposals and next steps in the development of the Scottish National Chronic Pain Management Programme.
Source: Future Provision of Specialist Residential Chronic Pain Management Services in Scotland: Consultation report, Scottish Government
A report examined people's experiences of the impacts of poverty and deprivation on mental health in Scotland. It called for decisive and urgent action to reduce poverty and deprivation, including actions to mitigate the impact of welfare reforms. It also made recommendations to the government for changes in welfare policy and practice.
Source: Worried Sick: Experiences of poverty and mental health across Scotland, Scottish Association for Mental Health
The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 was given Royal assent. The Act provided a framework to support the improvement of the quality and consistency of health and social care services, permitting the integration of local authority services with health services, and providing for other joint working arrangements.
Source: Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, Scottish Parliament, TSO
The Scottish Government published its strategy for meeting the needs of people with a sensory impairment, following a consultation exercise.
Source: See Hear – A strategic framework for meeting the needs of people with a sensory impairment in Scotland, Scottish Government
A report examined, at a strategic level, the purpose and structure of residential care services in Scotland, with a view to meeting the aspirations and needs of future generations. It said that expansion would be required in extra care, rehabilitation/prevention, and high dependency care. Future services would need to take account of the needs and wishes of service users and the report recommended further work on the development of appropriate tenancy models. It also recommended clarification of the definition of housing support, and made observations and recommendations regarding capacity planning, funding, commissioning, and quality assurance.
Source: Task Force for the Future of Residential Care in Scotland, Recommendations for the Future of Residential Care for Older People in Scotland: Summary, Scottish Government
An article examined the types of choices available to patients in the English National Health Service when being referred for acute hospital care, in the light of the divergence of patient choice policy in the four countries of the United Kingdom. There were challenges in implementing pro-choice policy in healthcare systems where it had not traditionally existed. Differences between England and the other UK countries were limited in the way choice was offered to patients. A cultural shift was needed to ensure that patients were fully informed by family doctors of the choices available to them.
Source: Marie Sanderson, Pauline Allen, Stephen Peckham, David Hughes, Menna Brown, Grace Kelly, Debbie Baldie, Nicholas Mays, Alison Linyard, and Anne Duguid, 'Divergence of NHS choice policy in the UK: what difference has patient choice policy in England made?', Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, Volume 18 Number 4
An audit report in Scotland said that progress on the Scottish government's ten-year project to improve health and social services for older people had been slow, and monitoring of its implementation and impact needed to improve. It said that the government needed to: work with its partners to plan the movement of resources from institutions such as hospitals into the community; gain greater understanding of the geographical variations in activity and spending on services; and improve and maintain data on costs, activity and outcomes for health and care services.
Source: Reshaping Care for Older People, Audit Scotland
An article examined the relationship between neighbourhood housing tenure mix and health outcomes for urban residents in Scotland. It said there was no consistent pattern in health outcomes according to housing tenure mix but, for some specific health issues, neighbourhood type was associated with worse outcomes.
Source: Richard Lawder, David Walsh, Ade Kearns, and Mark Livingston, 'Healthy mixing? Investigating the associations between neighbourhood housing tenure mix and health outcomes for urban residents', Urban Studies, Volume 51 Number 2
An article examined adult protection in Scotland, in particular how service users, family members, and service delivery professionals perceived the effectiveness of the protection orders issued under the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007. It said that, although there had been concerns about the potential for paternalistic practice and excessive use of orders, proportionality appeared to be applied in practice. It said that all parties were aware of the tensions between autonomy and protection, but there were beneficial outcomes from the careful use of orders.
Source: Michael Preston-Shoot and Sally Cornish, 'Paternalism or proportionality? Experiences and outcomes of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007', Journal of Adult Protection, Volume 16 Number 1
A report examined whole-family support in Scotland for families facing multiple disadvantage. It said that their lives were often complex and that the best services worked with that complexity, but policy, such as the 'spare room subsidy', often worked against it. The report made multiple recommendations for policy makers, including: greater support for full time carers; support to ensure that benefits entitlements were claimed; and the abolition of the 'spare room subsidy'.
Source: Duncan O Leary and Jo Salter, Ties That Bind, Demos
The Scottish Government began consultation on proposals to identify, assess, and support carers and young carers in Scotland. The consultation would close on 16 April 2014.
Source: Carers Legislation: Consultation on proposals, Scottish Government
The Scottish government published its response to the national foster care review. The review had been established to assess a range of potential reforms, and provide direction on policy questions regarding: the organization and management of foster carers; carers' learning and development; and the financial and practical support offered to carers.
Source: Scottish Government Response to the Findings by the Foster Care Review, Scottish Government
A report examined the links between evidence and innovation in social work policy and practice in Scotland, exploring the associated conceptual, theoretical and empirical issues, and using case study examples.
Source: Jodie Pennacchia, Exploring the Relationships Between Evidence and Innovation in the Context of Scotland s Social Services, Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services
A report examined the legal, ethical and social issues surrounding the retention and potential use of Guthrie cards in Scotland. The Guthrie card collection constituted more than 2.5 million cards that included blood/DNA samples and personal information relating to children born in Scotland since the inception of the collection in 1965 until the present day. The report said that there was no dedicated legal framework that applied to the collection and noted the potential challenges that might result. It said that a robust, flexible and adaptive system was required to govern the collection, and that existing practices could be improved further to strike an appropriate balance of interests. The report outlined options.
Source: Graeme Laurie, Kathryn Hunter, and Sarah Cunningham-Burley, Storage, Use and Access to the Scottish Guthrie Card Collection: Ethical, legal and social issues, Scottish Government
An article drew on participatory action research with asylum-seekers and refugees in Scotland to explore participants' views on mental health problems, stigma, and discrimination. Migration could have adverse effects on mental health and well-being, due to racism and the asylum process; and this was worsened by stigma and discrimination.
Source: Neil Quinn, 'Participatory action research with asylum seekers and refugees experiencing stigma and discrimination: the experience from Scotland', Disability & Society, Volume 29 Number 1