Better training for paid carers urgently needed

20/09/2011

Carers in Glasgow today made an urgent plea for better training for paid care providers and more personal involvement in care inspection services by carers and users.

Members from the Health and Sport Committee met the group as part of its inquiry into the regulation of care for older people. The carers, who look after parents, children and siblings in Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Argyll and Bute, attended a meeting organised by Carers Scotland.

They revealed their challenging experiences in trying to ensure quality care provision for loved ones. Many expressed anger at the lack of trained paid carers and the service provider’s rota system that can mean paid care providers work a 12 hour shift with a maximum 15 minutes spent with each client. They also addressed the perceived lack of carer and user involvement in inspections of care services.

Committee Convener Duncan McNeil MSP said:

“Today’s meeting with carers and Carers Scotland has been very informative to our inquiry. There is clearly a huge squeeze on services resulting in major challenges for all sides. We heard today that it is the care support system and not the care giving that is causing stress.

“At present the inspection agency is not hearing the voices of the carers and users at the chalk face of the care provision service and that is something that must change if the service is to be effective.”

Fiona Collie from Carers Scotland said :

“Carers Scotland, which supports 660,000 unpaid carers, welcomes this committee inquiry into the regulation of care. Carers must have confidence in the quality of services provided to the person they care for and that, where problems occur, their views and concerns are listened to and acted upon. That’s why it was so important for the Health and Sport Committee to hear directly from carers about their experiences today.”

Isobel Allan , from Glasgow who has cared for her daughter Susie who has multiple complex needs and profound learning difficulties for 31 years, told the committee that the care support system is not working. She said: “There are two major issues in the life of carers. There is the caring for the person they love and there is the system that is supposed to be there to support us. It is only the latter that gives us stress.”

Background

Members of the Health and Sport Committee, Duncan McNeil MSP, Bob Doris MSP, Mary Fee MSP, Richard Lyle MSP and Gil Paterson MSP attended the meeting with Carers Scotland in Glasgow as part of the inquiry.

In Edinburgh today, Health and Sport Committee members Jim Eadie MSP, Fiona McLeod MSP, Mary Scanlon MSP and Richard Simpson MSP attended a consultation meeting with carers led by Age Scotland as part of the committee inquiry into care regulation for older people.

The Health and Sport Committee will continue taking evidence and publish a report on its inquiry into the regulation of care for older people in October.

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