Medication, nutrition and hydration top Scottish care home concerns

Problems with medication, continence care, tissue viability, nutrition, hydration and inadequate care and treatment make up the bulk of complaints against Scottish care homes, new data from the Care  Inspectorate has revealed.

Over the past four years, there have been almost 3,000 (2,963) complaints about care homes; this sector accounts for the largest number of complaints over the four-year period: 48 per cent of all complaints received – despite accounting for 11 per cent of the 12,900 or so registered services in Scotland.

Just over half of all complaints received in 2018/19 about care homes for older people were from relatives and friends of people living in the service – nine percentage points higher than in other types of service.

The proportion of complaints received from care home employees was also higher during the year for care homes for older people than for other service types by around six percentage points.  People experiencing care made around 1 per cent of all complaints about care homes for older people – compared with almost 15 per cent for all other types of service

Overall, complaints about care in Scotland have risen in the past four years, according to the Care Inspectorate.

A new report reveals that the volume of complaints received by the Care Inspectorate has increased from 4,089 received in 2015/16 to 4,940 in 2018/19 – a rise of 21 per cent.

The Care Inspectorate says that although levels of complaints received have risen, it is not an indicator that quality of care is in decline: comparing 2015/16 to 2018/19, the percentage of care services graded good, very good or excellent in all quality themes has remained consistently high at 88 per cent.

Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “The rise in complaints brought to us over the past four years may be attributable to the increased awareness of our complaints process and of the standards of care people should expect.”

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