Services for Older People (Scottish Borders)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 5th October 2017.

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Photo of Christine Grahame Christine Grahame Scottish National Party

Is the First Minister aware of a recent Care Inspectorate report on services for older people in the Scottish Borders, which, among its many criticisms, identifies delays in assessments, compounded by delays in providing services? For example, one of my constituents was admitted to the Borders general hospital in February, was not assessed until June and is still waiting for his care package even as I speak—by my calculation, that is eight months. Does the First Minister share my concern that, admirable though the integration of health and social care services is, it is not working in practice?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I am aware of that inspection report. I am disappointed that it says that services have fallen short of the high standards that patients have a right to expect. I am also concerned about the leadership and governance issues that were identified and the impact that they have had on patient care. I know that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport has already spoken to the health board and the leader of the council about those issues, and Government officials are ensuring that Healthcare Improvement Scotland is working with the board to take all necessary improvement actions. I know that NHS Borders has already taken steps to improve leadership and governance, including learning from other NHS boards.

In the course of her question, Christine Grahame raised a specific constituency case. As I frequently say in response to issues around constituency cases, I do not have all the details about the case, but if the member wishes to make them available to the health secretary

, we will ensure that it is properly looked into.