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Care Sector (Mistreatment of the Elderly)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Alexander Stewart Alexander Stewart Conservative

Like me, the First Minister will no doubt be appalled by the news that hundreds of elderly people have been mistreated by staff in care homes across Tayside and Fife in recent years. Some 939 complaints have been investigated and upheld by the Care Inspectorate. Everybody in Scotland has the right to safe, good-quality and compassionate care that meets their needs and respects their rights. What urgent steps will the Scottish Government take to ensure that such treatment is eradicated from our care sector?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

The vast majority of elderly people in our care homes across the country get excellent care by dedicated members of staff, and I think that it is important that all of us recognise that.

The member is absolutely right that any elderly person who does not get that excellent standard of care is being let down. In relation to actions, we have a Care Inspectorate whose job is to make sure that there is robust and rigorous investigation of any complaints and to carry out general inspections of care homes. When it does that job and finds failings—we had issues raised in that regard last week—it makes recommendations. It is incumbent on care homes, local authorities and the Scottish Government to progress any recommendations that are directed at them, and that is what I expect to happen.

Many of us have elderly relatives. We should always consider such matters from the perspective of the care that we would want our relatives to have. That is the standard that all of us should expect to be upheld for everyone in a care home anywhere in Scotland.