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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Dementia support group St John's Hospital Livingston: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01980
Date received: 18 August 2017
Date responded: 19 September 2017

Information requested

Information in relation to the current position with the continuing support group at Templar, St John's Hospital Livingstone, West Lothian including:

1. Are you aware that this service is being withdrawn?

2. If so is it a government instruction and for what reason?

3. If not a government instruction, who has decided the day care should cease?

4. Why has it not been made public before the participants carers have been told.?

5. What other arrangements are being put in place to assist carers like myself from the 24/7 pressure with no respite.

6. Is another service being withdrawn from this hospital with a view to its eventual closure?

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested (See Annex A). While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have all of the information you have requested. This is because although the Scottish Government has overall responsibility for social care policy in Scotland it is for local authorities, NHS Boards and Integrated Health and Social Care Partnerships to implement the policy at a local level adhering to the legislation, regulations and guidance that is in place. The Scottish Government cannot comment on or intervene in local operational decisions. However, we can offer general guidance and advice.

You can obtain information on questions 3, 4, 5 and 6 from Nick Clater Senior Manager, Mental Health Services, West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (Email: Nick.Clater@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk Tel: 01506 523807/523805) I note from your correspondence you have already met with him and that you have also spoken to my colleague David Berry in the Dementia Unit and that clarification and reassurance on these issues have been provided after your letter to Ministers was posted. I hope that this the case.

Annex A

1. Are you aware that this service is being withdrawn?

Staff in the Scottish Government's Dementia Unit have been in contact with the Senior Manager of Mental Health Services at West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, Nick Clater (contact details, as above)

Mr Clater explained that the service at Templar is not being withdrawn but that it is currently having to re-locate due to works being undertaken at Templar and that, in the future, Templar will no longer be able to offer the day service – but that alternative accommodation was being sought for the service. There will be a process of transitioning those who wish to continue to attend the service (at its new location) to mainstream day care in a planned way and when it is appropriate to do so, with support from staff of course to manage any transition.

2. If so is it a government instruction and for what reason?

As mentioned, although the Scottish Government has overall responsibility for social care policy in Scotland it is for local authorities, NHS Boards and Integrated Health and Social Care Partnerships to implement the policy at a local level adhering to the legislation, regulations and guidance that is in place. The Scottish Government cannot comment on or intervene in local operational decisions. However, we can offer general guidance and advice.

Local statutory bodies, including those in Lothian, are responsible for designing, commissioning and delivering services – as well as taking decisions on whether or not particular services should be re-designed, replaced or re-located. In answer to your question, it is not necessary or appropriate that Ministers are routinely informed by statutory bodies on local decisions of this kind; and Ministers do not give instructions on such matters.

3. If not a government instruction, who has decided the day care should cease?

Information can be obtained from West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (contact details as above)

4. Why has it not been made public before the participants carers have been told.

Information can be obtained from West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (contact details as above)

5. What other arrangements are being put in place to assist carers like myself from the 24/7 pressure with no respite.

Information can be obtained from West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (contact details as above)

The Scottish Government recognises the vital role that unpaid carers play in caring for their family, friends and neighbours, including those who are most vulnerable.
This is why we introduced the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. The Act will come into force on 1st April 2018. The Act is designed to support carers health and wellbeing and continue to support them to continue to care, if they so wish, and have a life alongside caring. These include amongst other things:

  • A duty of local authorities to provide support to carers, based on the carer's identified needs which meet the local eligibility criteria.

  • The introduction of an adult carer support plan. This will recognise the unique needs and personal outcomes of each carer and will focus on the impact of caring;

  • A requirement for the responsible local authority to consider whether support should be provided in the form of a break from caring and the desirability of breaks from caring provided on a planned basis.

We continue to work together with local authorities, including West Lothian Council, NHS Boards and other key partners to ensure successful implementation of the act.

You may also be aware of the organisations that may be able to provide support to you and your wife. However, I have taken this opportunity to provide you with some additional information.

Alzheimer Scotland provide information and/or emotional support on any issue to do with dementia and also has a network of resource centres and Dementia Advisors across Scotland as well as a range of free resources. Their contact details are:

Carers Scotland, another of our National Carers Organisation provide help to carers and professionals, with expert advice on issues such as carers' benefits, community care and services for carers. Their contact details are:

The Scottish Government also funds Shared Care Scotland, one of the our National Carer Organisations, who will be able to offer you advice about what short breaks/respite provision there is available in your local area. They can be contacted at:

Finally I have also included a link to our rights based framework The Standards of Care for People with Dementia http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/350188/0117212.pdf which tell you and your wife the standards she has the right to expect in all care settings, including at home, in residential care, general hospital settings and in day care, and what to do if you are dissatisfied in any way with the quality or standard of care provided.

6. Is another service being withdrawn from this hospital with a view to its eventual closure?

Information can be obtained from West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (contact details as above)

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
16 Nov 2017
Dementia support group St John's Hospital Livingston: FOI release