Blog: We are focused on person-centred care that supports the best outcomes for people

By Gordon Weir, Interim Chief Executive

I was delighted to have the opportunity in my new role as Interim Chief Executive to help launch the Care Inspectorate’s latest improvement resource Animal Magic, which showcases the positive benefits for people when animals are involved in their care setting.

We visited Deaf Action Outreach, one of the settings featured in this resource. It provides housing support and care at home to people who are deaf or hearing impaired in Edinburgh, Mid, East and West Lothian. 

Animal Magic gets alongside the shared experiences of children and adults who experience care by telling their stories. So, it was a great opportunity for me to see first-hand how person-centred care empowers people to make choices that enhance their health and wellbeing.

I spent time with Christina, who is supported by Deaf Action to live as independently as possible in her own flat in Edinburgh, and talked with her about her experiences of care. You may have seen the coverage on BBC Reporting Scotland that featured Christina and her wonderful dog Mindy.

Christina and Mindy have a wonderful relationship. Mindy is so much more than a pet and is possibly best described as a therapy dog. While she doesn’t act as an assistant hearing dog, she does help Christina to be independent. Mindy lets Christina know when people are at the door, helps her to visit the shops and go out locally as well as travelling further afield to places such as Aberdeen to visit family.

It was clear to me that Mindy significantly enhances Christina’s life in all kinds of ways, helping to give her a sense of independence and improving her experience of care and outcomes for her.

The Care Inspectorate is on a journey moving from being an enforcer of rules to an enabler of quality, building effective relationships to better support high quality care for everyone. This journey was started by our last chief executive Karen Reid who has been instrumental in ensuring our organisation is firmly focused on improving the outcomes for people experiencing care. I would like to thank Karen for her amazing dedication and inspirational leadership. In my role as Executive Director of Corporate and Customer Services we worked closely together and I have always been impressed by her drive and ambition for the quality of care people should expect and for our organisation.

Karen’s legacy is an organisation that is constantly driving improvement, promoting flexibility and encouraging innovation in how people are cared for and supported. I want to maintain this strong focus on what matters most to people and continue to build the culture and understanding of improvement further within the Care Inspectorate and across the social care sector.

The Care Inspectorate is not only a scrutiny body it is also an improvement body. Our improvement work goes hand in hand with our scrutiny role and our inspections are increasingly focused on improving the experiences and outcomes for people.

In July, we started the roll out of our new model of inspection for care settings that reflects the new Health and Social Care Standards. The new model is now being used in care homes for older people and we are looking at how we will introduce the model into other care settings in the year ahead. We are already working with people experiencing and providing care to develop similar frameworks for other settings. We want to involve lots of people in that, and will test new approaches before deploying them in different settings. All the time, we will be focused on person-led care and supporting the best outcomes for people just like Christina.