Faith in Older People (FiOP) has for some time been urging the Scottish Government to strengthen the existing National Care Standard which relates to the spiritual lives of older people receiving care. In November last year the Scottish Government issued a consultation paper taking forward some of its initial proposals.
Although we have supported the emphasis on human rights and the stress on the needs of the individual we expressed our concern that the questions did not enable a deep or comprehensive understanding of the issues or how the ideas would be implemented in practice. We expressed a number of concerns and these can be viewed on the FiOP website.
This month the Review Team which includes the Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Scottish Government produced an update and this has been posted on the FiOP website as well.
FiOP wants to see a strong but simple approach to standards which are easily understood and appreciated by staff in the care they provide and that older people and their relatives and friends are clear as to what they can expect. Therefore, we have urged that the language being used is clear; there must be a realism about the standards which should be meaningful to the individual and be the basis of empowering the older person in decision making, choice and participation.
For us the spiritual dimension which holds the identity of the individual is integral to person-centred care. It is essential to listen to what has governed and influenced a person’s life so that they hold on to what matters to them and from which they can draw strength and build resilience.
The National Care Standards must form part of the bigger policy landscape so that we join the dots and create a coherent framework for the care of older people.