SBC consultation on through-the-night care changes is expanded
Consultation over a ‘re-provisioning’ of through-the-night care provided by Scottish Borders Council, set to net a saving of almost £500k, is to be expanded across the region.
The Night Support Service, currently operating from 10pm to 7.30am, provides planned care and support through the night and may include safety checks, assistance to bed and to the toilet.
The aim is to replace that service, where appropriate, with the introduction of alarms, bed sensors and door activation monitors and by a change in shift patterns from 8pm to midnight to 6am to noon or 6pm to midnight, to negate the need for overnight continence support.
The proposals are part of an ongoing review of the Adult Social Care service which is currently provided by five staff teams, one in each locality across the Borders.
As part of the review, two month-long pathfinder pilots were held with Night Support Service users in the Tweeddale and Berwickshire localities. The Tweeddale Pathfinder was undertaken in January and February while the Berwickshire Pathfinder took place during July and August.
In each of these localities, service users received a reassessment of their care package which included being assessed as to their suitability for their overnight visit to be moved to a dawn or twilight shift.
Any changes were closely monitored and undertaken following full consultation and agreement with service users and their family carers. Anyone who was assessed as not being suitable to take part in either pathfinder continued to receive the Night Support Service as per their existing care package.
Evaluation in Tweeddale found that service users experienced no adverse impact or increased risk as a result of the changes, whether that was through an adjustment to the timing of their visit or the use of Assistive Technology/TEC solutions.
Many reported that they benefited from not being disturbed throughout the night which also promoted better sleep. A number of those who were provided with Assistance Technology/TEC felt a greater sense of safety from the constant monitoring this provided, compared to a time-limited face to face visit. Families were also supportive and raised no concerns.
A similar outcome was experienced by service users who took part in the Berwickshire pathfinder, with many able to have the timing of their visit moved to the dawn/twilight shift with no adverse effect.
In three cases, it was found that service users required the ongoing and planned support of the Night Support Service, due to individual level of need and not meeting the criteria for Assistive Technology/TEC solutions.
Full evaluation of both pathfinders has concluded that there continues to be an overnight support requirement for a small number of service users with critical needs across the Borders.
The council is now seeking feedback on the proposal that this model is adopted throughout the Borders.
The consultation is open from Monday, October 30 to Sunday, December 3. The survey can be accessed online at: night-support-service consultation Oct 23
Paper copies are available by emailing: [email protected].
A letter is being sent to all existing service users to ask for their feedback. Engagement is also being held with staff likely to be affected.
Councillor David Parker, SBC’s executive member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The pathfinder pilot undertaken in the Berwickshire area has given us a further opportunity to assess the potential impact on service users of changes being proposed to the overnight care service.
“It was encouraging to see that service users who were assessed as being suitable for the dawn/twilight shift pattern responded well to the adjustment, experiencing no adverse impact. Similarly, those who were suitable for Assistive Technology/TEC experienced a number of benefits when this was made available to them. There was no change for those who continued to require the Night Support Service.
“Now that a robust evaluation of both the Tweeddale and Berwickshire pathfinders has been undertaken, we are confident that the model that has been trialled in these localities would be equally effective if rolled out across the Borders. I would therefore encourage people to consider the proposals outlined in the consultation and provide us with their feedback. All comments will be taken into account before any final recommendations are made.”