Care inspectors notified of over 300 serious incidents in four years

Reviews took place across 26 local authorities in Scotland.

Care inspectors in Scotland notified of over 300 serious incidents in four years iStock

A total of 300 incidents met criteria for a serious incident review by inspectors looking at the quality of care in Scotland over the course of four years, according to official figures.

In its report published on Wednesday, the Care Inspectorate said that it received 317 serious incident notifications between January 2018 and December 2021.

Serious incident reviews seek to ensure that relevant learning is identified and applied where someone subject to a community order, or who has been released from prison with a condition of social work supervision has caused or been subject to serious harm.

Of the 300 that met the threshold for a serious incident review, most related to acts of serious violence and sexual offences, the care body said.

The reviews took place across 26 local authorities in Scotland, with one such review including circumstances where a person died or was killed, warranting further review.

A substantial number of review notifications were not made within five working days, often outside the control of the justice social work service, the report stated.

The Care Inspectorate said that it would actively monitor and provide regular updates to support improvement in that area.

In its findings, the report found there was “robust operational and strategic oversight” by local authorities who had submitted notifications and serious incident reviews.

And it identified scope to improve the level of specific detail on core elements of practice, including the requirement for the timeliness of local authorities on assessments.

Edith Macintosh, interim chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said “Justice social work services supervise and support many people who have committed a wide range of offences.

“While not every serious incident can be prevented, a review helps improve practice by identifying and sharing lessons learned. 

“The Care Inspectorate quality assures submitted reviews and works with local authorities to ensure important learning has occurred and is applied.

“Today’s report notes an increase in the number of local authorities submitting notifications.

“This indicates a willingness to use an independent review process to provide assurance that appropriate action was taken.”

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