Scottish care homes can now monitor Covid risks

A new web-based tool has been launched to help care homes across Scotland monitor coronavirus trends and identify risks quickly.

Saturday, 22nd August 2020, 7:30 am
Monitoring our care homes will be easier now thanks to a new web-based tool commissioned by the Scottish Government. (Pic: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

Commissioned by the Scottish Government, the Turas Care Management tool will allow all private and public sector care homes across the country to record information in one place, including Covid-19 infection rates, demand on services and staff testing.

This will mean care home managers, health and social care organisations and the Scottish Government can monitor trends, identify risks and take early action – both during the current pandemic and in future.

The care management tool, developed by the Scottish Government in collaboration with the Care Inspectorate, Scottish Care and NHS Education Scotland, will provide a clearer national picture of conditions in care homes, earlier warning of emerging trends and issues and easier reporting to free up care home resources.

Only identified care home managament staff will be able to access information.

Jeane Freeman, Health Secretary, said: “The health, safety and well-being of care home residents, both during the current pandemic and in the future, is critically important.

“This new web-based tool allows care homes to store information in one central place, whereas before they were required to report in different formats and through many channels, which tied up resources and made trend-spotting more difficult.

“Importantly, this means care home managers, health and social care organisations and the government will now be able to identify risks earlier and quickly take action – during the current pandemic and in the future.”

The tool will support care homes to review their data over time, demonstrate the safety and quality of the services they provide and facilitate escalation of key concerns to the Health and Social Care Partnership and Care Inspectorate when issues arise and support is required.

Peter Macleod, Care Inspectorate chief executive, said: “The care sector has worked tirelessly under the most challenging circumstances to care for some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland during the pandemic.

“This new approach to gathering data and information will help us to better understand what support the sector needs.”

Jacqui Neil, Scottish Care’s Transforming Workforce Lead, welcomed the move.

She said: “This will provide a long awaited national strategic approach to recording and responding to the pressures on our care homes in real time.”