Parents asked to help improve Royal Hospital for Sick Kids

By Christine Lavelle

BOSSES at Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children hope to use ideas from families of loved ones who owe their lives to the miracle staff there to make improvements at the campus.

A new family forum has been set up, inviting parents and carers who have spent time at the hospital to contribute their views about what will make the facility better.

In a series of regular meetings, starting on Thursday 7 October, parents can voice their opinions to management about ways in which the hospital can be improved with regards to outdoor space, play areas and transport arrangements.

They will also be shown drawings of the new Children’s Hospital planned at Little France, and given the chance to speak to the project manager. Continue reading


Hi-tech home care will relieve strain on hospitals

care home in EdinburghBy Rory Reynolds

HUNDREDS of elderly people in Edinburgh are to have hi-tech support devices fitted in their homes to allow them to live more independently.

The £1million home care boost will mean that up to 3,000 hospital beds and 3,000 care home places will be freed up – while still offering older people the support at home.

The high-tech Telecare system can switch off cookers that have been accidentally left on and alert carers in a resident is in trouble.

The device will also be issued to domestic abuse sufferers – meaning that victims can alert the police directly if an abusive ex-partner harasses them. Continue reading

Half of all kids’ care services must improve


By Michael MacLeod

THE forgotten heroes of Scotland’s care system have been praised after a hard-hitting inspection.

A new report says Scots carers aren’t as afraid as their English counterparts to comfort distressed or upset children.

But the Care Commission also warned half of all staff in the sector to do more to help kids to leave care.

The watchdog published its findings after monitoring the help given to the 2,512 young people looked after in Scotland’s 240 care homes, residential special schools and secure accommodation.

The Commission’s director said he was “concerned” that 50 per-cent of all residential services needed to improve.

Progress needs to be made in key areas such as children’s mental health and aftercare services, according to the report.

Even at the point where a child is admitted to care, improvements must be made in assessing their mental health.

However, the Commission found staff were good at promoting mental health for young people once they are in care.

A survey of youngsters receiving care services found 94 per-cent felt comfortable discussing their worries and concerns with staff.

The Commission said this was thanks to training by the Scottish Institute of Residential Care, which ensures any physical contact is appropriate and within acceptable boundaries when comforting a child.

Ronnie Hill, director of children’s services regulation, said it was important to stress that overall, practice in through-care is good in most services in Scotland.

He said: “Research has shown that young people in care, particularly those still in their teens and who move to independent living, are doing less well than their peers.

“In order to begin to turn this around, young people need to be appropriately supported, not just while they are living in a service but after they have left as well.

“We’re concerned, therefore, that almost half the residential services we monitored needed to improve their ability to help and support young people when they move on.

“In addition, we found wide variations in the assessment of mental health needs of young people at the point of admission and this needs to be addressed.”