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Note of sensory impairment steering group held on 20 december 2005 in dunedin house, 25 ravelston terrace, edinburgh eh4 3tp present

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Bette Francis Scottish Executive - Chair

Lilian Lawson Scottish Council on Deafness

Jane Horsburgh Guide Dogs for the Blind

Bryn Merchant Royal National Institute for the Blind

Drena O’Malley Deafblind Scotland

Michael Anderson Service user

Stephen Joyce Service user/ trainer

John Whitfield Service user

Maria Dick Falkirk Council

Wendy Jack West Dunbartonshire Council

Bernadette Marr South Ayrshire Council

Gillian Morbey Sense Scotland

Liz Scott Gibson Deaf Action

John Gill Highland Council

Jeannie Munroe Scottish Executive

Marion Thompson Scottish Executive
1. Welcome and apologies
Bette welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced herself as Jean’s deputy. She will attend future meetings of this group but Jean, though absent today, will continue to chair the group. Introductions were made and apologies were noted from:
Sandra Gollan, Dennis Robertson, Mike Cairns, Stephen Wilson, Ann Brown, Alex Davidson, Jimmy O’Rourke, Mel McEwen, Phyllis Herriot, Wilma McCabe and Jean Maclellan.
2. Note of the last meeting
The note of the last meeting was agreed.
3. Updates from the last meeting
The Research Report

The final changes have been made to the report and a ministerial submission will go forward to get agreement to publish it in January. Other policy areas will be consulted to identify what work is currently being taken forward in areas of crossover. Any gaps identified can then be addressed. Hopes were expressed that it would have a formal launch to strengthen its message.

Action Point – Michael Anderson to be sent a word version of the Report when it is released.

Action Point - Consult with policy areas on work being undertaken


Guidance subgroup

The group have clarified that we are producing guidance for local authority social work but health will also have to be addressed. A two tier approach, one at a strategic level and one at a local level was required. The key requirements identified so far for the guidance were listed and recognition given to the fact that a senior person will be required to implement the guidance. Work needs to be done on checking out what other policy areas are doing in regard to the collection of statistics (NHS, e-care etc) as well as checking that sensory impairment needs are being addressed in other streams of work. Bette has offered to share guidance the Executive has produced on learning disability, autism and children for community health partnerships. There is also still more work to be done on setting standards before the guidance can issue so it will be some time before completion but we will concentrate on what is urgent and immediate to start the process.

There was a request that the minutes of the subgroup meetings be sent to the steering group members before the meeting. This would normally be the case but recent staff absences had delayed the process.
Some suggestions were given about tightening up the wording of some of the key requirements and a discussion on how to make sure the guidance would be realistic and strong. It was suggested that the subgroup have discussions with the Care Commission and link the guidance to the registration and inspection process when relevant. The guidance will go to COSLA to be ratified before it goes out to the local authorities so it will be robust. Other policy areas also have responsibilities so we need to influence them to make things happen and follow up by ensuring that the outcomes are measured. We will update the group on what progress is made at the next meeting.
Action Point – To help us link in we need to clarify the timings and issues for the Eye Care Review.

Action Point – subgroup notes and examples of guidance to be sent out.

Training Subgroup

Jeannie explained that we had put in a bid for extra funding and been successful. This funding had to be used by March 2006 and would require a combined piece of work from the subgroup to target basic awareness training. The suggestion had been made that we would use the CACDP tutor pack that had been issued for healthcare workers and expand it to a full day course which would include visual and deafblind needs and also cover social care staff. There would be issues about labelling and signposting but discussions have begun with CACDP and initial thoughts are that it could be adapted as a full day course with separate sections for each group.

Maria had taken this suggestion to the SCOTSVIP group and they had made a short term proposal of producing a basic list of core areas as the visual impairment part of the course for our next meeting. They also had a long term proposal of working towards developing a qualification over 5 years.
The group gave their comments on this and it was recognised that one piece of work would not deliver everything but it was a good first step. It would be good to have long term vision and start discussions with SQA and tap into other Scottish resources (SSSC and NES). The link with the Guidance was again emphasised.

4. Service Standards
The group were asked what standards were currently in place. Lilian reported that standards on deafness were produced in 2002 and a follow up survey had found that though some local authorities had done some work, others had done little. Local authorities worked to their own standards. Visual impairment currently had no real standards (Progress in Sight had not been fully adopted). The Action Plan was to produce common standards for sensory impairment and it had been Mike Cairns’ remit to produce them. His role and location had since changed but the understanding from Mike had been that following the pilot reports of the Eye Care Review which are now almost complete he would write standards. There was little mention of standards in the report that was now out for consultation and RNIB planned on pointing this out to Mike. Some work had been done by Drena following Mike’s early format for standards so it should be achievable to draw them all together.
We need to begin to look at the way forward to develop standards. Some policy areas are already doing work so it would be important to link with National Care Standards and other Quality Indicators that are being developed and make them work for us. The 21st Century Review of Social Work are also addressing this issue and once common needs are established we can fill in the gaps for specialist requirements. Once established we can also look at how they are measured and assessed.
Action Point – Clarify with Mike Cairns what work has been done on standards.
Action Point – Look at other standards e.g. QIS, Social Work, Joint Inspectorate of Social Work etc.


5. Eye Care Review consultation
Jeannie read a statement form Mike saying that responses were to be returned by 3 January but that early comments had emphasised the need for national standards and an implementation plan for the Eye Care Review.

Members of the group were disappointed at not receiving a copy of the report so that it could be properly discussed at the meeting and feared that it had not been circulated widely enough. Bette thought that we would still have the opportunity to comment if we discussed it at our next meeting.

Those who had read the report made comments on the good practice of audiology and the example it set in reviewing its services. The group would be interested in hearing from the Audiology Modernisation Team.
Action Point – Check deadlines for comments on the report with Mike
Action Point – Confirm whether Angela Bonomy or John Gill could speak about Audiology at our next meeting.

John Gill
Action Point – Feedback note of meeting to Mike Cairns as comments for the consultation; Members of the group were also encouraged to send their individual comments to Mike.

Marion/ Group participants

The question was asked on why the Certification and Registration Group had been reconvened and it was explained that little work had followed the previous report so Mike had been given the task of taking things forward further.

6. Any other business
The next meeting of the steering group could be used to discuss further the eye care review and hear from audiology how they did their review. Further meetings could be used to look at the mapping of the research recommendations.
7. Dates of Meetings
The dates for the next group of meetings were set - 14 February 2006

18 April 2006

13 June 2006
It was agreed that it would be in the same venue. Bryn Merchant and Lilian Lawson gave their apologies for the next meeting.

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