Review highlights areas for further improvement in older people’s services in Edinburgh and notes some progress

**Published on behalf of the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership.**

The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) have published their progress review of the joint inspection of health and social work services for older people in Edinburgh today (Tuesday 4th December).

Following the extensive inspection carried out in 2016 the inspectors returned in June and July to measure the extent of progress made by the Partnership in meeting the 17 recommendations from the original inspection.  

Whilst the review highlights some progress made, the inspectors highlighted areas of continued concern and need for ongoing improvements in practice, performance and the delivery of key processes.

Progress had been made in:

  • improving and streamlining the falls pathway to ensure that older people’s needs are better met.
  • Developing joint approaches to quality assurance arrangements
  • ensuring risk assessments and management plans are recorded and informed.
  • pilot projects such as ‘good conversations’ in the north east of the city showing positive results with potential to be rolled out city-wide.

However, key areas for improvement remain:

  • updating the carers strategy. Working in collaboration with carers and carers’ organisations to improve how carers’ needs are identified, assessed and met
  • making sure older people get timely needs assessments and service provision and timely reviews of their care and support
  • further develop and implement approaches to early intervention and prevention services to support older people to remain in their own homes and help avoid hospital admission
  • people with dementia receive a timely diagnosis and diagnostic support for them and their carers is available. 

Since the review, work has progressed on the carer’s strategy, which will go out for consultation in early 2019. A pilot of carer assessment in the north west of the city has seen a reduction in the average waiting time from 18 months to 10 days. 

The Partnership has set new trajectories for improvement in reducing delayed discharge figures which are showing early signs of improvement. Since 15 October there has been a reduction in the number of Edinburgh residents delayed in hospital beds from 221 to 184 and waiting for assessment from 1616 to 1328.

A lack of strategic leadership and ownership of the improvement plan was also highlighted in the review. However, in May 2018, just prior to the review meetings, a new chief officer and operations manager were appointed who have taken strides in changing the leadership and organisation structure. This has included the creation of two new roles – head of strategic planning and head of operations. 

Judith Proctor, Chief Officer, Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, said: 

“We welcome the content of the review and are pleased that the report acknowledges the work undertaken to address the recommendations made following their 2016 inspection - although we recognise that clearly there is still work to do.

“We are committed to making the improvements required to ensure our services are delivered at the level they should be and will continue to work with the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland in our action and improvement plans which we shall also report to the EIJB.

“The report is a fair snapshot of where the service was in Spring of this year. Since then, early signs of improvement are encouraging and suggest our plans and planning are going in the right direction. We fully expect to be in an improved position when the inspectors revisit next year.   

“Whilst the review highlights many of our problems, it was good to see our staff were highlighted as an area of strength in the Partnership. Their excellent work continues to deliver these vital services in times of transition and challenges.”

The progress review involved meeting 30 older people and carers and around 200 staff from health and social work services, the third and independent sectors and other stakeholder organisations. 

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