Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership failed to meet key recommendations

Edinburgh Council has failed to implement key social care recommendations set out by a report.
Edinburgh Council has failed to implement key social care recommendations set out by a report.
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Social care bosses have failed to meet key recommendations one year after a damning report into the service across the Capital.

An action plan will be put in place as inspectors highlighted it is “still not uncommon for large numbers of older people to wait for lengthy periods before getting support” – while “performance in important areas of service delivery had deteriorated”.

The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership said that improvements have been made since the inspection, which took place in June and July of this year.

Last year, the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland published a joint report investigating how health and social work services are delivered for older people. Across nine quality indicators, the partnership was found to be adequate in four areas, weak in another four areas, while one area was labelled unsatisfactory.

A progress report on how 17 recommendations have been addressed after 12 months has found that only “limited progress” has been made. Inspectors found the plans to tackle problems have been “reactive and short-term” and social care bosses were criticised for focusing on individual recommendations rather than “deliver an overall programme of improvement”.

Inspectors said: “The partnership had made some progress in areas such as improving the falls pathway, quality assurance arrangements, risk assessment and risk management planning.

“The commitment of front line staff and some managers had been a substantial strength at the time of the original inspection. This remained the case at the time of the review. Where we could see where improvements had been made, these were usually initiatives taken forward by front line staff and middle managers.

“Overall, however, we found limited progress towards improving the outcomes and experiences of many older people. Key areas for improvement had not been progressed by the partnership.  Many older people and their carers did not have the appropriate support when they needed it. It was still not uncommon for large numbers of older people to wait for lengthy periods before getting the support they needed.”

Inspectors want to ensure improvements are made to social care services in the Capital.

Gordon Weir, interim chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “Prioritised action will be required across services to ensure that older people and their carers are protected, their needs met and their well-being improved.

“We will discuss with the partnership and key stakeholders the scale and nature of the improvements required, how it intends to make the necessary improvements and what support they will seek to do so.  Given the limited progress in important areas of service delivery we will follow up again with this partnership to report further on progress.”

Since September 10, there has been a reduction in the number of Edinburgh residents delayed in hospital beds by 25 per cent and a reduction in waiting times for assessment in hospital from 40 to 16 days.

Since October, there has been a reduction in the number of Edinburgh residents delayed in hospital beds from 221 to 184, those waiting for assessment has reduced from 1,616 to 1,328 and in those waiting for a package of care from 946 to 921.

An action plan will be presented to the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (IJB) in February 2019.

Judith Proctor, who joined as chief officer of Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership in May, is confident more improvements will be made.

She  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.”

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