Edinburgh’s care crisis explained

Senior Woman Taking Medication From Pill Box
Senior Woman Taking Medication From Pill Box
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Here is an explainer of the Capital’s care crisis

Last year, inspectors revealed that the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership was ‘inadequate’ in four areas, weak in another four areas of the service – while one area was branded ‘unsatisfactory’.

Government experts made 17 recommendations for the partnership to improve services, but good or reasonable progress has only been made to meet three recommendations.

Alongside the Care Inspectorate findings, the partnership has struggled to hit a host of targets for delayed discharge and people waiting for care packages – while the service is on track to be over-budget by the end of the financial year.

Why is it in trouble?

Health and social care services are being provided to a growing and ageing population amid a need to save millions of pounds from its budget. Social care bosses are having to balance making changes to improve standards quickly, while putting in place widespread and long-term changes to how services are delivered in a complete cultural overhaul.

The service has also suffered difficulties in recruiting and keeping hold of staff – putting pressure on existing staff and the delivery of health and social care overall.

What is being done to fix it?

In May, the partnership appointed Judith Proctor as its new chief officer. Two new roles have been created – head of strategic planning and head of operations.

The partnership will bring forward an action plan in February – to be agreed by the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (IJB) to try and improve standards.

Social care bosses believe some progress has been made since the second inspection took place over the summer and delayed discharges have reduced but are upfront that “clearly there is still work to do”.