Elderly still waiting lengthy periods for care in Edinburgh

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The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership has failed to meet targets set by inspectors

5th December 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Social care bosses have failed to meet targets set to improve services in Edinburgh.

Inspectors have highlighted that large numbers of older people are still waiting lengthy periods before receiving support.

The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership said that improvements have been made since the latest 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.

Following the visit this summer, inspectors have deemed that only limited progress has been made in meeting the recommendations.

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.

The report 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.”

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.”

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

She said: “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.”