One year on from a damning investigation into care services in the city, it’s clear that not enough progress has been made.
It’s deeply concerning that older people and their carers are still not receiving the support they need. Edinburgh is in the grip of a social care crisis, with delayed discharge stranding too many people in hospital, and the wages and terms and conditions for care workers suffering. Staff often have just 15 minutes to cook for and wash their clients.
It’s a truly distressing and worrying situation for many elderly vulnerable residents, and the only thing that could make a significant and immediate difference would be an injection of additional cash for social care from the SNP government.
The full details from the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland follow:
Inspectors have warned that only “limited progress” has been made in improving outcomes for older people who need health and social care in Edinburgh.
A review carried out jointly by the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland has found that in some important areas of service delivery the City of Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership’s performance had deteriorated.
Inspectors returned to the city in June 2018, to follow-up on a report published in May 2017 which highlighted significant weaknesses in how services across the city were planned and delivered.
This latest review looked at how well the City of Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership had progressed in meeting 17 recommendations for improvement made in May 2017.
The partnership’s approach to addressing the recommendations of the original inspection was found to have been reactive and short-term and had addressed individual recommendations from the inspection rather deliver an overall programme of improvement.
Inspectors noted: “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.
“From the time of the original inspection to the progress review the partnership’s performance in important areas of service delivery had deteriorated.
“This included increases in delays in hospital discharge levels and in the number of people waiting for services.
“There had not been the necessary shift towards older people accessing services in the community.
Gordon Weir, interim chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “People want to experience care that is consistently high quality, with health and social care staff working well together to support people in a way that promotes their rights and choices.
“The review found that the health and social care partnership has significant progress still to make to deliver the right care at the right time and in the right setting.
“Prioritised action will be required across services to ensure that older people and their carers are protected, their needs met and their wellbeing 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.”
Alastair Delaney, Director of Quality Assurance for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “During this follow-up review of the City of Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, we found that overall limited progress had been made against our previous report’s recommendations.
“We found that many older people and their carers did not have the support they needed, and while there were individual areas of improvement and good practice, there was no sense that key challenges identified had been prioritised and planned for by the partnership.
“There is clearly still much work to be done to give the people of Edinburgh the services and quality of services they need, and we will look at support for improvement and will follow up with the Care Inspectorate on Edinburgh’s progress to improve services.”