Good progress has been made on improving services for older people in Aberdeen, inspectors have said.
The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland has published a progress review of services for older people in the city after an inspection in 2016 identified “important weaknesses” in some aspects of performance by health and social care services in the city.
In 2016, inspectors made eight recommendations for improvement to the Aberdeen City health and social care partnership, and this year an inspection team returned to check on progress.
Inspectors found that the partnership has made good progress in most of the areas reviewed. It had worked hard to reduce delays in discharging older people from hospital. This is important because staying longer than needed in hospital has a negative impact on older people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life.
In 2016 inspectors found weaknesses in how staff were working together to protect adults at risk of harm. On their return, inspectors found staff were much more knowledgeable and confident in adult protection work. They were now supported well by their managers.
Good progress had also been made in improving the experience of unpaid carers. Carers’ views had had a big influence on a new carers’ strategy to ensure support was provided according to need and there was high satisfaction with respite and daycare services.
However, inspectors also found there had been limited progress in developing the locality teams on which the partnership’s plan for delivery of health and care services for older people depends.
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 responded well to most of our recommendations and implemented changes.
“Importantly, we found the partnership were equipping staff to work better together to protect adults at risk of harm.
“The partnership has made good progress in supporting people to leave hospital as soon as they are able to, and in improving support for carers. Some older people still had to wait for lengthy periods for care at home. This remains a persistent issue which requires improvement.
“We also expect the partnership to drive forward the development of locality teams to strengthen the way health and care services for older people are delivered.”
Alastair Delaney, Head of Quality Assurance at Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “Our follow-up report for Aberdeen shows that the partnership has reduced delayed discharges of older people from hospital and made good progress carrying out assessments for unpaid carers.
“The partnership has also made improvements to its delivery of care at home to older people, and made progress on our recommendation on adult support and protection to deliver faster inquiries and investigations into adult protection concerns.
“However, its capacity to promptly deliver care at home to older people remains a significant concern. In addition, the partnership needs to work harder to put in place locality teams to deliver health, social work, and social care services based on specific locality needs, and make them operate effectively.”
The report is available here: http://bit.ly/jointinspectionofservicesforolderpeopleinAberdeenCity