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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Call for improved integration of health and social care in Clackmannanshire and Stirling

Written by The Editorial Team

Health and social care services in Clackmannanshire and Stirling are performing well at present but need to work together more effectively as partners to meet the needs of people in their communities, now and in the future.

That is the key message from a joint inspection carried out by inspectors from the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Inspectors looked at how well health and social care services are planned and commissioned across the area. They also looked at how the area’s health and social care partnership is planning to deliver services in the future.

They found that the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership is performing well against the national average on some important measures. But there has not yet been enough progress towards integrating health and care to meet the future needs of people in communities across all areas in Clackmannanshire and Stirling.

Inspectors found examples of positive changes to systems to reduce the numbers of people delayed in hospital and to improve planning for people when they are being discharged.

They noted significant investment in some major projects that have the potential to change the way services are delivered in certain areas in the partnership. The establishment of GP clusters and the Stirling health and care village were encouraging developments which had been well led and managed. However inspectors said it is early to tell how successful these will be in improving outcomes for adults and older people across the whole area.

The partnership was unable to show it had done enough detailed planning to support the delivery of fully integrated services.  Some senior officers were bringing energy and enthusiasm to develop more integrated ways of working but inspectors identified significant weaknesses in collaborative leadership.

There was insufficient demonstration of a wholesale commitment to integrated working to improve experiences and outcomes for people in Clackmannanshire and Stirling.  Inspectors noted there was no strategy to tackle inequalities across all the communities for which the integration authority is responsible. While partners cooperated to respond to challenges they were not always taking joint responsibility for planning together to do things differently.  Inspectors said that health and care partners had missed opportunities to work collectively and this was limiting the extent and pace of change.

Gordon Weir, interim Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “People across Scotland want to know that they will experience high-quality care. Integration is the biggest change in health and social care for decades so will take time to embed, but people want to know whether the right building blocks are in place in their local area.

“Inspectors reported that there needs to be more clarity about how resources are being targeted by the partnership to ensure equality of access to services and better outcomes for people using services.”

Alastair Delaney, Director of Quality Assurance at Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “The purpose of our inspection was to help Clackmannanshire and Stirling Partnership assess the extent to which they are making progress in their journey towards efficient, effective and integrated health and social care services that are likely to lead to better experiences and improved outcomes over time.

“We found a number of areas of good practice. For example, the partnership was able to show that the data they are collating to determine how they are performing has become more targeted and focused on improvement.

“However, the inspection also resulted in some areas for improvement. Our report recommends clear leadership actions to move forward more effectively and efficiently with the integration of health and social care. The actions include improving collaborative leadership, developing the plans and structures currently in place, as well as ensuring a proactive, partnership approach to the management of operational performance."

The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland have made recommendations for improvement and will support and monitor the partnership progress in the development and implementation of its strategies and plans for integration.
The report is available here: