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Friday, 10 March 2017

Some improvement needed following inspection of elderly care in Orkney

Written by The Editorial Team

Health and social care services in Orkney are delivering good outcomes for many older people, but improvements are also needed in some key areas.

That is the view of inspectors following a joint inspection of services for older people across Orkney Islands Health and Social Care Partnership which looked at how well health and social work services worked together to deliver good outcomes.

Inspectors noted that the inspection took place at a time of considerable reform of health and social care services and the establishment of the Orkney Islands Health and Social Care Partnership. The report identifies areas of good practice but also made ten recommendations for improvement.

Across the nine key indicators of performance, inspectors found four were ‘good’ while five were ‘adequate.’

Karen Reid, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “The partnership was achieving good outcomes for many older people. Few experienced a delayed discharge from hospital and the partnership had reduced the length of hospital stays associated with delayed discharges.

“However, the partnership faced considerable pressure on some of its services, including its care at home service. The lack of availability of care at home was a factor for the small number of older people whose discharge from hospital was delayed.

“Integration Joint Board members, senior managers and staff showed a good awareness of current and future challenges.

“They were embracing health and social care integration as an opportunity to make best use of the available resources. The completion of the joint strategic needs analysis and  strategic commissioning plan provided a useful baseline and direction of travel.”

Robbie Pearson, Chief Executive of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: "Our joint inspection of services for older people in Orkney met some 40 older people and their carers, and more than 100 staff from health and social work services and the third sector, helping us to build a good understanding of the quality of health and care services in Orkney. The Orkney Islands are projected to experience one of the biggest increases in Scotland in its elderly population, especially those aged 75 and over.

“We found that few older people experienced a delayed discharge from hospital and the partnership had reduced the length of hospital stays.

“We also found that older people and carers were positive about the support and services they received. Older people identified GPs as playing a pivotal role in helping them access appropriate treatment, care and support.

“However, the partnership needed to improve the speed with which older people could receive a dementia diagnosis and then post-diagnostic support. It also needs to improve its response and approach to falls prevention and management.”

The inspection was carried out between June and August 2016 by the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

The report is available here: http://cinsp.in/2m2K9Bg