News and Developments

Health & Social Care Partnership having “very good” impact on local community, say watchdogs

The city’s new Health & Social Care Partnership is already having a “very good” impact on the people of Aberdeen, says Scotland’s health and care watchdog bodies. 

The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland today [Tues 20 Sept] published their joint inspection report into health and social work services for older people in Aberdeen. 

The report recognises that Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP) is performing well in many areas. 

The inspectors were particularly impressed by the benefit which the Partnership was already bringing to the local community when they visited between November 2015 and February 2016, rating it ‘Very Good’.

They say ACHSCP is delivering good personal outcomes for many older people and their carers – and performing well in preventing avoidable emergency admissions to hospital. 

‘Impact on the Community’ is one of the nine ‘Quality Indicators’ on which the Partnership is evaluated in the report. 

The inspection report evaluates the Partnership as ‘Good' in two – ‘Impact on Staff’ and ‘Getting Help at the Right Time’. It judges the Partnership to be ‘Adequate’ on the indicators ‘Key Performance Outcomes’, ‘Policy Development’, ‘Management and Support of Staff’, ‘Partnership Working / Management of Resources’, and ‘Leadership and Direction’. The report assessed the organisation as ‘Weak’ on ‘Delivery of Key Processes’. 

Integration Joint Board chair Cllr Len Ironside CBE said: “This very positive report on the work of the Partnership is testament to the hard and dedicated work which has gone into integrating health and social care services in Aberdeen. The inspection took place several months before we went live in April this year – since when, integration has continued at a significant pace. 

“It is especially welcome to receive a ‘Very Good’ grading on our impact on the local community which is, after all, our core business. The watchdogs have only made such a high grading once before in the 12 Partnership inspections they have carried out so far. 

“Many of the issues raised in the inspection report were well known to us already and many of the recommendations – in particular on key governance processes – have been actioned and completed already. Progress on the outstanding recommendations is well in hand and an action plan is being developed to ensure that all other matters are fully dealt with.” 

ACHSCP Chief Officer Judith Proctor said: ”We welcome the findings and are acting immediately on all the matters which remain to be dealt with. We will build on our recognised areas of good practice to ensure that our Partnership is seen as an exemplary organisation, with excellent governance, processes, practices and service delivery – and the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes for our citizens. 

“The report has highlighted a number of areas of great performance. The inspectors have recognised that our staff are highly skilled, knowledgeable, hard-working and dedicated – and there can be no better foundation upon which to build our new organisation.” 

In the ‘Impact on the Community’ section, the inspectors say: “The Partnership was strongly committed to engaging with and involving local communities in meeting the health and social care needs of the older population. 

“The Partnership’s strong commitment to promoting healthy active ageing was evident. Working with organisations across the whole care sector, opportunities to support healthy lifestyles, reduce isolation and support carers were being taken forward. Individuals and groups we met spoke very positively about these developments.” 

The report also speaks highly of the Partnership’s commitment to delivering the right help, at the right time, in the right place. 

It says: “The Partnership’s approach to the design and delivery of care for older people had a clear focus on maintaining their independence, good health and wellbeing. There was a strong message from the Partnership that educating and supporting communities as partners in managing health and care needs was important in order to improve wellbeing and reduce the impact of ill health. There was a clear plan for supporting and encouraging healthy ageing throughout the city.” 

ACHSCP was also assessed as ‘Good’ in terms of staff attitudes towards integration, with the report stating: “Almost all the staff we met enjoyed their work and most said they felt valued, recognised and supported by managers and other professionals.” 

The inspectors conclude: “We considered that the Partnership had set a clear agenda to drive the health and social care partnership and deliver the required improvements as it goes forward.” 

The Care Inspectorate, as is standard procedure, will monitor progress on their recommendations.