Progress review of services for older people in the Western Isles

Good progress has been made on improving services for older people in the Western Isles, inspectors have said.

The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland today published a progress review of services for older people after a joint inspection in March 2016 identified “significant weaknesses” in some aspects of performance by health and social care services in the area.

 In 2016, inspectors made several recommendations for improvement to the Western Isles health and social care partnership, and this year an inspection team returned to check progress on meeting the recommendations. Now, inspectors found that good or very good progress has been made in almost all of these areas. They noted that “an important reason for this appeared to be a determination by the council and the health board to put past differences behind them and not only to respond to the challenges of health and social integration, but also to work together to take advantage of the benefits which integration could offer.” Key to this was the appointment and impact of the Chief Officer for the partnership in 2016. He was undertaking this role effectively, establishing positive and constructive working relationship with the range of stakeholders and galvanising support for better and real integrated working.

Karen Reid, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “People want to experience care that is consistently high quality, with health and social care staff working together. In our latest review, we found that the health and social care partnership has responded well to our recommendations and made either very good or good progress in addressing almost all of them. Our inspectors found that the health and social care partnership was now in a much better place than it had been in 2015.

“Our inspectors have found that strengths which were already evident at our last inspection have prospered, resulting in an impressive improvement. There remained a few areas where improvements still need to be completed or where the pace of change needs to be accelerated, including redesigning of mental health services.

“We are pleased to see the impact of effective leadership, which helps ensure that services providing care and support for older people in the Western Isles are increasingly working together.
“The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland will continue to engage with the partnership about the possibility of offering further support for improvement.”

Robbie Pearson, chief executive of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “It’s encouraging to see that the Western Isles health and social care partnership is now demonstrating what can be achieved when organisations work together for the benefit of the communities they serve. The findings of our latest joint inspection show an impressive turnaround from their position in 2015.

“No doubt the communities of the Western Isles will be pleased to see the progress that has been made. Clearly there’s still work to be done, especially in the important area of mental health services, and we would encourage the partnership to continue making progress in this area.”

The review is available to download here: http://bit.ly/westernislesprogressreview