A joint inspection of services for older people in Glasgow has praised the quality of some services, but also made ten recommendations for improvement.

The joint inspection was carried out by a team of inspectors from the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

They looked at a wide range of services provided to older people by Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, known as the Glasgow Partnership. The aim was to find out if health and social work services worked together effectively to deliver high quality services to older people.

The report notes: “Our joint inspection found that the Partnership provided a range of services to older people and unpaid carers who cared for older people.

“Health and social work services staff worked well together to deliver these services.

“In many instances, this transformed older people’s lives, enabled them to remain in their own homes, kept them safe, as well as possible and maintained their wellbeing.”

They added: “The Partnership had made some progress reducing the numbers of older people, whose discharge from hospital was delayed. The Partnership was also making progress reducing the numbers of older people permanently admitted to care homes.

"The Partnership needed to work together to reduce the numbers of older people who had an emergency admission to hospital.”

Across nine quality indicators used to assess services, four were found to be ‘good’ and five ‘adequate.’

Ten recommendations for improvements have been made in the report.

These were:

  • Increasing efforts to reduce the number of older people admitted to hospital as an emergency or as a repeat emergency.
  • The Glasgow Partnership should also ensure that all carers are offered a carers assessment in line with legislation, and that carers are linked to a carers centre so that carers can seek a review should their needs change.
  • The Glasgow Partnership should continue to develop anticipatory care planning for older people, ensuring a more streamlined, standardised and multi-agency approach, with anticipatory care plans that are accessible across the partnership.
  • The Glasgow Partnership should make sure that older people have timely access to occupational therapist assessments to enable them to get the support they need to remain within the community.
  • The Glasgow Partnership, should take immediate action to improve the engagement with frontline practitioners and their managers. They need to improve quality, consistency and frequency of communication and engagement with staff across all sectors. Thereafter the partnership should put systems in place to measure if the desired improvements are realised.
  • The new Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership should routinely gather and report on comprehensive data on the numbers (and eligibility criteria categories) of older people waiting for an assessment or review, the length of time they have to wait, and the length of time for service deployment following completion of their assessment.
  • The Glasgow Partnership should make sure that proper chronologies are prepared and placed in the individuals’ electronic or paper record.
  • The Glasgow Partnership should develop a joint workforce development strategy during the first year of integration which sets out clear joint priorities. This should identify possible staffing shortfalls and outline measures to address these as the integration of health and social care agenda progresses.
  • The Glasgow Partnership should reinforce and communicate their organisation’s information sharing protocol so that there is a shared understanding among all staff about the confidential information they are permitted to share via secure email systems.
  • The Glasgow Partnership should ensure that development of a comprehensive risk register is aligned with the shadow integration joint board’s function in overseeing the integrated arrangements and onward service delivery. This should be maintained when the integration joint board is established.

Karen Reid, the chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “This joint inspection highlights where progress has been made, but also outlines areas where services must improve in order to deliver better outcomes for older people.

“Where there is room for improvement we have reported on this and expect the partnership to take the necessary action so that everyone can access services which meet their needs and respect their rights.”

Robbie Pearson, Director of Scrutiny and Assurance for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: "Our joint inspection found that The Partnership had made progress in reducing the numbers of older people whose discharge from hospital was delayed and that there was also progress reducing the numbers of older people permanently admitted to care homes.

“However the joint inspection team also found that The Partnership needed to work together to reduce the numbers of older people who had an emergency admission to hospital."

You can download a full copy of the report here