Health and social care services in Renfrewshire are moving towards more joined-up working to deliver better outcomes for people who experience care, but some improvements are needed.

That is the view of inspectors from Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate who have today published the report of an inspection which looked at how well Renfrewshire health and social care partnership is organising services now, and how well they are planning to meet future challenges.

This is the second of a new type of joint inspection to report on the effectiveness of the strategic plans prepared by health and social care authorities across Scotland.

The purpose of the inspection was to help the integration authority answer the question: "How well do we plan and commission services to achieve better outcomes for people?" Inspectors assessed the vision, values and culture across the partnership, including leadership of strategy and direction, the operational and strategic planning arrangements which set out how to meet the current and future needs of people in the local area. They praised a number of strengths in the partnership’s strategic plan.

Key findings from the report are as follows:

  • Renfrewshire partnership has a clear vision which is understood and shared by staff, and inspectors found a strong commitment to delivering health and social care services in line with this vision. There was a clear connection between the vision and the strategic plan, with senior managers visible to and supportive of frontline staff.
  • The partnership’s strategic planning arrangements were designed to make a positive contribution to the lives of adults and their carers.
  • The partnership is performing well against national targets. A key area of success is the timely discharge of individuals from hospital, allowing people to quickly return to a homely setting after a stay in hospital. The partnership has a history of low rates of delayed discharge and is continuing to perform well in this area, and in how people are supported to make decisions about their own care and support.

Inspectors also set out areas where improvements are required:

  • Stronger arrangements are needed to need to better involve people who experience care, carers and the voluntary and independent sectors in the planning process in a more meaningful way and at an earlier stage, especially when services are being planned or redesigned.
  • The partnership should develop joint robust quality assurance systems and a joint programme of quality assurance activity that are embedded in practice. These should help to prioritise areas for self-evaluation and, in turn, help improve health and social care services.
  • The partnership should produce a revised and updated strategic commissioning plan with detail on how priorities are to be resourced and plans delivered.

Robbie Pearson, Chief Executive of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said:

"This was a broadly positive inspection of Renfrewshire health and social care partnership.

"Clearly they are making good progress towards a positive health and social care integration that will benefit people experiencing care and carers. However, there are some recommendations for improvement within the report.

"By taking a proactive approach to the management of operational performance and taking appropriate action to develop plans and structures currently in place we are confident that the Renfrewshire partnership will continue to make positive progress with the integration of health and social care."

Karen Reid, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: 

"People across Scotland want to be confident that they will experience high-quality care when they need it. Integration is the biggest change in health and social care for decades so will take time to embed. People want to know whether the right building blocks are in place in their area.

"In Renfrewshire, we found the partnership’s approach and delivery of strategic planning to be good but with some areas for improvement. Plans set out a clear overall direction for the future planning and delivery of services for adults.

"However, some plans need more details, and going forward we expect to see much more meaningful involvement of people experiencing care in deciding how services will be planned and delivered.

"The partnership should develop robust quality assurance systems and a programme of quality assurance activity. This should help to prioritise areas for self-evaluation and, in turn, joint service improvements.

"The partnership should also produce a revised and updated strategic commissioning plan with detail on how priorities are to be resourced and changes delivered."