A joint inspection of adult services, focusing on the outcomes and experiences of adults with physical disabilities and complex needs in the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, has found clear strengths in how integrated health and social care services are positively supporting people’s health and wellbeing outcomes. Inspectors also identified areas which could further improve.

The key strengths identified included:

  • Most people had positive experiences of integrated and person-centred health and social care, which supported an improved quality of life.
  • Many people and carers told us that they were listened to by workers who treated them with dignity, respect and kindness.
  • Almost all people had support from a key worker during assessment, review and care planning processes. Overall, when people had the support of a key worker, coordination was good.
  • The widespread adoption of collaborative approaches with external care providers improved the partnership’s ability to respond to and recover from the pandemic.
  • The Fife partnership’s senior leadership team and extended leadership team had developed a strong collaborative culture. Most staff strongly agreed or agreed that joint working was supported by line managers and leaders.

The key areas for improvement identified included:

The partnership should:

  • Continue to drive targeted efforts to improve outcomes for people and carers and make sure it has an integrated approach to providing information and advice.
  • Improve its processes for anticipatory care planning and how it responds seamlessly from the point of view of people and carers.
  • Make sure it balances responding to local needs with a consistent response by monitoring performance at a locality level.
  • Leaders should continue to evaluate the effectiveness of organisational development across the wider workforce.

Further progress is needed to maximise the impact of integrated service delivery on ensuring good outcomes and experiences for people going forward.

Jackie Irvine, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “New leadership arrangements were successfully introduced during the pandemic, and the positive effects were evident across the partnership. However, the pandemic had significant impacts on people, carers and staff across all sectors. As a result, the partnership was experiencing both an increasing demand for support and a reduction in the availability of the support it could deliver. The inspection has identified areas for improvement to address these challenges.”

Robbie Pearson, Chief Executive of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “The huge efforts of staff have enabled the partnership to continue to deliver good outcomes to most people that were broadly in line with performance across Scotland as a whole. At the same time, some people had poorer outcomes. Although we recognise the commitment and effort from the partnership and its staff, it’s important to acknowledge that some people, and particularly their carers, had negative experiences.”

The full report can be read here.

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Notes to editors

Health and Social Care Partnerships include local authority, healthcare and other services which work together to integrate services provided by Health Boards and Councils in Scotland.