An inspection of adult social work and social care services in the City of Edinburgh has found structural weaknesses in the planning and delivery of services in the health, social work and social care system. This has resulted in too many people and carers not receiving services at the right time or place.

The inspection reports on a number of key areas:

  • There were significant weaknesses in the design, structure, implementation and oversight of key processes, including the assessment of people's needs and in their case management.
  • Approaches to early intervention and prevention were uncoordinated and inconsistent.
  • Steps had recently been taken to address issues and practice in relation to adults with incapacity.
  • Long standing significant delays in discharging people from hospital, people waiting for assessment of their care needs and meeting vulnerable peoples’ unmet needs had recently begun to improve.
  • Self-directed support had not been implemented effectively.
  • There was insufficient support for unpaid carers.
  • Staff were working hard to deliver services but were under considerable pressure and sometimes overwhelmed.
  • Most staff experienced and valued positive, responsive and person-centred support from their immediate line manager.
  • There had been insufficient strategic leadership and management oversight of key processes, meeting legislative requirements, policies, procedures and guidance and to ensure sufficient capacity and capability to deliver safe and effective services for vulnerable people. The pace of change was generally slow.
  • Approaches to self-evaluation for improvement and quality assurance were not well-embedded.
  • The partnership did not have effective social work governance arrangements in place. Strategic decisions were not always well informed by a social work perspective.

Kevin Mitchell, Care Inspectorate Executive Director of Scrutiny and Assurance, said: “Inspectors found significant areas for improvement in adult social work and social care services in the City of Edinburgh. Prioritised actions will be required to ensure the needs of people and carers are met, and their wellbeing improved, more consistently. The Care Inspectorate will discuss with the partnership the scale and nature of the improvements required and how the partnership intends to make the necessary improvements.”

The full report can be read here.