The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland have published a joint inspection of adult services, focusing on the outcomes and experiences of adults with physical disabilities and complex needs in the Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership. It 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. 

Key findings from the inspection report included:

Inspectors found that most people with physical disabilities and complex needs had a positive experience of integrated and person-centred health and social care, which supported an improved quality of life.  

There was a positive and effective approach to early intervention and prevention support.  This was prioritised across the workforce and made a demonstrably positive impact on peoples’ outcomes. 

The partnership had embarked on a whole-systems approach to embedding strengths and outcomes in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of its services.  This included the introduction of a single system to support monitoring and evaluating how outcomes were being met across all services. 

Having shared access to health and social care records contributed to positive outcomes for people.  However, not all staff in all teams had shared access to records and the partnership should find ways to widen access where possible. 

The partnership should also continue to address support for carers, as their experiences were less positive than those of people receiving care and support. 

The partnership should make sure it has an integrated approach to providing information and advice, so that people can make informed choices about their support, care, and treatment. 

Jackie Irvine, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “This joint inspection found clear strengths in how Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership are positively supporting people’s health and wellbeing in difficult circumstances.

“The challenges faced by the partnership, including recruitment and retention of care staff, increasing numbers of people seeking support and an increasing complexity of needs in those seeking support, affected the availability and quality of support it could deliver.

“Nevertheless, staff were working incredibly hard within this context to deliver good outcomes for people.

“The partnership should build on their strong relationships with providers in developing sustainable solutions to providing care.” 

Robbie Pearson, Chief Executive of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: "Our joint inspection of adult services in Midlothian took place in the context of continued impact from the pandemic and a growing population in the Midlothian area.

"Our inspection identified staff working hard to deliver good outcomes for people and a clear commitment from the leadership team to significant whole system change. Ensuring this is translated into sustainable solutions for care delivery will be key to continued improvement in outcomes.

"We've seen significant progress in changing the partnership culture towards early intervention and prevention with strong collaborative working with the third sector.

"However, success will require a strengthening of commissioning processes to ensure defined monitoring and evaluation takes place across all services.”

The full report can be read here.