Inspection of older people’s services reveals weaknesses

Health and social care services in the Scottish Borders are delivering some positive outcomes for some older people in the area. But there are also weaknesses in the delivery of some important services.

That is the view of inspectors, following a joint inspection of services for older people across the Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Partnership, which includes Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders.

The inspection was carried out between October last year and February this year by the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Inspectors looked at how well health and social work services worked together to deliver good outcomes for older people and their carers.

The inspector noted that there were strengths in the quality of services provided to older people, and that they delivered good outcomes when people accessed them.

But they also said there were lengthy waits for people to have their needs assessed, and people often had to wait for services to be provided even after their needs had been assessed.

Across the following nine indicators of performance, inspectors found the following:

  • Key outcomes for older people and key performance indicators – adequate
  • Getting the right help at the right time – adequate
  • Impact on staff – adequate
  • Impact on the community – good
  • Deliver of key processes – weak
  • Strategic planning and plans to improve services – weak
  • Management and support of staff – adequate
  • Partnership working – adequate
  • Leadership and direction – weak

Jane Davidson, Chief Executive NHS Borders, said: “We were pleased to hear that when speaking to older people and their families, inspectors found that they valued the services they received which were usually of a good quality.

“People felt listened to and supported by staff to make choices about their care and support with their circumstances and personal outcomes improving as a result of the support provided for them, particularly in terms of being able to live where they wanted and stay as well as they could.

“It was also encouraging to note that services had worked hard to achieve these outcomes which had made a positive difference to people’s lives and that people were able to find information and who to contact if they wanted to access services.”

Tracey Logan, Chief Executive, Scottish Borders Council, added: “Overall, we find it difficult to understand why the excellent work of our staff hasn’t been as positively reflected as it might have been with three out of nine areas being graded as weak.

“However we are pleased that despite this the report graded our impact on the community as ‘good’.  “We have recently undergone a Community Learning and Development inspection and our annual audit from Audit Scotland.

“Early feedback suggests that both of these audits are very positive. We shall continue to work with the inspectors to finalise our action plan, which is the consolidation of a range of plans which the Partnership has in place, and assist them as they revisit our services over the next year.”

The Inspection Report can be downloaded from the Care Inspectorate website.