Progress on East Dunbartonshire integration

Inspection report finds health & social care integration is progressing, but highlights financial challenges

Tuesday 6th August 2019

Health and social care integration is progressing in East Dunbartonshire - but an inspection report has highlighted concerns around the scale of transformation required and financial challenges.

An assessment of East Dunbartonshire Health & Social Care Partnership (HSCP) - which comprises the council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde - has been published by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate.

The inspection, which took place between November 2018 and February 2019, found the HSCP was performing well in areas including the rating of care and support by users as ‘good or excellent’, reducing emergency admissions and delayed hospital discharges.

Other areas praised include the delivery of care at home services, shifting care towards community settings and end-of-life care.

However, the report found East Dunbartonshire HSCP was falling behind in the use of technology to help maintain people’s independence, reducing the number of hospital admissions as a result of falls and support for people diagnosed with dementia.

As of November last year, the HSCP was projecting an overspend of £2.8m for 2018-19.

The report said: ‘A substantial financial gap was projected in future years.

‘There were major risks for the partnership that were associated with the delivery of its current financial recovery plan and its medium-term financial plans.

‘If not successfully managed, these risks would adversely affect the partnership’s ability to deliver the transformation programme essential to delivering integrated health and social care services and the long-term sustainability of the partnership’s financial position.’

Overall it concluded there was ‘clear evidence’ that integration across health and social care settings was progressing, with a ‘positive culture of collaborative leadership’ developing.

It added: ‘We were confident that the partnership had the capacity to make further progress.

‘Our confidence in its ability to do so was tempered by the scale of transformation required and the very challenging financial context.’

The East Dunbartonshire HSCP area has a population of 108,000, with life expectancy, employment levels and school performance higher than the Scottish average, and lower levels of crime.

Despite this, the report notes there are pockets of deprivation, where people’s quality of life falls ‘well below the national average’.

It also highlights the number of people aged over 75 years has increased by 40% since 2002, placing ‘considerable pressure on services’.