Joint Older People’s services review report highlights positive progress and improvement in all areas

Care inspectorate text and animated purple ball

Published: Wednesday, 12th February 2020

A progress review of older people’s services has found that the HandSCP has made sustained improvements across all thirteen recommendations identified in their report from 2017.

In their update report published today, they highlight areas where they identified that the Partnership is delivering quality services, resulting in positive outcomes for service users, patients and carers.


Most significantly, they have confirmed that, due to the positive findings from their review, there will be no need for further scrutiny in relation to their previous recommendations.

They found:

  • Senior managers were demonstrating commitment to a shared goal.
  • Increased strengthening of joint working at a strategic level and that continuity of senior staff in the partnership was providing much needed stability.
  • The What Matters Hubs and Hospital to Home provision were highlighted as key examples of good joint working that were resulting in a number of benefits.
  • The Hubs were also providing a consistent approach to signposting people to the most appropriate service and impacting positively on waiting times.
  • The mental health transformation programme was resulting in encouraging changes for people accessing a diagnosis of dementia. Improvements had been made in the waiting time between referral and assessment as well as the overall support provided.
  • The development of a carers’ strategy through consultation with carers was seen as a positive development and evidence of improvements in the delivery of support for carers was identified.


Strategic Plan

The governance framework had been reviewed and a process established for monitoring the progress of the strategic plan to the Integration Joint Board (IJB). This was supported by a clear reporting structure between the IJB, the Strategic Planning Group (SPG) and the key management leadership groups. Importantly, constructive working relationships had evolved within the IJB and SPG.

In addition, the IJB was progressing with the development of a detailed joint financial recovery process to ensure that savings proposals across NHS Borders and ourselves were achieved.

There was a more strategic view on how the Partnership planned to shift the balance of care in the short, medium and longer term. A matching unit for care at home service provision had been established and arrangements to enable older people’s discharge from hospital with appropriate community supports had improved. The reintegration of the arms-length provider of social care services would ensure greater control of its service provision and the 2018-21 Strategic Plan included a commitment to redesign the way care at home services were delivered to ensure a reablement approach.

Dr Stephen Mather, Chair of the IJB

”The Board has worked hard to ensure a professional and supportive relationship operates across all partners involved in the delivery of health and social care services. This includes Health, Council, Housing, Care Providers, Carers, our voluntary sector and directly with those people who benefit from our services. This report gives all of these partners recognition of their efforts and commitment to improving the lives of all who live in the Borders.”

Tracey Logan, Chief Executive

“I am pleased to note that the excellent work of our staff has been so positively reflected in this review report and that the impact of our ongoing action plan, which is the consolidation of a range of plans which the Partnership continues to develop, has been recognised. We are deeply committed to supporting our community of older people here in the Borders and for this to be acknowledged in this way is something we can all be very proud of.”

Ralph Roberts, Chief Executive of NHS Borders

“We were pleased to hear that, when speaking to older people and their families, inspectors found that they valued the services they received which are of a good quality. It was encouraging to note that service providers 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.”

Rob McCulloch-Graham, Chief Officer Health and Social Care

“This report is a very real endorsement of the strategy the partnership introduced in 2018. The inspectors recognised the scale of improvement staff, managers, non-executives and local politicians have made over the last couple of years, to the services on offer to the people of the Borders.”