East Sussex health and social care: an aligned vision in place but further work required says CQC review

February 8, 2018

The Care Quality Commission has published its findings following a local system review of East Sussex. This report is one of 20 targeted reviews of local authority areas looking specifically at how people move through the health and social care system, with a focus on how services work together.

The reviews look at how hospitals, community health services, GP practices, care homes and homecare agencies work together to provide seamless care for older people living in a local area.

Despite there being two separate transformation strategies across East Sussex, East Sussex Better Together (ESBT) and Connecting 4 You (C4Y), the review  team  found system leaders  had a clear and aligned purpose and vision for providing health and social care services. There was there was a strong commitment and high level of trust between the system leaders, to serve local people well.

Some of the key findings of the review were:

Preventative approaches to health and social care delivery were well thought through and embedded. There was a wide range of effective initiatives that were supporting people to remain in their own home and avoid hospital admissions.  There were some good examples of shared approaches and local agreements that supported local people in having timely access to services and support that met their needs.

However when older people were admitted to hospital they were often subject to delays in their discharge , this was often due to the unavailability of suitable care home beds and a lack of capacity in domiciliary care provision.

All system leaders were working together to reduce delayed transfers of care and recently developed operational protocols had improved patient flow. Performance information showed the system had made improvements over recent months and the number of delayed care transfers had reduced.  However there was still work to do to effectively manage and shape an affordable nursing home market and increase the availability of domiciliary care so that people’s needs were met in a timely way.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of Primary Care Services, said:

“I am pleased to see that the local system is working together to help people avoid being admitted to hospital and remain well in their own home , I am also pleased to note the improved performance in relation to delayed transfers of care and that older people are having a more positive experience when being discharged home.

“Nevertheless local system leaders still have work to do to develop a common framework for setting priorities and specifying accountabilities across the county.

“Work towards fully incorporating principles of the High Impact Change Model, particularly discharge to access and the trusted assessor model, needs to be prioritised across the system.

“Seven-day working and referral pathways should be aligned across the system to make the process consistent across the East Sussex.

“However, I am optimistic that the positive relationships across the system will promote a joint approach and the recent improvements in performance will be, maintained and continued. 

“In addition it is important that there is a system-wide response to effectively managing and shaping an affordable care market so that people’s needs can be met in a timely and sustainable way.”

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