Many older people have complex needs that need more than one professional or service. Their experience depends on how well services work well together.
Over the past year, CQC has conducted reviews of how local health and social care systems are working together in 20 local authority areas. Unlike CQC inspections, which look at specific hospitals or care homes, the area reviews look at local services collectively and how they work together to provide care.
The reviews concentrated on support for older people and emphasised the importance of local areas doing what they can to help people keep well, ensure any stay in hospital is kept to a minimum and that when people return home they are given the right support to help them recover.
Each of the reviews were also informed by local stakeholders, with local Healthwatch in each of the 20 areas able to share the feedback they have gathered from thousands of local residents.
Today the CQC has published their end of programme report, Beyond Barriers. The report highlights how although organisations intended to work together, they mostly focused on their own goals. It also found that where there was good planning between services, the way services were funded did not support them to work together.
The report set out steps that would see local areas become more joined-up, building a case for services to be commissioned, funded and regulated as a single service.
Commenting on the report, Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch, said:
“The way in which the CQC has conducted these reviews should be applauded. Working with Healthwatch teams across the country to investigate people’s experiences, they show determination to put people’s views at the heart of the system.”
“From the public’s perspective, hospitals, GPs and community care are all just part of one big healthcare system. We know that the best experiences of care come when doctors, nurses and care staff all work together with people and their families and provide joined-up support.
“Services should be organised around people and these reviews also show what can happen when they aren’t, leading to poor care and a distressing experience for people. It’s really important that everyone involved in designing and providing health and care services listen to people’s views.
“Health and care services face some huge challenges. If they are going to rise to the occasion then the views and experiences of people using hospitals, GPs and care services need to be right at the heart of how services are planned and delivered.”