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CQC finds 'little confidence' in Cornwall's health and social care system

CQC finds 'little confidence' in Cornwall's health and social care system

The CQC has found that Cornwall’s health and social care system ‘is not working well together’.
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The CQC has found that Cornwall’s health and social care system ‘is not working well together’.

The report, which urges health and social care leaders ‘to work together’, added that there is ‘little confidence’ in the system that improvements to the healthcare system will be made.

An inspection of the services revealed that different parts of the system are not working together to ensure people can move between services as they need them.

It added that too many patients are stuck in hospital waiting for the support they need to live at home, or trying to find a place in a care home.

Meanwhile, some people are living in care homes when they could be in their own homes, supported by social care. 

Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of primary care services, said: ‘Our review has identified that the health and social care system in Cornwall is not working well together.

‘The experience for patients who need to leave hospital but require ongoing care is poor.’

He added that there has been ‘a lack of oversight and ownership’ in the system to improve services for patients.

However, he said that if the NHS and social care systems are properly integrated, ‘there is every chance that the communities those organisations serve will be provided with good quality care’.

CQC’s analysis showed there was a higher rate of delayed transfers of care in Cornwall than in similar areas, with the delays attributable both to the NHS and adult social care.

This comes as the CQC also rated the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) as ‘requires improvement’.

The inspection found that systems for discharging people from the Royal Cornwall Hospital to ongoing health and social care were confusing, with no strategy for agencies to work together.

Local care home staff told inspectors about people being discharged from hospital without important information about their treatment or ongoing needs.

Kathy Byrne, RCHT chief executive, said the CQC’s report ‘echoes the message that our local leaders have been giving’.

She said: ‘We fully recognise that the current health and social care system needs reform and we have been working hard to find ways to provide a more integrated service between health and social care, between providers and with the voluntary sector.’

She added: ‘Preparing for this winter, we are working together more closely than ever before, making changes and investment to improve the care we provide.’

She also said that the Cornwall area plans to establish an accountable care system by April 2018 ‘bringing services together in a way that can make a real difference to people’s care and more reliably meets the changing needs of our community over the years to come’.

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