Scotland’s programme to improve care for older people has brought together the different bodies involved in services costing £4.5 billion a year, according to a recent report from Audit Scotland.
These organisations now need to better target resources at preventing or delaying illness and at helping people to keep living at home, the report claims.
The report found that:
- Improving care for older people and joining up services has been a policy focus for several years but progress has been slow, and monitoring of its implementation and impact needs to improve
- The Scottish Government needs to work with its partners to clearly plan how resources will move from institutions such as hospitals into the community. They also need to better understand why activity and spending on services for older people varies across Scotland
- The Change Fund has brought bodies from the different sectors together to develop and agree joint local plans to improve care, and a number of local initiatives are underway
- The information needed to make decisions and assess their impact on older people is not nationally available. Bodies need to improve and maintain data on costs, activity and outcomes for health and care services.
Chair of the Accounts Commission for Scotland, Douglas Sinclair, said:
“The aim of providing more services in the community has been a clearly-stated goal for at least a decade, but progress in doing it is slow and inconsistent.
“There are significant variations in the spending and activity in care for older people across Scotland, even though much has been done to build local partnerships and launch initiatives. Councils, the NHS and their voluntary and private sector partners need to understand why this is and how they can improve these important services.”
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