Health and Wellbeing Board welcomes CQC follow-up review

The Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board has welcomed a national watchdog’s findings into how health and social care services are working across the county.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found significant improvements had been made eight months into an 18-month action plan that was agreed by Oxfordshire health and social care organisations after an initial review by the CQC in November 2017.

It found system leaders were now working more closely together to plan and deliver health and social care services, particularly for older people.

The CQC report also praised the expansion of the Health and Wellbeing Board to include district councils and chief executives from the NHS Foundation Trusts and the Clinical Commissioning Group.

The watchdog’s findings were presented to members of the Health and Wellbeing Board yesterday.

Heading in the right direction

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board and Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said the follow-up review was proof that bringing all parties together had helped to ensure the health and social care system was working as efficiently and effectively as possible.

He said: “As far as the Health and Wellbeing Board is concerned this is very welcome news. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but this follow-up review highlights the areas where we have been successful.

“It shows that within the past 12 months we’ve improved the system, which is of a great benefit to everybody. We’re definitely heading in the right direction.”

Joined-up working

The follow-up review found senior managers had learned from Winter 2017/18 to create a system approach that had significantly improved joined-up working across NHS and Local Authority partners.

A Winter Team had reduced seasonal pressures across health and care services, working together to improve patient flow through the system to reduce ‘delayed transfers of care’.

In January 2018 there were an average of 117 acute reported ‘delayed transfers of care’. Last week this had dropped to 68.

A ‘Home for Christmas’ initiative had also ensured more than 80 patients a day were discharged from inpatient wards at the John Radcliffe Hospital during the last week before Christmas.

Cllr Hudspeth said: “The creation of a Winter Team with a Winter Director has clearly helped to improve patient flow through the system.

“The success with the ‘delayed transfers of care’ is really pleasing. It shows there has been improvement by working together and improving our cross-system relationships so that we’re finding the best outcomes for patients.

“I visited the hospital myself this month and saw the joint working across the organisations. It was good to see all the staff were approaching it with a one-team attitude.”

Still more to do

Dr Kiren Collison, vice chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board and chair of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are really pleased to see that the CQC has recognised the significant improvements in our joint working and the improved outcomes for people in Oxfordshire.

“I am hugely grateful to our workforce, stakeholders and the public for helping us to achieve so much in such a short time.

“There is still more to do, however, and we will continue working closely together with our health and social care partners to further improve patient care.”

The CQC said it looked forward to returning again in the future to see that progress was still being made.