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CQC report on Oxfordshire health and social care published

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Frontline health and social care staff in Oxfordshire are dedicated and 'go the extra mile', according to the national watchdog for health and social care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Oxfordshire in November 2017 to carry out one of 20 targeted reviews taking place in England to assess how the whole system of health and social care works together in those areas.

The CQC report, published today (Monday 12 February), says: "People were treated with kindness when they moved between health and social care services. Frontline staff were dedicated and provided person centred care, going the extra mile for people they cared for.

"People, their family and carers told us that they felt well cared for and involved in making decisions about their care, support and treatment when moving through the health and social care system."

However there remain significant challenges to systematically join up services across organisations in Oxfordshire.

The CQC report concludes: "In Oxfordshire we found that there was a lack of whole system strategic planning and commissioning with little collaboration between system partners. 

"Although there was increased ambition to work together, system leaders continued to face significant challenges in coming together to formalise their ambitions through a joint strategic approach."

CQC inspectors found the problems of recruiting care staff in Oxfordshire, which has a very high cost of living, were holding back improvement. Incompatible computer systems also hampered integration of services across the different organisations.

However the inspectors did find that Oxfordshire had made progress in tackling 'delayed transfers of care', where people are unable to leave hospital when they are medically fit to do so.

The final report has provided areas of action for senior managers in the NHS, social care and other bodies to act upon to make the whole health and care system work better.

It has been welcomed by the five organisations involved in the review as a positive basis for improvement – in addition to Oxford University Hospitals, the organisations are Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

Health and social care leaders from the five organisations involved in the inspection have already met with the CQC to develop an action plan to address the concerns. The key points of the action plan will include:

  • Making services more local by using a 'place-based' approach to design and delivery of care 
  • Improving information available to people who fund their own care so they can get the support they need more quickly
  • Investing more in recruitment and retention of care staff so more care packages can be delivered, particularly for older people

Dr Tony Berendt, Medical Director of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I would like to thank all health and social care staff whose kindness, dedication and willingness to go the extra mile for the people in their care has quite rightly been recognised by the Care Quality Commission.

"As leaders within the health and social care system in Oxfordshire we now need to work together more closely to ensure that we join up the services across the county more effectively."