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CQC reports significant improvements in Oxfordshire health and care system

Please note, this article is more than 2 years old.

Significant work has been done to join up services across Oxfordshire and improve outcomes for patients - according to a follow-up review by the national regulator for health and social care published today (Wednesday 9 January 2019).

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found key 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.

Following the first review, a key priority for system leaders has been to work more closely together to plan and deliver health and social care services, particularly for older people.

Senior managers have used their learning from Winter 2017/18, creating a system approach that has significantly improved joined-up working across NHS and Local Authority partners.

Health and care organisations have also been working together to improve patient flow through the system to reduce 'delayed transfers of care', so that patients who are physically well enough to leave hospital are able to do so at the appropriate time.

The CQC report states: "We saw some practical examples where the improved cross-system relationships had improved outcomes for people. For example, work had been undertaken to successfully reduce the numbers of people who remained in hospital unnecessarily."

Professor Steve Field, the CQC's Chief Inspector of Primary Care Services, says: "Our initial review of Oxfordshire's services found examples of shared approaches but relationships were disjointed and more work was needed to plan and deliver health and social care services for older people.

"Since that last visit, our inspectors have found system leaders had improved  how they work together to co-operate, to plan and deliver health and social care services for older people in Oxfordshire - and while it is not fully developed, it is showing signs of improvement.

"We found a stronger strategic approach which allowed for closer working and co-production. Carers' representatives also felt that engagement had improved and this was demonstrated in the development of the older people's and Health and Wellbeing Board strategies. We found that the element of partnership working had strengthened and people felt listened to by system leaders.

"This shared approach is so important. System leaders now need to ensure this strategic approach is fully embedded throughout Oxfordshire, so that all staff understand how services can and should work together better for the benefit of people in their care."

Responding to publication of the report, Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says: "I would like to thank all health and social care staff whose hard work has been recognised by the CQC in the report published today.

"We have made significant progress in helping more patients get home from hospital more quickly and in working together across organisational boundaries to prepare for the challenges which this winter will undoubtedly bring so that the people who rely on our services receive the high quality and timely care which they deserve.

"We know there is much more to be done but it is heartening that the progress made to date has been acknowledged by the CQC."

The report is available on the CQC website at