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West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership 2023

The challenge:

West Dunbartonshire HSCP asked In Control Scotland to carry out a review of their screening and assessment processes, which they hoped would help them understand not just the implementation and useability of these, but also if they had helped practitioners to identify earlier and more effective interventions.

Our approach:

Brett and Pauline took a mixed-methods approach, which included a questionnaire for practitioners, a review of almost 50 completed assessments and screening tools, two focus groups, and a series of telephone interviews with people who had been assessed. The paperwork was also compared to a suite of assessment tools from other Scottish local authorities.

Learning was formally fed back to the commissioners at key points: after the questionnaire and file review, after the focus groups and interviews, and through a final report and presentation to senior managers to explain the findings and our recommendations for next steps.

The learning:

An overarching reflection was that the current system pressures are immense and detrimental in many ways to the experiences of practitioners and supported people alike. This is caused by a combination of factors such as low availability of services, growing demand, staff turnover, and a lack of confidence in the flexibility that self-directed support can offer.

A set of recommendations were provided to the HSCP, including ideas for how to both tweak and radically reform the current system.

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