Sheffield’s is one of 20 areas that has just been reviewed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

This targeted review was to understand how people move through Sheffield’s health and social care system and how the different health and social care services work together.

In particular, the local system review looked at how well the health system manages the ‘pressure points’ of care for older people aged over 65. This involved reviewing the social care, general medical practice, acute and community health services and how well services work together to support people leaving hospital.

A range of people were interviewed who are involved in shaping and leading the system, those responsible for directly delivering care, as well as people who use services, their families and carers.

The review report highlights areas of good joint working and identifies challenges and concerns which Sheffield needs to address, but above all it showed that ‘there are good foundations for further development on a system-wide basis.’

It emphasised the dedication of frontline staff, ‘going the extra mile for people they cared for’ with most people reporting positive experiences of the care, kindness and compassion they received.

It also said that the city’s organisations were only at the start of an improvement journey and that there was much more to do in terms of health and social care organisations developing a more ‘joined up’ service.

Judy Robinson, Chair Healthwatch Sheffield said: “As the independent voice of patients on the Health and Well-being Board, Healthwatch supports the emphasis in the review about the need to listen better to patients and carers. Healthwatch will work with patients and carers and with the partners to improve services for older people.

“We will continue to challenge when we hear from patients that this is not happening.  We look forward to developing a strategic and systematic relationship with partners in response to some of the issues in the review. With genuine partnership working the challenges of the review can be met.”

Dr.Tim Moorhead, co-chair of the Sheffield Health and Wellbeing Board said: “This CQC review is absolutely clear that what they have found in the city is ‘strengthening relationships and a strong commitment to achieve the best outcomes or the people in Sheffield.

“The report also raises some obvious challenges, but across our partnerships there are plans in place to improve patients’ experiences, and there is a real determination to deal with the concerns raised.

“While we absolutely need to recognise the challenge, we will also do well to remember that most of our provision in Sheffield is highly-rated.

“60 out 72 active residential care homes are rated good and 78 out of 88 active GP Practices are rated good. We also know that both Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust are rated good overall.”

Councillor Chris Peace, the other co-chair, added: “As the new cabinet lead I am absolutely committed to ensuring that, where this review does raise concerns and challenges, my role in the coming months will be to ensure the dedication of frontline staff and the foundations for further development are built upon, and that our partnerships do everything possible to deliver the best possible services for our older people.”