The variation in acute and community service provision of care of the elderly services across the Scotland: Findings from the Scottish Care of Older People (SCoOP) National Audit initial scoping survey

Alison I. C. Donaldson, Samuel R. Neal, Christine H. McAlpine, Terence Quinn, Susan D. Shenkin, Graham Ellis, Phyo K. Myint (Corresponding Author), SCoOP Steering Group

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This scoping survey is a preliminary part of the Scottish Care of Older People (SCoOP) audit programme which aims to assess specialist service provision for older people with frailty in Scotland, and provide benchmarking data for improving.


The survey was distributed to nominated consultant geriatricians known to be based in 12 of the 14 Scottish health boards who completed data on the ‘best of their knowledge’. Data collected were: consultant and specialty doctor level workforce; days of frailty unit operation; MDT frequency; physiotherapy and occupational therapy availability. Consultant cover was correlated with population data, and scores for service components used to derive separate acute and community service provision scores.


Consultant geriatrician availability varies widely across Scottish health boards with a median (range; interquartile range (IQR)) of 1.45 (0.54-2.40; IQR 0.71-2.28) FTE consultant geriatricians per 10,000 people ≥ 65 years. Variation was also present in the service provision scores (score range 0 (none) to 1.0 (very good)): for acute services, the median (range; IQR) national service provision score was 0.81 (0.50-0.89; 0.75-0.85) and for community services 0.60 (0.48-0.82; IQR 0.52-0.65).


This report clearly demonstrates mismatch between workforce, and services in both acute and community setting in the context of the population size. Future surveys will build on this preliminary information to audit service provision for older people at an individual hospital level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105–111
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2019



  • older people
  • care
  • audit
  • services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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