Adult social care services are “Ëœperforming well’

Social care services for adults in Stoke-on-Trent have received their highest ever performance rating from independent inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has awarded Stoke-on-Trent City Council its second highest “Ëœperforming well’ accolade for services across the board.

The annual inspection builds on a strong performance last year, and means the authority has improved on last year’s adequate rating in categories for improving residents’ quality of life, and in maintaining the personal dignity and respect of residents.

Other services to continue to be rated as performing well are:

* Improving health and wellbeing.

* Making a positive contribution to residents.

* Increasing choice and control.

* Ensuring residents are free from discrimination or harassment.

* Providing economic wellbeing.

The report praises the council’s effective leadership, the work it is undertaking to join up services with the NHS, its work in providing personalised budgets to give residents greater choice in the services they require, and establishing partnership boards in areas including learning disabilities, mental health, carers and older people.

{quote=Councillor Hazel Lyth, cabinet member for adult social care, sport, leisure and culture, said] “This assessment reflects the hard work being done to continue to improve services for some of the most vulnerable people in the city.

“We have continued to make sustained improvements to services in each of the last four years, and this is the first time services across the board have been rated so highly.

“The current financial climate and budgetary constraints being imposed on us by government means we are going to have to make very tough decisions on the services we deliver in the next 12 months. But we remain committed to ensuring we provide the highest quality services to every adult in the city who receives social care, and we will work hard to ensure our performance continues to improve in future years.”[/quote]

The report highlights the council’s work in trailing personal health budgets and increasing the number of residents receiving direct payments to 1,000, with 900 people supported by Disability Solutions, which is commissioned to provide direct payments and support services. The council has assessed 2,000 carers over the last 12 months, to ensure they receive the support they need.

The authority has also strengthened adult safeguarding arrangements by developing a joint safeguarding board, raising awareness of safeguarding issues and establishing a safety alert procedure with partner organisations.

The report also praises the council for its work in continuing to develop the skills of managers and training staff.

{quote=Council leader Mohammed Pervez said] “The rating we have received reflects the outstanding effort by staff and our work with partners in delivering the best quality services to residents. I’d like to thank all staff for their hard work and dedication.”[/quote]

The Care Quality Commission is responsible for regulating, inspecting and reviewing all adult social care services in the public, private and voluntary sectors in England. It rates achievement across four areas: performing poorly, performing adequately, performing well, and performing excellently.

Council End Of Year Accounts Shows Over £140 Million Investment In The City

The report to cabinet presents the year end capital outturn for our capital programme. This covers capital investment by the city council and those funded from other sources such as £35m for the RENEW programme.

Councillor Mohammed Pervez Leader for the city council explained,

“This has been a very challenging financial year for the council and it is likely to get even more challenging in the next two to three years. Many of our key funding partners have seen their funding programmes cut yet we continue to invest significant money into the city.”

“We continually review our capital projects to ensure maximum external funding is achieved. In total the city council invested over £140 million into the City during 2009/10 with an additional £27 million being carried forward into 2010/2011 committed to specific projects. I want to assure people that no funding will be returned or lost.”

The remaining £27 million has been reprogrammed into 2010/2011 and relates to the timing of the investment. The key areas which have been rephased are; £2.4 million heritage country park project at Chatterley Whitfield due to open October 2010, £5 million acquisition and development of the Spode site which is key to Stoke Town regeneration, £9 million into Adult Social Care £3m reprofiling of investment in infrastructure and £3m in Adult Social Care to ensure alignment with policy direction.

Councillor Kieran Clarke, Cabinet member for finance added,

“Key milestone projects funded by this huge £140 million investment include: the £4 million Mitchell Memorial theatre refurbishment; phase one of the £7 million redevelopment scheme for Ingestre Square; a new City Centre bus station designed by internationally renowned architects, Grimshaws, with work due to commence March 2011 unlocking over £300 million investment opportunity in the East West precinct development; and finally the much celebrated and confirmed key developments in our Building Schools for the Future programme.”

As well as the capital programme delivered by the City Council, through our regeneration partners additional investment has been delivered into the sub-region into priority regeneration projects, which totalled over £165m during 2009/10.

Stafford Hospital Report ““ Reflects County Council’s Concerns

The report into Stafford Hospital by Robert Francis QC has reflected concerns raised by Staffordshire County Council’s administration.

Matthew Ellis, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:

“Robert Francis has today delivered an in-depth and robust report into failings at the hospital. The report, for the first time, nails the reasons for these failings. We must however never lose sight of the fact that people lost loved ones which is a very personal tragedy.

“I met with Robert Francis before he started his inquiry and made clear my views on the failings that resulted in this terrible tragedy. This was a lethal combination of failings in both national and local regulation. In short a lot of organisations looked at Stafford Hospital but nobody saw what was happening. I am pleased that Mr Francis has reflected these views in his findings and recommendations.

“After taking office back in June, we took steps to strengthen the safeguarding of vulnerable adults in Staffordshire. This included taking back responsibility and relaunching the failing Local Involvement Network ““ Staffordshire LINKs. This gives local people a stronger voice in how health and social care services are delivered. I have also appointed a new independent chair of the safeguarding board who reports directly to me.

“Taking account of today’s report, I now urge the Staffordshire Health Scrutiny Committee to strengthen their role in ensuring a tragedy of this scale can never happen again.”



Independent inspectors have today (Thursday) rated social care services for adults in Stoke-on-Trent as ‘performing well’, with improvements on last year.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has awarded Stoke-on-Trent City Council its second highest accolade, and praised the authority’s services for constantly delivering above minimum requirements, for being cost effective, and for making contributions to wider outcomes for the community.
The annual inspection, which rates councils’ performance on a scale of poor, adequate, well, and excellent, said the authority continued to perform well on:

    • Improving health and wellbeing.
    • Increasing choice and control.
    • Ensuring residents are free from discrimination or harassment.
    • Providing economic wellbeing.

Significantly, the council has also improved on making a positive contribution to residents, from adequate last year to performing well this year.
The inspection also praised the authority for delivering ‘strong leadership and management’ which is developing modernised and personalised services, and is working jointly with health partners. The report highlights the council’s ‘innovation’ in introducing new projects to actively identify unmet needs. Inspectors said the authority manages its budget well and continues to develop joint commissioning of services with NHS Stoke-on-Trent.
Councillor Clive Brian, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “The assessment shows yet again that we are continuing to make improvements to provide the best possible services to every adult in the city who receives social care.
“We have made sustained improvements in each of the last three years. We will be working tirelessly to ensure our performance across the board continues to improve.
“We are thrilled with the rating. It reflects a huge amount of work this council is undertaking to deliver modern services that are personal to each adult’s needs.
“In the past 12 months, adult social care services and workers have won four Community Care Excellence Network awards, have claimed a national ‘Wow’ award for customer service, and have won two Great West Midlands Care Awards accolades. This reflects the acclaim our innovative services are attracting regionally and nationally.”
The council has taken significant steps to improve services over the last year. The authority’s £1m Riverside Training Employment Centre, which opened in January, has supported more than 40 people with learning disabilities into paid or voluntary employment. The centre also works with local colleges to offer nationally recognised qualifications, and an in-house Smart Start course prepares adults for work by focusing on CV preparation, interview skills, appearance and behaviour at work. St Michael’s Centre of Excellence in Chell has a healthy living team that has helped more than 200 vulnerable older people discharged from hospital, at risk of hospital admission or suffering physical or emotional illness in their own homes since the centre opened last July.
And CQC inspectors have rated Abbots House – a residential home which in July underwent a £1.3m transformation into the city’s first centre of excellence for people with dementia – as delivering excellent services. The facility delivers integrated services by council social care staff and health service professionals such as community psychiatric nurses and occupational therapists. The centre also boasts a day assessment unit for older people with mental health needs, a consultant psychiatrist’s outpatients clinic and an Alzheimer’s support worker.
Clare Harrison’s mum, Jean, has been a resident at Abbots House through the centre’s transformation. Jean, who is 81, has benefited from the facility’s improved services.
Clare, 49, from Bucknall, said: “The service has improved tremendously. Facilities are fantastic – my mum now has her own hairdresser, and the centre’s garden now looks gorgeous, it is beautifully landscaped, has flowers, a water feature and seats.
“I go to see my mum every week, and she is very contented there. I know she is in safe hands and I have the piece of mind knowing that she is in a secure and caring environment where staff go out of their way to help.”
Council leader Ross Irving said:
“The ‘performing well’ rating reflects a massive effort by staff and our work with partners in delivering the best quality care to residents. The assessment will play an important role in the government’s comprehensive examination of all the services this authority delivers. I’d like to thank all staff for their hard work and dedication.”