Social services watchdog praises council
Published: Thursday 25th November 10
The council is doing a good job supporting elderly and disabled people, helping carers live full and active lives and protecting vulnerable adults and keeping them safe from harm, according to a detailed independent study by the country's health and social care watchdog.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said Wandsworth's adult social services department was "performing well" across a wide range of performance indicators and "excellently" in others.
It said the council demonstrated "strong and focussed leadership in adult social care" and "has a strong annual budget review process which supports good use of resources."
The watchdog praised services across the board for older people, as well as those with disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health problems.
Its assessment highlighted the good work the council is doing to improve standards in local care homes, its partnership working with local health and care providers and its work in supporting carers.
The commission declared: "People who use services and their carers enjoy the best possible quality of life. Support is given at an early stage, and helps people to stay independent. Families are supported so that children do not have to take on inappropriate caring roles.
"Carers are able to balance caring with a life of their own. People feel safe when they are supported at home, in care homes, and in the neighbourhood. They are able to have a social life and to use leisure, learning and other local services.
"People who use services and carers are supported to take part in community life. They contribute their views on services and this helps to shape improvements. Voluntary organisations are thriving and accessible. Organisations for people who use services and carers are well supported.
"People who have long-term needs and their carers are supported to live as independently as they choose, and have well timed, well-coordinated treatment and support.
"Identifying and better supporting the needs of carers is still a priority as is ensuring assessments are timely, support is delivered promptly and people's needs are regularly reviewed.
"The council has an ambitious programme of modernisation underway involving fundamental change to the way services are commissioned and provided. Partnership working with the NHS has been significantly strengthened.
"Reablement and intermediate care are better aligned and significantly more people received support at home to prevent them unnecessarily going into hospital or to transfer from hospital back to their home. Consequently fewer people were delayed in transfer from hospital and more were supported to be independent.
"The council together with its NHS partners has continued to reduce the number of people delayed in transfer from hospital
"More vulnerable adults in Wandsworth are safe from abuse. Significantly more people were referred with safeguarding concerns reflecting increased awareness through publicity and training. Few people live in poor care homes and their safety is closely monitored. However, the council remains committed to and focused on further improvement.
"People from all communities are engaged in planning with councillors and senior managers. Councillors and senior managers have a clear vision for social care. They lead people in transforming services to achieve better outcomes for people. They agree priorities with their partners, secure resources, and develop the capabilities of people in the workforce."
The report continued: "The council continued to work with partners to raise standards in local independent sector care services and this, together with close attention to the quality ratings of new placements, has resulted in a continuous increase in the numbers of people placed in care homes rated as good or excellent.
"As well as improved quality, considerable savings were made through reducing high cost placements. Cost savings were also achieved through a consortium approach to commissioning a new community equipment supplier.
"Implementation of new service delivery models such as the Better Days programme, reablement and extra-care housing will allow service improvement whilst supporting efficiency savings. A key theme will also be delivering further efficiencies through greater integration with health.
Executive member for adult social services Cllr Jim Maddan said: "We are working tremendously hard to support local carers, keep vulnerable adults safe and promote independence and well-being for older people.
"Enabling people to stay independent, supporting people who volunteer their time or care for others, protecting vulnerable residents and enabling people to live fulfilling lives are key priorities for us. We will continue to work hard to achieve them."
Find out more about adult safeguarding at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/safeguarding
To discover ways in which the council can help and support carer visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/carers
A full copy of the commission's inspection report can be seen at www.cqc.org.uk
The council's website contains all current and past press releases dating back to February 2000
For more about information services for older people visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/olderpeople