Council ‘performing well’ for adult social care

By on 25/11/2010 in News

Strong leadership and a personalised care programme have resulted in adult social care in Birmingham being graded as 'performing well' following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

A report released today (25 November 2010) has found the council is performing well in six out of seven categories, with the seventh category - 'making a positive contribution' - performing excellently.

This is the council's first 'excellent' grade - just seven years after being labelled 'Britain's worst' for adult social care. The overall assessment is also graded as 'performing well' - consistently delivering above minimum requirements.

The ratings for individual categories have either gone up or remained the same - none have gone down. In addition to strong leadership, one of the reasons cited for the good performance is a transformation programme that will introduce personalised care, rather than a 'one size fits all' approach.

Councillor Sue Anderson, cabinet member for adults and communities at Birmingham City Council, said: “I'm really pleased with this assessment and it is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved. However, we will not be complacent. This is another step on a continual road of improvement and I'm particularly pleased to see the importance of our transformation programme recognised.

“Like all local authorities we now face a massive financial challenge but we have already shown what we can achieve in the most difficult of circumstances. We've now got a track record for doing what people said couldn't be done. Seven years ago adult social care in Birmingham was poor but we've turned things around having embarked on a major transformation programme, resulting in gradual, but sustained, improvement.”

The report said: “The council benefits from a strong officer and political leadership. It has embarked on a major programme of transformation of services and is effectively working with partners in order to drive improvement. The city's strategic vision is to deliver all services through a personalisation approach and to see a high proportion of services directly under the control of people who need them through personal budgets and direct payments.

“Staff are engaged in the process of reshaping services in innovative ways. The council has a strong partnership with the voluntary sector in the city, and people who use services are supported to contribute to their future shape.”

Peter Hay, strategic director for Adults and Communities, added: “It is important that the report has recognised the way council staff and the people who receive our services have worked together to improve the services we provide. We are also in the top 20 of councils across the country using individual budgets, ensuring choice and control for people using our services. This is all against a backdrop of significant organisational change and a programme aimed at reducing overheads and investing in new services such as extra care housing and improved alternatives for day care.”

The care Quality Commission grades outcomes (poor, adequate, well and excellent) for a variety of areas, including economic well being, improved quality of life and personal dignity.

Note to editors: A copy of the full report is available

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