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Turnaround for Adult Social Care Services

Thursday 25th November 2010


A report published today confirms a dramatic turnaround in the quality of social care services for vulnerable adults and older people in Bedford Borough.


The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) assessment of Bedford Borough Council’s Adult Social Care Services in 2009 – 10 grades the Council as ‘performing well’, with five out of seven areas rated under the performing well category. This is in marked contrast to last year’s annual report relating to performance in the final year of the former County Council, which indicated that services had deteriorated further from their previous grading of ‘performing adequately with uncertain capacity to improve’.


The CQC noted that despite inheriting a ‘challenging improvement agenda’, the council has worked in a focused and determined manner and has achieved significant improvement across all aspects of service provision.


The turnaround is attributed in the report to a clear corporate support and determination to make the required improvements in relation to the councils safeguarding practice, with embedded monitoring and reporting through to the Chief Executive, Philip Simpkins, and the Mayor, Dave Hodgson. Also listed is the strong and focused leadership by the management team of Adults Services and significant strengthening of strategic leadership and ownership of the safeguarding improvement agenda across all relevant partner agencies. 


Cllr Nicky Attenborough, portfolio holder for Adults Services at Bedford Borough Council, said: “It’s very tempting to give ourselves a big pat on the back, and I am very proud of the work of our management team in order to achieve this very pleasing report; however this is, and will always be, work in progress. We will continue to strive towards yet more improvements in respect of delivering services to vulnerable adults and older people. We will focus on our ambitious plans going forward. Although significant progress has been made, and although Adult Social Services are now deemed to be graded as serving people well overall, there are still areas for improvement and in order to do this we will continue to fully consult with service users and their carers.”


Mayor Dave Hodgson added: “The new grading confirms the significant ongoing progress we are making in turning around the quality of adult services in Bedford Borough, after this Council inherited an unacceptable situation in April last year. I stress that this is an ongoing process, as we continue to improve and drive up the standard of services for vulnerable adults and older people.”


The report also revealed a number of areas where the council has exceeded its performance targets and it has achieved performance improvement at a greater pace than expected.  This is particularly noted in relation to carer services, the roll out of self directed support, improvement of assessment timeframes and occupational therapy waiting times.

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