The care and support for adults across North Lincolnshire who do not get it from family, friends or the community has been judged as ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in one of the first assessments of its kind in England.
The report from the CQC recognises social work teams’ focus on people’s abilities, needs and wishes, that assessments are completed in a timely way, and that there is a focus on enabling people to remain independent for longer.
The CQC backed the council’s strategy of keeping people in their own homes, families, jobs and communities as the right approach.
Experts from the CQC carried out the assessment in August. They visited North Lincolnshire, talked to staff and service users, providers and partners and examined the council’s policies, procedures and case work. A report from the CQC was published today, Friday 17 November.
Cllr Richard Hannigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for adults and communities at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “We volunteered to take part in the pilot assessment as we recognised it would give us an external view of ourselves which in turn would drive up standards and provide a real insight into where we can improve.
“It is pleasing to get the external sense check on the standards of care and support and while challenging, the team has welcomed the process and most importantly the opportunity this has brought to learn.
“The pilot has highlighted best practice which we now need to replicate elsewhere. We know where we can get better and are determined to continue our focus on the needs of our residents.”
The CQC praised the open culture within the council. They said the council had clear leadership, effective governance and lines of accountability around performance, quality, risks and assurance. There is a learning culture with opportunities for learning embedded across the organisation and with partners.
Good work with partners was highlighted – including health and voluntary sector colleagues. Front facing staff in community hubs were recognised for the comprehensive advice and support they give to visitors.
People with lived experience gave positive feedback about their experiences and there was positive feedback from most people about their contact with front-line social work teams.
Cllr Hannigan added: “It was pleasing to read how strong the safeguarding aspects are within the report. CQC state that there are robust partnership and integrated working across the safeguarding system including police, health, and fire.
“Partners described positive relationships that were respectful, strong, and open to challenge – that is excellent feedback. “
They saw good partnership working, both with care and health providers and use of the voluntary sector. The CQC also stated that there was evidence of strong partnership working both strategically as well as at the front line.
There was a feeling of a ‘One Council’ approach at all levels. They also saw that there was a learning culture embedded within the organisation through continuous learning, innovation, and improvement.
CQC said the work to reduce the need for long term care and promoting people’s independence and support in the community meant that 93 per cent of people who had received short term care and support no longer required support – this was above the national average.
They reinforced the areas for development that the council had already identified, they acknowledged the work underway to further strengthen the recovery offer for the younger adult population and that there is a need for a council-wide overarching strategy to pull together all the good work in understanding and supporting communities to have equality of opportunity.