Bolton is among the best in the country when it comes to providing adult social care services.
Results from an annual performance assessment (APA) by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) shows that Bolton shares second place nationwide with five other authorities, behind Tameside.
Each authority is judged on seven outcomes, including improved health and well-being; improved quality of life; making a positive contribution; increased choice and control; freedom from discrimination and harassment; economic well-being and maintaining personal dignity and respect.
The councils are marked on a four-point scale from “poorly performing” to “performing excellently” and Bolton has achieved the top ranking of excellent for six out of seven outcomes – making it an excellently performing council overall.
A top-ranking, three star department for the fifth year in a row, Bolton has improved on last year’s performance by obtaining excellent in the category for improved quality of life, thanks to developments in extra care housing and its Telecare provision.
Bolton also launched a carers’ campaign during the summer and is ready to implement a new carers’ strategy in 2009/20010 to maintain this improved performance.
In assessing Bolton’s influence on the economic well-being of its residents, which resulted in a “well” rating, the CQC praised the authority for its strong focus on achieving decent homes standards, affordable warmth and the maximisation of people’s benefits and pension entitlements.
The authority recognises the need to maintain the good work in this area and to continue to develop employment opportunities for the most vulnerable in order to improve its performance.
In addition to the seven outcomes, the CQC also assessed the leadership, commissioning and use of resources of each council.
Bolton was described as having “an ambitious and purposeful vision jointly owned by local people and partner agencies”. Its leadership was described as “strong, reflective and inclusive” and the council was praised for routinely including the views of residents and partner agencies in the way it delivers its services.
What’s more, the council is still the only authority in the country to have been rated as “excellent” in safeguarding adults following an inspection by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) last year.
Executive member for Adult and Community Services, Councillor Elaine Sherrington, said: “It is fantastic news to learn that Bolton is leading the way in adult social care but this comes as no real surprise as we have some of the best professionals in the business who make it their priority to deliver excellent services to the people that matter.
“While we are pleased to be recognised in this way, we are certainly not complacent and know only too well that there is always room for improvement. We have major changes on the horizon to the way we deliver adult social care and will be working hard with residents and our partner agencies to make sure our standards are maintained for the benefit of the community.”