Care teams maintain performance

Adult social care teams in Norfolk and Suffolk have maintained their levels of performance, according to an independent watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which today publishes its annual assessments into the performance of adult social care services, gives both counties the second-highest “well” rating for the fourth year in a row. Cambridgeshire also secured a “well” rating.

In Norfolk, inspectors rated the county council’s community services as excellent in three areas, the highest assessment available, while the remaining four areas have been given a “well” rating.

Improved quality of life, making a positive contribution, and economic wellbeing were all given an excellent rating.

Nationally, of the 152 councils responsible for adult social care services in England, 95pc were assessed as performing well or excellently – the same proportion as the previous year. But the number performing excellently has increased by five to 37.

Seven authorities were assessed as “adequate”, and the CQC said they needed to improve their performance in all outcome areas. No councils were rated “poor”.

CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said: “The large majority of councils provide good standards of care, whether they run the services themselves or commission them from the private or voluntary sectors. But a few need to improve considerably before they can say they are providing good services for local people. Our experience is that good performance is the result of strong leadership and commitment by elected councillors and service managers, working together with a skilled and dedicated workforce.”

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Next year, councils will take more responsibility for monitoring improvements, in line with changes by the coalition government to cut quangos, while many of the services provided in Norfolk could be slashed as part of a bid to bridge a �155m funding gap.

David Harwood, cabinet member for adult and community services at Norfolk County Council, said: “This is a great achievement and I’m particularly pleased that the hard work of our staff to keep seeking improvements wherever possible has been recognised by even better ratings in this latest assessment. We’re very much of the attitude, however, that there are always areas on which we can improve and we will continue to try our hardest to provide the best adult social care we can.”