Council Gets Praise For The Care Of The Elderly & Top Scores From Ofsted For Childrens Services

Achieving the thumbs up for care of both sets of vulnerable residents

Associated Articles

Council Says Audit Commission's Assessment "costly and ineffective"

Wandsworth Council
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The council's entire range of services for children, including its schools and its child protection systems, are "excellent" according to a new report by independent watchdogs.

Standards watchdog Ofsted has given the council an "excellent" rating following a detailed study of services for children and young people across the board.

The regulator has given the town hall the maximum four star rating for the quality of these services. It is the fifth year in a row that Wandsworth has been given the highest rating for these services. Only three other local authorities across the whole of England have scored such consistently high marks over the same period.

In their findings, the Ofsted inspectors singled out for praise the quality of the council's safeguarding procedures for children, standards in its special schools and its work in tackling inequalities in educational achievement in children from lower income backgrounds.

The inspectors commented that:
"All special schools are good or better and for those whose circumstances make them vulnerable, provision across children’s homes, the local authority fostering agency, adoption agency and private fostering arrangements is consistently good.   

Executive member for children and young people Cllr Kathy Tracey pictured left said:
"We are absolutely determined to give all our youngsters the best possible start in life – to keep them safe and healthy, to provide a good education, good leisure activities, good training opportunities when they are older and ensure that those who are vulnerable or at risk in any way are properly protected and looked after."

At the older end of the resident sin he borough the council has been reported as doing a good job of safeguarding vulnerable adults and meeting the needs of older people, according to a detailed independent study by the country's health and social care watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the council was "performing well" across a wide range of performance indicators.  It report found that the council's adult social services department provides a cost effective service "that consistently delivers above minimum requirements for people".

The watchdog praised services across the board for older people, as well as those with disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health problems.  Its assessment highlighted the good work the council is doing to improve standards in local care homes, its partnership working with local health and care providers and its work in supporting active and healthy lifestyles for older people.

The CQC found the department to be well led with the senior management team "providing strong leadership and accelerating the pace of change and improvement. The report also found that "political and corporate joint commitment to adult social care and support services remains high".   The council's use of resources was also seen as a strength with evidence of "strong financial monitoring and forecasting." Budgets were, they said, "well managed".

In its overall verdict on the work of the department the CQC stated: "The council maintained a strong commitment to people needing social care with a whole system approach to promoting health and wellbeing. The council has shown strong and visible leadership of safeguarding and the personalisation of services for older people, and a more robust quality assurance framework has been introduced to ensure consistency in practice."

Executive member for adult social services Cllr Jim Maddan said:
"We are working tremendously hard to keep vulnerable adults safe and promote independence and well-being for older people.  Enabling people to stay independent, supporting people who volunteer their time or care for others, protecting vulnerable residents and enabling people to live fulfilling lives are key priorities for us. We will continue to work hard to achieve them."

December 14, 2009