Brighton and Hove's vulnerable adults 'well protected', says watchdog

Posted On 30 Aug 2010 at 6:09 pm

Some of Brighton and Hove’s most vulnerable adults receive an above average service from the council, according to an official inspection report.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that Brighton and Hove City Council was “performing well” in safeguarding adults and in promoting choice and control for people with learning disabilities.

This is the second best verdict, behind performing excellently.

The council’s capacity to improve was described as “promising” which is also the second best verdict given by the care services watchdog.

The inspection, carried out in May and reported just over a week ago to the council, said that about 6,000 adults in Brighton and Hove have learning disabilities.

Of these, 702 were receiving services including 257 living in residential care homes.

The watchdog’s report made 17 recommendations for improving services, including

Ensure more effective work focused on ensuring that vulnerable adults felt safe in the community, and confident in reporting harassment or discrimination.

Promote awareness of safeguarding and keeping safe among diverse groups of vulnerable adults and carers.

Address variability in the quality of safeguarding practice and recording to ensure that positive outcomes and mitigation of risk was consistently secured.

Ensure that the use of advocacy is promoted in safeguarding work.

Ensure that more people are aware of services and support that is available to them through promoting access to information more effectively.

Develop better information about self-directed support in consultation with people with learning disabilities and their carers.

Strengthen signposting arrangements to the range of low-level support or early intervention services across all aspects of social inclusion.

Review the adequacy of low-level support or early intervention services for people with mild or moderate learning disabilities.

Undertake needs analysis of people with mild or moderate learning disabilities, whose needs and vulnerability was increased by other factors such as drug or alcohol misuse, homelessness or mental health problems and develop an action plan to address issues.

Improve engagement of people with learning disabilities, carers and other stakeholders.

Develop clearer strategic links with corporate partners, ensuring that adult social care issues were more clearly referenced in corporate strategies.

Jointly with health partners, develop a clear model for the future configuration and roles of staff and services to support the vision for transformation of social care.

Establish a stronger strategic focus and role for the safeguarding vulnerable adults board, with a clear role within the network of other forums across Sussex and supported by more effective sub-groups.

Ensure consistency and equity of quality assurance of all services for people with learning disability, and address quality issues with current services where concerns have been identified.

Develop more robust quality analysis of safeguarding data and trends, to inform training, practice and develop targeted initiatives.

Drive a “step change” in the pace of transformation, to broaden the focus to include wider service development and more ambitious market reconfiguration.

Promote a stronger and clearer long-term strategic view of commissioning intentions working with stakeholders on implementation.

The shake-up at the top of the council attracted comment.

The CQC said: “The proposed restructuring of the council was intended to provide the foundation to drive forward personalisation in all directorates.

“There had been effective links between adult social care and other directorates that had led to some positive developments, but there needed to a clearer strategic framework to drive it forward more purposefully.

“Stronger links were needed in strategies for housing and learning disabilities.

“The role of other directorates such as transport, education, and leisure needed to be underpinned by clearer strategic engagement.

“This would benefit from plans to establish a corporate transformation board.”

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