The Adults, Health and Social Care directorate at Calderdale Council has been highly commended in a peer challenge that was carried out over a four day period by colleagues from the Local Government Association (LGA).
The Council requested that the LGA visit to look at its processes for buying and providing services –particularly the Home Care and Learning Disability service. The challenge team was asked to provide an impartial view on the effectiveness of the service, both from a provider perspective and in terms of being person centred and delivering positive outcomes for people and also to suggest any improvements.
The peer challenge team, who visited Calderdale in January 2016, consisted of seven people including a councillor, senior officers from other councils across the country as well as peers from the LGA and a service user from another council. During their time in Calderdale, they interviewed councillors, senior officers and partners and held focus groups with managers, front line staff and residents. They reviewed over 40 documents, held 40 meetings and met and spoke over 100 people.
The peer challenge found that overall the service had a great number of strengths, and found many examples of excellent care. One example of this was the Shared Lives service, which has operated in Calderdale for over 25 years and currently supports 50 people. Service users spoke very highly of their experience, and commented that it had transformed their lives, allowing them to become more independent through money management and life skills training.
The review was also very positive about the leadership of the service, discovering cross political party support for the Director, Bev Maybury, and her vision and passion for Adult Social Care.
They also praised the systems in place to care for residents, including the Gateway to Care service, which offers practical information and advice to help people to continue to live independently at home.
The Extra Care facilities were also found to work well, and residents there spoke of feeling safe, supported and respected, with some residents saying “If there weren’t places like this, I don’t know what we’d do”. The peer challenge team recommended that the existing supported living schemes should be used as a foundation to further develop or expand in the future.
The review was overwhelmingly positive, with further development of existing schemes or facilities being the main areas for consideration. The Council will use the findings of this peer challenge report as a marker on its improvement journey.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Social Care, Cllr Bob Metcalfe, said:
“It’s fantastic news that the peer review report found so many strengths in the Adults, Health and Social Care service. We know that we’re not perfect and have a way to go, but I’m pleased that the response shows we are going in the right direction.
“The findings have been really valuable and have not only given us further confidence in our services, but also provided us with a number of ways we can improve and deliver the best service possible for Calderdale residents.”