Adult social care services rated ‘good’ by CQC

Image of an elderly woman

Lincolnshire County Council’s adult social care services have been rated as providing a ‘good’ standard of support by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The report is one of five pilot local authority assessments of how councils meet their care act duties. The CQC has recently been given new responsibilities to assess how local authorities meet their duties and provide services. Lincolnshire was one of five local authorities volunteering to be part of the pilot of the new assessment process. The Lincolnshire report has been published today, alongside those for the other four pilots. You can read the report online here.

“I’m delighted that the CQC assessment has highlighted the excellent support we are providing for some of our most vulnerable residents in the county”, said Councillor Wendy Bowkett, Executive Councillor for Adult Care and Public Health. ”It vindicates all the hard work and commitment that our staff and partners put in on a daily basis to support those who need it to keep people as independent, fit and healthy as possible. The assessment showcased the great work we do here in Lincolnshire and I’m glad inspectors have highlighted so much good practice.

“This includes not just meeting people’s immediate care needs, but our focus on preventative healthcare and improving the quality of life of people living in Lincolnshire. Thery recognised our commitment to promoting people’s independence and encouraging them to develop their own skills, so there is less need for them to call on formal care and support.

"We’re proud to have a diverse range of effective services managed by a very strong leadership team who are clear on what is needed to ensure people drawing on services are being given the right support and kept safe and well.

“The CQC can see that we have are taking issues of local inequalities and geographical challenges very seriously, with strategies in place to ensure all people in our communities have access to the care they need.

“I’m particularly pleased that they highlight our workforce as being fully committed to understanding people’s needs, reflected in what people told them. It is especially encouraging to see that people using services spoke highly of individual staff, with effective assessment and support planning and minimal waiting times for assessments and support.

“We know we have a great foundation from which to develop our services even further and will use this to improve in those few areas highlighted in the report as needing further development.”

The assessment team found:

  • There was a range of services on offer to people with the aim of supporting their wellbeing, with front-line teams using a strengths-based approach to assessment and support planning which enabled them to consider people’s strengths as well as areas of their life where they may need some support.
  • People were given opportunities to help design services and felt able to voice their opinions with confidence that their feedback would lead to meaningful action.
  • The focus on partnership working and collaboration was strongly embedded with staff fully supporting this approach.
  • Staff morale was high, with staff confirming they had good opportunities for learning and development.
  • People’s needs were assessed in a timely way, focusing on their abilities, needs and wishes.
  • The CQC assessment team saw that the local authority worked well with other organisations, particularly the voluntary sector, and made good use of social prescribing.
  • There was an open culture within the local authority, with clear leadership and a learning culture which was embedded across the organisation and with partners.
  • Unpaid carers told the CQC assessment team they had access to a range of activities to support their wellbeing.
  • Staff told the CQC team that they worked closely with family carers, considering the whole family’s support to prevent a crisis.

There were a few areas highlighted in the CQC report as needing to be addressed. There were issues with financial assessments and delays in direct payment processing. The county council is aware of this and is actively taking steps to resolve the issues. There also needs to be greater clarity in the pathways for autistic people and also young people transitioning to adult services. Work in this area is being put in hand.

CQC will be incorporating the learning from the five pilots and, and from wider evaluation, into the formal assessment approach which they will apply to every local authority over the coming couple of years.

Published: 17th November 2023