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Queues force down social care rating

PUBLISHED: 16:01 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:14 12 August 2010

ONE of the wealthiest boroughs in the capital is failing in its duty to provide good adult social care, a report has found. The Care Quality Commission s report on adult social services, published last Thursday, found that Bromley council s adult care

ONE of the wealthiest boroughs in the capital is failing in its duty to provide good adult social care, a report has found.

The Care Quality Commission's report on adult social services, published last Thursday, found that Bromley council's adult care was getting worse, even though outer London boroughs generally scored well, including Bexley and Greenwich.

Bromley was classed as "adequate" for improving health and wellbeing, unlike neighbouring council Bexley which scored "well".

Bromley also scored "adequate" in four other categories - increasing choice and control, freedom from discrimination and harassment, maintaining dignity and respect, and delivering outcomes.

It manage to score "well" in the remaining three categories of improved quality of life, making a positive contribution and achieving economic wellbeing.

Bromley council Labour group leader John Getgood said: "The council is failing vulnerable adults. Some aspects of the service are rightly recognised as good but we have warned Bromley Tories that waiting times are too long and we have been ignored.

"We have fought against cuts to services to the elderly and we have again been ignored. Now the Labour government is having to intervene to put right their failure of care for the elderly people of Bromley."

The report found that 140 out of the 148 councils assessed were performing well or excellently.

A Bromley council spokesperson said: "The pressures we have faced in managing significant increases in demand for social care services did have an impact on the speed at which assessments were carried out, which meant some people were waiting longer for services than we would have wished, and this was reflected in our overall rating.

"This is not acceptable and as soon as this became apparent additional resources were directed towards ensuring these waiting times are being reduced.

"In terms of how we are increasing choice and control, the council makes no apology for taking a measured approach in our planning to deliver the government's agenda to radically change how adult social care is delivered.

"We are designing the services to support that transformation in a way that is right for Bromley, and have taken time to involve those who matter most in those changes - our residents. We are confident we now have a solid foundation to build on in terms of increasing choice and control and looking for continuous improvement in delivering quality, value-for-money services for the people of Bromley."

Director of adult and community services Terry Rich said: "Despite the disappointment of our overall CQC rating, I am confident that social care services in Bromley are sound and continue to improve.

"We are confident that each year more people are helped to remain in their own homes and to exercise more choice and control over their care arrangements. We have though faced large increases in demand which have put our social work teams under strain and have resulted in some people having to wait longer for an assessment of their needs. We are doing all we can to improve this situation.

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