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HUNT Jeremy open neck

More on the transparency revolution. Yesterday I noted the launch of the London Schools Atlas. Another excellent initiative is a map from the Department of Health showing Adult Social Care Outcomes.

So I look at my own borough and I see, for example, 58.8 per cent “client satisfaction with care and support.” Our neighbouring Labour borough of Brent has a figure of 48 per cent. However our neighbouring Conservative borough of Kensington and Chelsea has 62.6 per cent.

On some areas – such as re-ablement – we are doing well in Hammersmith and Fulham. On other issues less well. Why do we only have 4.6 per cent of adults with learning disabilities in employment while the London average is 9.1 per cent? In all this there is stark accountability.

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt offers some broad verdicts:

Despite ma king good progress in 2012/13, it was disappointing to see that some local authorities missed the sector’s ambition that 70% of eligible people should have access to a personal budget, which make a real difference to the lives of the people who use them. In the future, the Care Bill sets out that everyone needing care and support will have access to a personal budget as part of their care and support plan, ensuring that they able to exercise control over how care and support is provided.

Therefore, councils should have clear plans in place to deliver personal budgets as part of the Care Bill reforms. These plans should also focus upon outcomes to ensure that systems are optimised to deliver personal budgets that offer true choice and control. The Personal Budget Outcome Evaluation Tool (POET) is one effective approach to monitor the effectiveness of personal budget processes.

It was however encouraging that the number of people experiencing a delayed transfer of care from hospital has fallen for another year, as has the number of delayed transfers which are attributable to social care. This suggests that we are getting better at providing care which is integrated and coordinated between both health and social care services.

The new measure of integration in this year’s framework will also capture the extent to which people experience integrated care, and help identify where improvements can be made.

It was also encouraging to see that the number of users of adult social care who are very or extremely satisfied with their care and support has risen for a second year. However, fewer than half of carers reported the same level of satisfaction, demonstrating that there is more to be done to ensure that everyone has the best experience.

While that is interesting in forming overall conclusions the real value of this map is that it allows people locally to challenge the performance of their council where it is falling short on a particular measure. Among Conservative councils we can see for example, that some have made huge progress on personal budgets (the one in the menu of outcomes described as “people receiving self directed support”). Hampshire, Hillingdon, Kent and Shropshire have seen increases of over 30 percentage points in a year. Other Conservative councils (Cheshire East, Devon, Essex and North Yorkshire) have actually seen a decline in the proportion on personal budgets in the past year. Councillors in the latter group should be asking why.

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