“rapid & significant improvement” in children’s services

The Isle of Wight Council is delivering “rapid and significant improvement” in both children’s services and adult social care, a leading councillor has claimed; adding that he wants it to be a “beacon of excellence” in care provision in the future.

The claim was made by Councillor Chris Whitehouse (Conservative, Newport West Ward) after a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday 27th February at which he had received a detailed response from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Dave Stewart, to a question that he had asked about progress that was being made in improving adult social care and children’s social services by the current Conservative Administration.

In a very detailed response, Cllr Stewart cited the recent Ofsted inspection report which praised the Council saying: ‘Political leaders are engaged with, and visible to, children and staff. They have a good understanding of the service and have secured significant financial investment. This increased understanding has ensured more vigorous scrutiny and challenge and a greater focus across the council on meeting the needs of vulnerable children.’

Councillor Stewart went on to highlight the fact that adult social care is the largest single employment sector on the Island, with 5,300 employed to care for vulnerable adults; and he listed a range of significant improvements including:

  • a 58% reduction in the rate of permanent admissions into residential care amongst elders;
  • a 80% reduction in the rate of permanent admissions into residential care amongst working age adults;
  • a 55% reduction in delayed transfers of care attributable to social care – and now written up as an exemplar of best practice in partnership working to reduce DTOCS (delays in transferring patients from hospital to appropriate care facilities) by the Local Government Association;
  • 203 Personal Assistants registered with our PA Hub introduced in 2017 enabling people with Direct Payments (to enable them to pay directly for the support they need) and PAs to match their needs and preferences, with the commensurate increase in the numbers of people choosing to employ PAs; and
  • Over 66% of all people going through our reablement services needing no ongoing care and support

The Council Leader also welcomed the work of the Living Well Service provided by Age UK, People Matter and Carers IOW, which has helped 1,700 adults who would not otherwise have been eligible for the council’s services.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Whitehouse, who serves as Cabinet Secretary to the Council, said: “This Administration has been able to make rapid and significant improvements in turning around what were previously poor services for vulnerable children and adults, raising standards and improving the quality of life for many thousands of Islanders. This progress is now widely acknowledged at national level and I take the opportunity to congratulate all our hard-working officers and our voluntary sector partners on establishing the Island as a sector leader in these services. I would particularly single out and personally salute Councillor Paul Brading who leads on children’s services for the Council and Councillor Clare Mosdell. They have done a truly remarkable job so far, though we still have further to travel down the road of improvement. Indeed, we want the Island to be seen as a beacon of excellence in the care it provides to the most vulnerable Islanders of all ages.”