Hounslow’s adult social care services rated ‘Good’ by regulator

Image: A social care worker and a nursing home resident; library photo

Care Quality Commission praise Hounslow services following inspection

Adult social care services in LB Hounslow have been rated ‘Good’ by the health and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In the report published after a recent inspection, the CQC highlighted areas of good practice and those which required further development, for which the Council was recognised as having a robust and effective improvement plan in place working towards improvement in those areas.

‘Could do better’ in some areas

The areas which required further improvement were in assessing people’s needs and supporting people to live healthier lives.

The report concluded that while the Council showed good practice in assessing need, some people waited longer for completion of a full assessment. In March 2023, 291 people had waited over 28 days for an assessment, including 99 people waiting for a Care Act Assessment, and 105 people waiting for an OT (Occupational Therapy) Assessment.

Hounslow acknowledged performance in relation to reviews of peoples’ long-term or short-term care were lower than the national and regional average and also recognised they do not serve unpaid carers as well as they should, and they have developed an ‘Improvement Plan’ to address this.

One carer told the CQC the Short Breaks respite service was insufficient, and not flexible enough. For example, if the staff member was off sick there was no replacement, and the respite would be cancelled.

One partner organisation told them of insufficient daytime provision for people living with dementia and said that it was a real concern for carers.

Assessment of service based on feedback and surveys of people receiving care and support

The report marks the regulator’s first published assessments of Local Authority Adult Social Care Services performance since 2010, when the previous rating system was scrapped by the coalition government.

The ratings were underpinned by scores of one (indicating significant shortfalls in performance) to four (an exceptional standard) across the following nine areas designed to capture how well the Council was performing their Care Act 2014 responsibilities:-

  • assessing needs
  • supporting people to live healthier lives
  • equity in experience and outcomes
  • care provision, integration and continuity
  • partnerships and communities
  • safe systems, pathways and transitions
  • safeguarding
  • governance, management and sustainability
  • learning improvement and innovation.

The CQC’s judgments were based on, amongst other sources, feedback and surveys of people receiving care and support, feedback from carers and staff, the views of providers and relevant community groups plus an analysis of performance data and studies of a sample of cases.

Image: Cllr Samia Chaudhary

Council “delighted” at rating 

Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Transformation, said:

“I am delighted that the CQC assessment has highlighted the good support we offer to our most vulnerable residents. This acknowledgement underscores the unwavering dedication and tireless commitment demonstrated by our staff and partners on a daily basis as they strive to provide crucial support to some of our most vulnerable.

“The CQC’s recognition of our efforts reaffirms our dedication in striving to provide people with positive experiences when using adult social care services.

“While we celebrate these achievements, we recognise the imperative to continuously enhance our services and will continue to do so through our improvement agenda.

“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all our valued residents and partners whose collaboration has been instrumental in working towards achieving a good outcome for Hounslow.

James Bullion, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care and Integrated Care, praised the Council’s efforts, highlighting its collaboration with partners to promote independence and resilience among residents. However, he also emphasised the need for improvement in areas such as carers’ support and access to services. He said:

“Overall, Hounslow Council should be really pleased with this assessment. They’ve built a great foundation on which to build their future plans and make improvements. We look forward to returning to see how they’ve done this and how their current plans mature.”

The Care Quality Commission is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health and Social Care of the United Kingdom. It was established in 2009 to regulate and inspect health and social care providers in England.

The full report is available to read here: London Borough of Hounslow: local authority assessment