WAITING times for adult social care services have been sharply reduced following the introduction of a new method, figures have revealed.
Following the introduction of the new Vanguard method – a streamlined way of working – by the city council to services in October, 2015, the authority has been able to increase the pace at which services are carried out.
When I took over the portfolio in 2015, it was clear we had financial and service quality issues to overcome. We needed to try something differentCouncillor Luke Stubbs, deputy leader of the city council
Notable boosts came in domiciliary care with the average time between initial contact and resolution for patient decreasing from nearly eight months to around 44 days.
Figures from initial contact to being assessed in domiciliary care also sharply dropped from 75 days to 19 days. The number of calls missed by the service decreased from 11 per week to just four.
Councillor Luke Stubbs, cabinet member for health and social care, said: ‘When I took over the portfolio in 2015, it was clear we had financial and service quality issues to overcome. We needed to try something different.’
The focus for the service’s improvement was to provide greater responsibility for the service to social workers.
It comprised of three stages, studying the existing system, experimenting with new approaches before implementing them and scaling up successful methods.
Cllr Stubbs added: ‘We’ve worked closely with staff, managers and the people using our services to make sure we are focusing on what people value, rather than getting caught up in what people providing the service want to measure.’
The approach has also seen the number of waiting times for occupational therapy services drop from an average of 215 to 88 days in terms of initial request to having a solution in place.
Of 1,000 people surveyed by the council, the average satisfaction rating was 9.1 out of 10.
Opposition leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson welcomed the figures but said ‘real life experiences’ needed to be taken into account, in addition to statistics.
He said: ‘The figures are clear and I am pleased that there has been good progress.
‘My concern is that when I meet real people who are not receiving the best service.
‘I think we need to look at the other side of the coin here.
‘You only need to look at the fact that day centres in the city are being closed down. It is very important that we balance real people and their experiences with the statistics we are getting.’
A report on the waiting times will be discussed at a meeting next Wednesday.