Adult social care services in Suffolk have been rated 'Good' overall by an independent regulator for the care sector in England.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that feedback was positive about the approach of frontline staff and the care and support provided, while staff were positive about working for the county council, including the leadership and culture.

Integrated working with health partners was also praised, while there was a clear focus on prevention and public health, while data was used to inform the strategic approach.

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Systems and governance were also in place to enable the authority to assess how well it was performing, while a culture of learning and improving from incidents had also become embedded.

The use of technology such as sensors and falls prevention equipment enabled people to live independently and provided reassurance to carers.

The movement of mental health service staff to work for the local authority was also described as 'exceptionally positive,' enabling a more holistic service to be developed for people.

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However, some areas for improvement were also identified by the inspectors, including delays in getting through to Customer First- the initial point of contact with the authority- and delays to assessments.

Meanwhile, mental capacity assessments were identified as an area for improvement and training had taken place to improve staff knowledge.

The transition of young people from children to adult services was also considered to need improvements, while there were challenges with ensuring suitable accommodation was available for people.

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Working with ethnic minority groups needed further improvements, while voluntary sector and care partners called for better partnership working, communication and joining up of systems.

Councillor Beccy Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care at the county council, said: “I am delighted, this is a fantastic result for Suffolk County Council (SCC), especially for those colleagues working within adult social care.

“I'm especially pleased to see areas like safeguarding rated as good, this is a real acknowledgement of the hard work SCC and partners have put in place over the last few years to learn from every incident and work closely together as a system to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable in our community."

She said the rating was also 'testament' to the high levels of financial investment the council had put into adult social care over the years.