Finding out what matters to people is a key part of developing quality services in Conwy, so we ask for feedback from the people we are involved with, using the information we receive to make improvements to the services we deliver. The political leadership of the Council has, over the years, demonstrated accessibility and commitment to securing the views of citizens by undertaking drop-in sessions for citizens to pass comment and opinion on matters related to the budget, corporate plan and modernisation strategies.
There are numerous examples of public opinion and comments impacting on policy and decision-making within the Council, for example budget planning for 16/17 & 17/18, school modernisation decisions, waste management collection. Regulators have reported that the work of the Council succinctly and clearly reflects the priorities of the citizens and partners.
The Conwy Social Care Participation Strategy sets out a clear commitment to engaging with Children, Young People, Adults and Carers in the development, planning, delivery and review of the services provided to them. We work to ensure that citizens of Conwy are viewed as equal partners in the design and delivery of Social Care services under the requirements of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.
The views, opinions, wishes, feelings and experiences of Conwy citizens are captured through our forums and by consulting on an individual basis with people to inform our commissioning reviews. Two full time participation officers work across the Social Care service areas to ensure that we engage and consult with people to inform service commissioning.
Adult Participation Network
The Adult Participation Network invites membership from anyone who has an interest in developing and influencing Social Care service delivery in Conwy. Our members represent a number of service areas; older people, disability services, adult mental health services, physical disability services and cancer treatment services. The group meets monthly and undertakes:
- Regular Consultation work
- Chosen work topics
- Annual Report for the Conwy Peoples Partnership
Topics we’re currently working on include substance misuse and intergenerational project working.
In order to consult with children and young people in Conwy we have 3 forums:
- The Conwy Youth Council (11-25 years)
- Shaping Futures Group for Young Adults Leaving Care (15-25 years)
- Loud Voices Group for children who are looked after (7-14 years)
We work in conjunction with Conwy Youth Services and the secondary schools in Conwy to encourage membership for our groups.
We also actively consult with the Isallt Accommodation Project for young people who may be homeless or in need of a move of accommodation and we also support youth councils within the Conwy Pupil Referral Units.
Within Social Care, each year the Welsh Government asks us to collect national data about the well-being of people who receive services from us; this year we sent 2294 questionnaires to a sample of adults, plus all carers, children and young people, and achieved a response rate of 31% overall. 40% of adults and carers responded to us and 12% of children and young people. We have analysed the results before returning them to the Welsh Government for publishing. The qualitative and quantitative results will be included within this report under the relevant quality standards.
We also ask more in-depth questions for specific service areas. For example, we asked service users and their parents/carers what they thought about our Disability service, focusing on the quality of the information we provide and how well we communicate.
This is what our service users said:
- Most say they receive enough information about the service.
- Not everyone had heard about or used our Disability web pages, or had heard of or used the Dewis website.
- Not everyone found it easy to contact us, although some rely on their family and support workers to do this for them.
- Most service users and carers agreed that our staff get back to them when they have tried to make contact but that “people can be hard to get hold of; I can wait for a return call several days later”.
- Nearly all service users and carers agreed that they could use their language of choice when contacting us, with some using Welsh, some British Sign Language and others signs and gestures as their preferred medium.
- Nearly all service users and carers felt that they are treated fairly and with respect.
This is what we plan to do
- We will produce a welcome letter outlining basic information and contact details.
- We will help service users and their carers access the internet at our Canolfan Marl base and use a staff iPad to show them what to do and what kind of information is available to them.
- We will be introducing a local performance target of 24 hours to get back to callers if we can’t speak to them straight away.
- We have a draft corporate action plan for all sensory-impaired people and will be providing opportunities for our staff to attend Welsh language classes and increase the number who are confident to speak in Welsh.
We ask people over the age of 65 who have received a reablement package to complete a questionnaire on the standard of the service we have provided. It asks individuals about their experience with us, including whether they and their support group were involved in agreeing and planning the support package, whether the support lived up to expectations and whether personal outcomes were achieved by the end of the period. With most reablement packages lasting six weeks, the questionnaires are an invaluable and regular tool to assist managers with care planning and ensuring that we continue to deliver on the Social Services and Well-being Act.
Some example responses:
At the end of your support intervention period, had you met your identified goals?
Yes, physically I had nearly reached the level I was at prior to my illness.
Yes. Thank you all so much – I could not have asked for a better service or team.
What part of the service did you value the most?
All of it but I appreciated the courtesy, efficiency and good humour.
I was always met with a smile, encouraging words and practical advice.
We are also proud of our performance:
- The percentage of adults who completed a period of reablement: And have a reduced package of care and support – less support than they did before – 6 months later is 9.85% (PMA20a)
- The percentage of adults who completed a period of reablement: And have no package of care and support 6 months later = 71.52% (PMA20b)
Other consultations with people who receive our services are included within the report under the relevant quality standard.
Complaints and Representations – Lessons Learnt
Everyone who makes a complaint about Social Services in Wales has a right to be listened to. Their views, wishes and feelings must be heard, and their concerns should be resolved quickly and effectively. Complaints can highlight where services need changing. It is important that we learn from complaints, in order to identify where services should be changed and improved.
The most significant lessons resulting from complaints in the past year have told us that:
- Communication is key to citizens and their families receiving services; any changes in circumstances need to be effectively communicated to them; returning calls or simply calling when planned is important to ensure a good working relationship.
- Proactive engagement by the Complaints Officer together with Team Managers at the Stage 1 (Local Resolution) level results in the early resolution of complaints.