Asking the people we support about what matters to them is a key part of developing our services, and the feedback we receive enables us to see where improvements are needed to the services we deliver.
Throughout this report you will see statistics and feedback gained through our consultation exercises, in particular the annual citizen survey, carried out during autumn 2019. Feedback from this, and the other evaluations, will be evidenced throughout the report under the relevant quality standard to demonstrate how effectively we are delivering care and support in Conwy, from the perspective of the individuals who receive it. As always, we will work to make improvements where negative feedback has been received or where suggestions for change have been submitted.
Who takes part in the citizen survey?
In 2019 we sent a total of 2000 questionnaires to all Carers, children and young people, and a selection of adults who received care and support from us. Copies of the questionnaire were sent in easy-read format to people who required them, and we differentiate between the responses received from them.
How many people responded to the survey?
Our overall response rate was 34%, broken down as follows:
|Who received a questionnaire?||We sent out||We received back||% Response|
|Children and young people (under 25)||367||53||14%|
Other statistical information
The Code of Practice in relation to measuring Social Care performance requires Local Authorities in Wales to collect data known as Performance Indicators. We will include these in the report to demonstrate in statistical terms how successful we are in delivering care and support in Conwy. These performance indicators are monitored on an annual basis by the Welsh Government.
Consultation, engagement and participation work
Conwy Family Centres
In 2019 a consultation exercise was carried out to find out what families thought of the work of the Conwy Family Centres. A survey was sent out to 1300 families receiving services from Team Around The Family and Flying Start. It was available online to allow families to respond digitally.
Recommendations from the surveys included:
- Making sure families receive their key worker’s name and contact details
- Access to Family Centre activities over the holiday periods
- The introduction of a welcome pack
- Continuation of and extension of available courses
- Improved services for rural locations
- More support for fathers
Because a wealth of information was received from the Llanrwst Family Centre, it was suggested that we return to the consultation work once new centres are established in the north of the county.
Play facilities in Conwy County
Our Participation Team worked with the Flexible Funding Grant Team and Commissioning Service to find out what parents and children thought of current play facilities. We engaged with local youth services and two of our Family Centres (east and west). Local libraries and schools were also asked to participate via an online form.
Parents told us that:
- They would like play days to be organised in their local areas
- Play activities should be advertised more widely
- Some activities should be held on weekend days
Young people told us that:
- They would like to see more activities organised through youth clubs
- They would like more football camps, cycling, yoga, gymnastics and boxing
Consulting with people in residential care settings
In 2019 the Adult Participation Worker spent time visiting two Conwy care homes, talking to residents about what they liked most about their home, and what changes they would like to see introduced. The residents raised issues such as the lack of sun shade to sit in the garden, the colour of dishes used for their food, and the need for more visual menus for meal times to help people living with dementia.
Feedback was given to managers in the homes and discussed with our Monitoring Service for future reference.
Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) Inspections
In 2019, the Care Standards Inspectorate reviewed two service areas: Conwy Domiciliary Care Services and Services for Children with Disabilities.
The Domiciliary Care Inspection told us that the CIW received positive feedback from people and their relatives who were generally happy with the service and the support provided. The report also said that our staff work well together and are committed to providing good quality support. Going forward, we aim to further improve our record-keeping systems in order to identify progress for people and work to deliver care and support at preferred times whenever possible.
Children with Disabilities
This inspection formed part of an overall National Review of Services for Children with Disabilities in Wales in 2019-20. The report tells us that the local authority has a clear vision and ambition for disabled children. Families have said that they are able to build trusting and meaningful relationships with practitioners from the Disability Service and that children receive a timely response to requests for equipment and adaptations.
Going forward, sufficiency of resources remains a challenge and people have told us that they need more access to services such as respite care. We also need to continue to ensure that the voice of disabled children and their preferred outcomes are captured within our assessment processes.
Quality Assurance Reviews
Quality assurance reviews are a way of highlighting evidence of good practice. They can also assist to identify unmet need or unacceptable variation in care, and drive improvement where necessary.
In 2019, areas for review in Adult Services included:
- Adult Safeguarding Referrals
- Adult Integrated Assessment process and assessment
- Care and Support Plans
The Adult Service reviews undertaken indicated that there was good evidence of co-production and involvement with the individual within the assessment process. In over two thirds of the cases there was involvement from other agencies and/or preventative services. Use of advocacy services is an area in which we wish to see improvement. Although our reviews do evidence that individuals benefit from support via informal advocacy, we would like to see more people taking up the offer of a referral to Advocacy Services and this will be promoted going forward in 2020.
Within Children and Families Services quality assurance reviews undertaken in 2019, included:
- The Initial Assessment Process
- Complex/Comprehensive Assessments
- Fostering services
- Youth Justice services
Quality Assurance Reviews for Children and Family Services 2019
A quality assurance review for Looked After Children care plans was completed in order to review the Complex Assessment, review personal outcome planning and the voice of the child within the processes. The review evidenced good multi-agency working processes in order to safeguard children and detailed information contained within the majority of assessments. The review did recommend further focus on the inclusion of the child’s voice and parental outcomes to be including in future care planning.
A further quality assurance review of the Complex/Comprehensive Assessment process across key fieldwork teams including Disability Under 25s, Assessment and Support Team, Safeguarding and Legal Team, and the Permanency and Pathways Team was undertaken later on in 2019. This review recommended further promotion of the Collaborative Conversations approach, including capturing the voice of the child in evidencing well-being outcomes for children and their families. Further quality assurance reviews are planned for 2020.
Complaints and compliments about our services
We strongly believe that effective handling of complaints is a crucial part of our responsibilities within the Social Care Department, and a vital element of ensuring that our citizens receive the services that they are entitled to. Our complaints procedure is based on two principles:
- 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 local authorities learn from complaints, in order to identify where services should be changed and improved.
Complaints enable us to acknowledge when mistakes have been made, put them right and apologise where appropriate. We can also learn lessons from them and actually make improvements to the services we deliver.
Due to the way we report on complaints the information provided in this report is from the year 2018-19. During the year we received and dealt with 25 formal complaints, which is four fewer than the previous reporting year, and significantly fewer than just three years ago. The trend over time can be seen in the graph below.
Of the 24 complaints received at Stage 1 level, only one required escalation to Stage 2 (for which an independent investigator needs to be utilised). The remainder were resolved at a local level (Stage One) which demonstrates the effort afforded to the responses. There is also a financial benefit to not needing to employ independent investigators; expenditure dropped from £17,966 in 2017-18 to only £3,540 in 2018-19 due to the reduction in Stage 2 complaints. In 2018-19 we ensured that 96% of complainants received an acknowledgment within two working days and over half of Stage One complaints were resolved within 15 working days.
Compliments are regarded as important information that can be used to identify areas of good practice. They are recorded and reported back to managers so that they can share positive feedback with their teams. During 2018-19 the Social Care Department received 216 compliments, an increase of 36 over the previous year, and showing that they far out-weigh the number of complaints received. The Older People & Hospital Social Work Service receive the lion share of compliments (56% of the total).
In the short time that I have come to know you, you came into my life like a ray of sunshine to brighten up my day.
Conwy Children’s Rights Toolkit
We first introduced a Children’s Rights Toolkit in 2014 which was promoted on our website and explained the relevance of children’s rights and the importance of engaging with children and young people in all aspects of our work.
In 2019 we decided to review the toolkit to make it more accessible, user-friendly and, in response to what children and young people have told us, to host it online for the first time.
What were the challenges?
We needed to create a toolkit that appealed to children and adults alike. We consulted with staff, members of the Conwy Youth Council and our partner agencies in order to gain their views during the revision process. We enlisted help from a local web design company, in order to ensure that the toolkit was attractive, easy to access and gave the right information to a variety of people.
We are very pleased with the end result and we’ll be launching our newly-revised toolkit in early 2020 as well as evaluating its usefulness with other Council services.
Monitoring the quality of our reablement service
Conwy’s reablement service provides short-term intensive and targeted support for individuals over the age of 65 who, due to illness or hospitalisation, need help to regain their independence and confidence. This could take the form of assistance with meal preparation, personal care and getting into/out of bed. We contact each individual following their period of support to obtain feedback on their experience, from the point of referral to achievement of their personal outcomes. This enables us to continually monitor our performance and ensure that everyone who accesses the service has a say, both in their own care and support and, through feedback, to improve the reablement journey for others.
Responses to our questionnaire throughout 2019-20 demonstrate a high satisfaction rate, with the service exceeding expectations in many cases. Over 300 individuals who received reablement during 2019-20 responded to our feedback form. Here are some of examples of the response rates received:
|96% of respondents stated that they were fully involved in agreeing and planning their support alongside family, friends, support staff and other professionals.|
|98% felt that their expectations of the reablement service were met.|
|94% stated that we agreed their personal outcomes with them at the start of the service.|
|91% felt that they had achieved their identified outcomes at the end of the support period.|
|99% of people who received reablement support felt that it was delivered flexibly.|
|94% of people felt that the support received was consistent.|
|98% felt that the support received enabled them to do as much as they could for themselves.|
|100% agreed that our staff were pleasant, kind and courteous.|
I looked forward to seeing all the carers – they could not have done more to help me get better in my own home.
We were given plenty of time and support
You helped to support me when I needed help the most
We will continue to monitor the reablement team’s performance on a quarterly basis to ensure that our high standards are maintained.