Suffolk renews social services

A RAPID overhaul of Suffolk's social care is getting underway.Suffolk County Council was let down in the Local Authority League Tables by its social care service which received a score of just two out of four.

By Jessica Nicholls


A RAPID overhaul of Suffolk's social care is about to be introduced to improve its service.

Suffolk County Council was let down in the Local Authority league tables by its social care which received a score of just two stars out of four.

But now a change is coming in the way the social care team works. Senior and middle management will be encouraged to pay more attention to staff battling to make things work on the front line.

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Dealing with bedblockers and children in residential care are top of the list to bring the county up to three star standard.

Councillors working on the project have been looking at other three star counties to see what improvements can be made.

Suffolk is currently a one star authority but they have vowed that in the next two years they will have risen to three stars. Moves are to be made to make more use of the volunteer and private sectors to help achieve the aims of the new project.

No extra staff and no extra money are likely to be involved in the changes and assistant director of social care, Peter Tempest said it was more about changing what they were already doing rather than throwing more money into the pot.

He said that problems were not necessarily caused by underfunding and counties which had lower budgets showed to have a better performance.

Under the new regime, elderly people will get better care in their homes or in very sheltered housing.

Children going into care will also come under the spotlight. At the moment a lot of money is being spent on the 137 children who have to be cared for out of the county because there is not enough room in Suffolk.

County councillor Tony Lewis is working on the new plan along with councillors Terry Green, Wil Gibson and Sue Thomas.

He said people needed to be stopped getting into the system if the new plans were to work.

He said: "The sooner they get into the system the harder it is to get them out."

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