Vow to improve services for older people

SOCIAL care leaders have pledged to inspectors that changes will be made to older peoples services.Three inspectors attended a meeting of Suffolk County Council's executive committee to present the report which showed vulnerable elderly people were being failed county wide.

SOCIAL care leaders have pledged to inspectors that changes will be made to older peoples services.

Three inspectors attended a meeting of Suffolk County Council's executive committee to present the report which showed vulnerable elderly people were being failed county wide.

The report which was revealed in the Evening Star late last year was formally presented to head of social services Anthony Douglas at the meeting yesterday.

Both Mr Douglas and Portfolio holder Councillor Terry Green expressed their disappointment at the "poor" report yesterday.


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But they also claimed improvements made over the last six months would lead to a different result if another report was carried out today.

As revealed in The Star earlier this week, £8.1million is being ploughed into improving services for older people over the next year.

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Mr Douglas told an executive meeting of the County Council: "It's a poor report and we accept that.

"But the changes we have made are very considerable and they are continuing to go upwards."

Mr Green said 59 per cent of people were happy with the service they received – a good figure compared nationally – and that people being helped at home had gone up considerably.

Inspectors had earlier praised the services management and workforce and highlighted a determination to improve.

The Social Services Inspectorate's report into care of the elderly accepted significant improvements had been made, but, worryingly, described future prospects as "uncertain".

Inspectors discovered in 2002/03 Suffolk was the nation's fourth worst county in delivering care packages to the vulnerable in the key six-week period following assessment.

They also found Suffolk compared very badly in carrying out assessments in the first place and supporting the elderly at home.

And council leader Bryony Rudkin said she hoped they pointed towards a bright future, rather than the uncertain one highlighted in the report.

She said: "The main disappointment is the uncertain prospects. We hope the direction of travel is in the right direction.

"The very last thing I would like to see is Suffolk being in denial about this."

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