The review, carried out by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) in collaboration with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), explored how well Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is promoting independence and preventing escalating needs for older adults.
The review focused on the experience of older adults as they initially come into contact with, and move through, social care services up until the time they may need to enter a care home.
The report highlights the local authority and local health board’s strengths, and areas for improvement. Key findings are in line with principles of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, which has been in force for almost three years.
The Act imposes duties on local authorities, health boards and Welsh Ministers that require them to work to promote the well-being of those who need care and support, or carers who need support.
The review identified strengths and areas for improvement to take forward, including:
- Well-being - the inspectorates found people with complex needs can expect to be supported to live at home for as long as possible, with a focus on promoting their independence and ensuring they receive the right service at the right time.
- People – voice and choice – most mental capacity assessments were undertaken to a good standard and demonstrated verbatim recording of questions asked and the responses people provided.
- Partnerships, integration and co-production – the inspectorates found practitioners who were co-located communicated well and worked together to ensure people did not need to repeat their stories.
- Prevention and early intervention – Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has provided people with access to a range of services to support their return home from hospital and maintain their independence, including the provision of minor adaptations by Care and Repair and support services from Age Connect.
Areas for improvement
- Well-being – the inspectorates identified a need for managers to ensure ‘what matters’ conversations are fully embedded in practice to ensure that specific personal outcomes people want to achieve are always identified and recorded.
- People voice and choice – the local authority needs to ensure sufficient formal advocacy to meet statutory duties, and assure itself that practitioners are confident in promoting the service.
- Partnerships, integration and co-production – the inspectorates recommend strengthening links between the local authority, third sector organisations, community coordinators and general practitioner support workers, in order to improve outcomes for people.
- Prevention and early intervention – the local authority and the health board need to ensure that information, advice and assistance services are more effective and compliant with Part 2 Code of Practice (general functions).
CIW and HIW have drawn the local authority and health board’s attention to strengths and areas for improvement. CIW will monitor progress through its on-going performance evaluation activity with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.