Alongside this week’s adult star ratings, the Commission for Social Care Inspection has published the annual performance assessment framework indicators for both adults and children.
They refer to performance in the financial year 2005-6, where there were 27 adult indicators and 20 children’s indicators. Council performance is banded from one to five.
Overall, performance in adult services has improved.
Of the 19 indicators for which bandings can be compared between 2004-5 and 2005-6:
• 15 showed an increase in the percentage of councils in band three (acceptable performance) or above.
• Two stayed the same.
• Two fell – the indicators on the unit weekly cost of intensive services (nursing, residential and intensive home care), and the unit hourly cost of home care.
• Variation between councils decreased in 13 indicators and increased in six.
The most dramatic improvement came in the provision of direct payments.
• 32,000 adults and older people were receiving a direct payment at 31 March 2006, up from 22,100 in 2005, and 98 per cent of councils improved uptake. However, of 650,000 eligible older people, just 2 per cent were receiving a payment, and just 7 per cent of authorities are in the top band for performance.
Other key indicators where there was progress included:
• Cutting delayed discharge: This fell from a weekly average of 2,700 in 2004-5 to 2,400 in 2005-6, and over two-thirds of authorities improved. Of delays reported, 26 per cent were attributable to a lack of social care provision for people leaving hospital.
• Providing care for people with significant needs in their own homes rather than residential care: The proportion of people with significant needs receiving home care rose from 25 to 27 per cent, with 81 per cent of councils improving.
• Cutting waiting times for assessment and the delivery of care packages: Assessments were completed within four weeks for 75 per cent of new older clients, up from 70 per cent, and 87 per cent of older users received all their services within four weeks of an assessment, up from 84 per cent.
However, one area where progress was slow was in services for carers, an area of concern for CSCI last year:
• The number of carers receiving a carer specific service in 2005-6, as a proportion of users receiving a community service, rose from 9 to 9.5 per cent.
Of the 14 indicators for which council bandings can be compared:
• In eight there was a rise in the proportion of councils in band three or above (acceptable performance).
• Three showed no change.
• Three showed a fall.
Performance was mixed in terms of services for looked-after children:
• Education performance rose slightly, with 53 per cent of care leavers aged 16 or over gaining at least one GCSE or GNVQ, up from 50 per cent, though there was no change in the proportion of councils in band three or above which stayed at 80 per cent.
• Care leavers aged 19 were 0.76 times as likely to be in education, employment or training as the general population, up from 0.7 in 2004-5. The proportion of councils in band three or above rose from 90 to 96 per cent.
• The key health indicator improved, with 81 per cent of children being up to date with health checks, up from 78 per cent in 2004-5.
• Criminal activity fell. Looked-after children over 10 were 2.6 times as likely as children in general to receive a final warning, reprimand or conviction, compared to 2.8 in 2004-5. The proportion of councils in band three or above rose by 10 per cent to 65 per cent.
• The proportion of children in foster placements or placed for adoptions rose minutely from 81.3 to 81.5 per cent. Adoptions alone were unchanged at 7.6 per cent.
• Long-term stability rose slightly but has largely remained unchanged since 2001-2. During that time, the proportion of children looked after for at least four years who had been with the same foster carer for at least two years has hovered between 49 and 51 per cent.
In terms of child protection, there was little change:
• 14 per cent of registrations on the child protection register were re-registrations, up from 13 per cent for the three preceding years. However, there was a slight increase in the proportion of councils in band three or above, from 89 to 91 per cent.
• 99 per cent of child protection reviews were on time, unchanged from 2004-5.