Westminster’s housing service stars in inspection

The Housing Inspectorate has awarded Westminster Council’s
housing with care project two stars out of a possible three in its
Best Value rating, according to a new report.

The inspectorate praised the London council’s service adding
that it would probably improve. Also praised was its support to
older people in their homes, which received a 98 per cent
satisfaction rate among users.

The inspectorate’s report says: “The council has a clear vision
about how services should be provided best to support older people
to live independent lives in their own homes.”

It adds: “Westminster is looking at innovative ways to
re-commission services for older people and establish new
partnership arrangements to modernise the sheltered and supported
schemes it operates.”

The report recommended the creation of a customer charter
detailing specific service elements and describing user
expectations as a way of better integrating all the council’s
housing with care services.

The inspectorate suggested the council agree an investment
strategy for supported and sheltered housing to deliver
improvements in the quality of accommodation. The report says:
“This is to ensure that all schemes meet modern standards of design
and accessibility.”

Westminster should also continue to run communal activities of
interest for men and ethnic minority residents.

Roy Irwin, Housing Inspectorate chief inspector, said:
“Westminster Council provides a good variety of services to support
people in their own homes and to help them to maintain their
independence. The service is also popular with users.”

He added: “However, we believe that the information residents
receive could be better designed and marketed to meet the needs of
older people who are eligible for the service.”

The report is available from:

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