Better Lives Explained gives a local account of Leeds

Leeds City Council’s executive board was presented with the Local Account for Leeds 2012-2013 at their meeting today.

The account, published under the title of Better Lives Explained, sets out activities and progress made over the past 12 months by the council’s adult social care department. It also describes priorities for improvement and further developments for the coming year.

Better Lives is the council’s commitment to making Leeds the best city in the UK for people with social care needs to live, and giving residents the best possible support to maintain their health and wellbeing.

Better Lives Explained identifies a number of areas where improvements have been made and also areas where there is still work to do to meet citizens’ rightful expectations about their care and support.

Some of the key strengths identified in the report are:

• As a result of better preventative services and alternatives, fewer people needed to have their care needs met through residential and nursing care.

• All home care providers used by the council who were assessed in 2011/12 met our local standards of care.

• 74% of the people completing their program of reablement in Leeds between January and April 2012 reported that they now feel they have control over their lives

• 95% of adult social care service users report that they feel that their social care worker/s treated them with respect

The report also highlighted areas for further improvement including:

• 14% of service users were not satisfied with the care and support service they received.

• Although more people than ever are receiving their social care through a personal budget, a smaller proportion feel that they have control over their daily life in 2011/12 (74%) than the previous year (79%). Leeds performance is now only average in relation to comparable towns and cities

• In some cases it took a long time for service users to get the right care, and some people have found that constraints around the planning of care made it difficult to get consistent staffing and flexible care.

• Only 64% of service users feel able to do enough or more of the things that they value or enjoy. This is a lower proportion than the previous year. Some people needing care and support have found that they are still not able to go out without having to plan a long way in advance and want better transport facilities.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member responsible for adult social care in Leeds said:

“In Leeds our aim is to help make better lives for people, and the local account is a great way to share with residents what we have achieved over the past year and what our priorities are for the coming year.

"The council’s budget is getting smaller, and this brings with it a huge challenge for us to be able to continue to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“We have already introduced new measures to make sure that our diminishing resources are more effectively directed, but there is still more to do to ensure that our services are fit for purpose in the future.

“I am confident that what we are striving to achieve over the next few years will make a positive and lasting difference to the lives of people who use adult social care services in Leeds.”

The local account explains how people with care and support needs will be supported to achieve better lives through three main themes:

Better lives through integrated services

This will be achieved by delivering the new city-wide Health and Wellbeing Strategy, through which we will provide easier access to joined-up health and social care services. People with social care needs will receive co-ordinated, effective, personalised support from a range of agencies in the health, social care, independent and third sectors, all working together. These same services will, where possible, help people with poor physical or mental health to learn or re-learn the skills they need for independent daily living.

Better lives through housing care and support

This will be achieved through extending the use of personal budgets, which are being used successfully by a growing number of people who are improving their own lives through taking control of their housing, care and support needs. We will improve the range of daytime activities for people with eligible needs, providing them with the day-to-day support they need to stay living at home, or close to home, for longer. People whose circumstances make them vulnerable in living safely and independently will be given the safeguarding and support they need to stay in control of their lives.

Better lives through enterprise

This will be achieved through ensuring resources are efficiently matched and directed towards those with the greatest need. Existing and new kinds of enterprise will be developed in the Leeds care market, which will provide a variety of services geared to respond to people with all levels of support and care need.


Additional info

All local authorities are required to produce a local account each year to explain the progress that councils and their partners have made towards achieving their strategic aims for social care over the past year.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk