Gloucestershire mental health tests 'need to improve'

Elderly person in a care home
Image caption The council was said to be meeting increased demand for services in the face of financial restraints

Gloucestershire County Council needs to improve its assessment of the needs of people with mental health problems, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said.

The council was given three out of four stars for its performance of adult social care in 2009/2010.

It was said to be "performing well" overall in the face of financial restraints and restructuring.

But there had been a drop in the number of assessments and increased waiting times for mental health patients.

The involvement of the community in planning and the monitoring of care homes were also praised.

But the CQC said the council's overall performance was "still below that of similar councils".

It was told it could improve in its assessment of people with mental health problems.

Rising demand

Also, carers' satisfaction with the "flexible service scheme" which provides them with support - particularly those in work - indicated it was not currently effective with only a 39% satisfaction rate.

Councillor Tony Hicks, Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet member for adult social care, said on the whole it was a "positive report".

"Supporting older and vulnerable people remains a top priority and we are protecting this budget but with demand rising, we will need to work differently.

"Spending will be focused on helping people to live independently and stay living in their own homes for as long as possible - something we are already doing well."

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