Directors of adult social care in the West Midlands seek a fresh perspective from carers and service users

Directors of social services in West Midlands are taking a different approach to finding out how well their social services are doing - by asking peers from other councils, service users and carers to give their opinions.

Part of an 18-month programme organised by the West Midlands branch of the ADASS, all 14 directors in the region will be undertaking a self-assessment and inviting a team of experts to carry out a four-day challenge. This team will include peers from social care teams in other councils and two experts by experience (carers or service users).

They will be asked to critique and observe services in this four-day challenge to inform the councils involved about how well their services are really doing.

The involvement of service users and carers - or as they have termed them 'experts by experience' - is a welcome move showing that the directors of services in West Midlands are serious about ensuring that their teams remain focused on producing positive outcomes for carers and people receiving care.

Service user and carers across the region have already embraced this development and are looking forward to the opportunity to input into the process in the knowledge that their experiences will help inform future service provision.

Martin Reeves, chief executive of Coventry city council and the lead for sector-led improvement in adult social care in the region, said: "The involvement of experts by experience adds to the quality of the peer challenge process and reminds us of what we are all trying to deliver - service improvements working with rather than simply for our users and carers."

To read more about the inclusion of 'experts by experience' in the West Midlands council service four-day challenge visit:


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Last Updated : 11 December 2013. Page Author: marijke.hirst.