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Bracknell Forest residents in safe hands for health and social care

Couple sitting on a sofa with health care worker

Vulnerable people in Bracknell Forest receive safe, good quality health and social care when they need it, a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has revealed.

The CQC carried out a review of Bracknell Forest Council’s adult social care services and health and wellbeing board in September. This is part of central government’s request to carry out local area reviews in a bid to free up hospital beds across the country.

The review looked at how effectively the local health and care system works to ensure a resident’s health and care journey into and out of hospital is provided in a timely and effective way. The review was intended to identify any gaps or problems in the system or areas of good practice in the way in which councils and the NHS work together with partners in the voluntary and private sector to reduce the number of people over 65 delayed in hospital beds.

CQC inspectors looked at the council’s joint working with health partners (Bracknell and Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group (BACCG); NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups; Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust (FHFT); Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust (RBFT); Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; and South Central Ambulance Service), as well as care providers in the voluntary and private sector.

The review focused on 3 areas:

  • maintaining the wellbeing of a person in their own home
  • crisis management
  • a person’s return home following a hospital stay

Inspectors assessed the areas against its 5 criteria, considering whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. They found that:

  • the majority of older people living in Bracknell Forest received good quality health and social care services in a timely way
  • there was a commitment to serve the people of Bracknell Forest well across all organisations
  • most people using services feel included in decision making about their care
  • leaders across all organisations worked together with a clear vision and strategy
  • the voluntary and community sector played a prominent role in supporting health and social care in Bracknell Forest and saw themselves as service partners
  • there was a system wide commitment to maintaining people in their home and preventing avoidable harm

The news comes as Bracknell Forest Council’s transformation of its adult care services, which is focused on increasing joint working between health and social care and more prevention work, progresses. This aligns with priorities of the Frimley Health and Care Sustainable Transformation Partnership (STP) as both strategies are focused on helping older people to maintain their independence and stay in their own home where possible, avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.

The report demonstrated work on these plans is paying off as inspectors found there was ‘a system wide commitment to maintaining people in their usual place of residence and preventing avoidable harm.’

Cllr Dale Birch, executive member for adult social care, health and housing and chairman of the Bracknell Forest health and wellbeing board, said:

Our priority is always the health and wellbeing of our residents, so we welcomed the opportunity for the CQC to review how we work with partner organisations to ensure we’re doing all we can to help vulnerable people get the best possible care.

I am pleased the hard work of council staff, health and voluntary sector partners has been recognised with the positive comments within this report. However, there is never room for complacency and our focus remains on continuing to transform our services, improving links between health and social care to ensure people get the right support while getting the most out of life.

Dr William Tong, clinical chair for Bracknell and Ascot CCG, said:

The CCG welcomes the highly positive CQC report on health and care for its residents in Bracknell.

We have imbedded strong relationships and leadership, and empowered our teams to work together which enables us as partners to further improve in the areas that have been identified and recognised by the CQC as being the right ones. I recommend anyone who has not read the full report to do so.

Well done to Bracknell.

Jane Hogg, integration and transformation director at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, said:

We are working hard with our partners across the local health system partnership to improve local services for patients and move towards a more joined up care system. One of the outcomes we are striving for is to find different ways of working to enable more services to be delivered away from the hospital setting. We are delighted that this partnership working has been recognised in the Care Quality Commission’s report.

You can read the report in full online.

Find out more about our adult social care services in our health and social care section.