The Government watchdog, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, has announced the performance ratings for authorities that provide social services to adults across the South West. Devon County Council retains its two star rating, demonstrating that i

The Government watchdog, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, has announced the performance ratings for authorities that provide social services to adults across the South West.Devon County Council retains its two star rating, demonstrating that it is 'good' at delivering outcomes, and shows 'promising' capacity to improve services further.In their report, CSCI commend the council for its work over the last 12 months. Notably they pick out highlights including:The 'numbers of people funded by the council to receive intermediate care in residential and non-residential settings to avoid hospital admission.''Relatively few people are delayed unnecessarily in hospital in Devon and only a small minority of these are attributable to Adult Social Care.''A good number of people with learning disabilities are helped to live at home and receiving community based services.' 'The council and its partners have consulted widely on a modernisation strategy for older people's services'; and 'User involvement in consultation has improved considerably.''All assessments of people's needs now start within 48 hours of first contact'; and that 'Devon is better than many councils in delivering services to people quickly following assessments.''Large numbers of people in Devon are successfully helped to maximise their incomes from benefits, tax and pension credits.''Spending on advocacy for people with learning disabilities is higher in Devon than most other councils.' 'Over 250 people with learning disabilities were helped into paid work, with others involved in voluntary work and work experience schemes.''Arrangements to support people with disabilities into employment, education or volunteering in Devon have continued to develop.'Support that the Council gives to Carers is also highlighted: 'Carers in Devon are able to directly access services through a sitting/breaks voucher scheme.' 'Carers have been involved in a review of carers' assessments, to improve the process and the potential outcomes'. 'A Devon Carers Link network has been established to provide information, signposting and support to newly identified carers.''Arrangements have been improved to help carers remain in employment and/or avoid the need to change/reduce their working hours.''Devon is responding to messages from carers who want easier access, more flexibility and more timely services to support their needs.'But the Executive Director of the Council's Adult and Community Services, David Johnstone, has said that although the Council has shown real progress and improvement in many areas, there is still more services that he wants to improve further.CSCI highlight specific areas that the Council can develop further. While they acknowledge improvement in some areas, CSCI comment that improvement is slower compared to some other councils, or to Devon's previous improvement rates: 'Councillor Hugo Barton, Devon County Council's Executive Member for Adult and Community Services, said: "We welcome CSCI's assessment of our services, and are pleased that they have acknowledged a lot of our hard work to improve services over the last 12 months; especially the changes we have made to make it easier and quicker for people to access social care. "We also welcome their comments concerning areas for further development - much of which is already on our radar and have plans in hand to address them in our modernisation programme."Overall, I believe this is a fair record of progress to date and proof that we are moving in the right direction to improve social care across Devon. "Thanks are due to all our hard working and dedicated staff. "If I were to admit any disappointment, it would be that our hard work has not yet placed us within the highest ranking councils although I am confident that that goal will be met in the near future." Executive Director David Johnstone, said: "I would like to credit all our staff who have worked so hard to maintain our performance rating while bringing about a great deal of change in services, such as our integration with the health service, which will serve Devon residents so well in the future."Cornwall, Dorset and Plymouth retain their single stars; Torbay keeps its two stars; and Somerset holds on to its three star rating.