The Audit Commission inspection team gave the service two stars out of a possible three as the programme has been implemented well and there is evidence of better outcomes for vulnerable people through the services they receive in Croydon. These improvements have been helped by the number of new and extended schemes providing housing related support.
'Croydon has successfully implemented this programme and there have been many positive outcomes from the range of support that is provided. The council has worked hard to assess the need for housing related support and has plans in place to develop these services further as resources become available. Although service users have been involved in the programme, the council recognises that it needs to do more to reach and involve all service users.'
The inspectors found:
. the range of housing related support services for vulnerable people has been expanded to meet identified gaps in provision
. a number of the services provided have been reviewed and improvements in the quality of services have come about through this work
. the supporting people team have a sound knowledge of the programme and there are strong and constructive relationships with service providers
. the programme has good governance arrangements in place and there is good engagement with the programme from other partners including the primary care trust
. there is no directory of services in place that would provide a comprehensive picture of all the services available
. the council is not yet able to measure the positive impact of the services for the people who use them
To help the service improve, inspectors made a number of recommendations, including:
. ensure that a directory of services is available by the summer 2005
. develop a 'mystery shopping' programme to provide information and feedback on how well systems and process are operating
. undertake satisfaction surveys with service providers following the completion of service reviews and use this information to review and adapt the procedures as necessary
The budget for the supporting people programme in Croydon is£8,572,039 for 2005/06. The council receives an additional administration grant for the programme of£225,052 for 2005/06. There are 63 service providers and 208 different services providing 3,802 units of housing related support.
Copies of the report are available on the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk