Two of the areas that contributed to the positive assessment of Essex were the recent award of Beacon status for the adoption service and being named as one of the 20 most improved social services directorates in England.
Additional money has been put into the social services budget this year to sustain these improvements and promote the Essex Approach objective of helping older people, and those with disabilities and mental health needs, to live safely and independently in their own homes.
Derek Robinson, cabinet member for community care said: 'I am pleased that the inspection has recognised the work we have done to improve social services for the people of Essex. This includes our increased partnership working, especially with health, which resulted in the formation of the North Essex Mental Health Partnership Trust last year and the development of the joint investment plan for people with learning disabilities.'
This year's annual review is part of the department of health's new star rating system for all social services due to be published later this month.