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Officials admit adult social care charging consultation 'not best work'

Officials admit adult social care charging consultation 'not best work'

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 4:36pm 27th April 2018.

A Cornwall MP says he has 'welcomed' the news that officials will not be implementing controversial changes to adult social care charging.

It comes Cornwall Council issued a statement on the poor mamangement of the consultation.

In a statement, Cornwall Councillor and cabinet member for health, Rob Rotchell admitted they hadn't been the council's 'best pieces of work'.

He added that lessons had been learnt and an investigation would be carried out with Healthwatch Cornwall.

He said: "The consultations haven't been the best pieces of work that we have done and we are sorry. We have listened to what you and other respondents have said so far and will build on this when we review the full range of responses.

"We are planning to commission Healthwatch to carry out a 'lessons learned' exercise.

"Lessons learned will be used to inform how we consult in the future and will help to deliver a different relationship which is service user and carer-led."

Following the review of responses, the council has since decided against changes.

The consultation finished on Monday, after deadlines were extended twice.

The draft policy had set out the Council’s approach to financial assessments and charging for both residential and non-residential care services, including respite care.

Rob said: "The consultation process closed on Monday 23rd April at 5pm and after considering the responses we have received I will now be taking the following actions:

"1. No policy changes will take place based on the feedback we have received from the consultation.
"2. We are in discussions with Healthwatch regarding the commissioning of a "lessons learned" exercise to help us identify where the process went wrong and improve our approach to future Adult Social Care consultations.
"3. We will now start work to reshape our engagement approach to ensure we improve our relationships with all service user groups.

"I reiterate my apology for the flawed consultation process and commit to forming positive relationships with this client group and their representatives in the future."

Now St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double says that the council has 'seen sense'.

Steve said: "Following the administration at Cornwall Council's admission that they had not carried out this calamitous consultation properly earlier last week, it was fairly obvious that this was going to be the final outcome.

"Another unnecessary consultation that no-one asked for that got answers everyone already knew.

"How much did this whole exercise cost Cornwall Council and therefore the Cornish taxpayer, and how much will it cost Healthwatch to carry out the sadly necessary 'lessons learned' exercise.

"I very much hope that Cornwall Council will think long and hard before commissioning any further consultations and certainly take into account the worry and stress they are causing to the vulnerable service users who are affected."

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