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Local Account - getting in touch, staying involved

The following information has been taken from the Local Account of Adult Social Services in Blackburn with Darwen.  The Local Account gives an overview of the range of social care services we have offered to local people during 2014/15, as well as our plans for 2015/16. To view the full Local Account document click here

What you think of Adult Social Services is really important to us.  That's why we have regular surveys and hold feedback sessions.  Questionnaires are regularly sent out to people who use our services to check their level of satisfaction with services.   

We also ask service users to get involved in our meetings about the services we offer.  Whether people are receiving support at home or in a residential setting, the Quality Assurance Team makes sure that providers undertake annual resident/service user surveys to address concerns and help improve services. 

We undertake surveys coordinated by the national Health and Social Care Information Centre, involving a sample of the people who use our services and also carers.  The results of these surveys are reflected in our ASCOF performance indicators (see introduction) and we draw on the results in our service planning.  Details of the 2014/15 results are available in the 'Spotlight on' section below.

There are other organisations in Blackburn with Darwen that can speak up for you if you have particular issues.  Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen is an independent consumer champion which gathers and represents the views of the general public and local people who use health and social care services. They can be contacted on (01254) 504985 or visit them at their website:

To ensure that people understand information that we give out, we produce 'easy read' documents which cut out jargon. We can also produce audio and Braille copies of documents for those who need them. 

Spotlight on: Annual Department of Health User Survey for Adult Social Care

The annual Department of Health User Survey for adult social care was undertaken by the Customer Care team between October 2014 and April 2015, with questionnaires sent out to a representative sample of service users. The results are now available, benchmarked against all north west authorities and the England average. 

The results for Blackburn with Darwen were extremely positive across all six areas of user focus. The collated survey results feed into the national Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) scores for 2014/15, and Blackburn with Darwen's results in ASCOF were the highest of all 23 north west authorities for all 6 of the survey outcomes. Against some measures we are the highest in England and Wales, which is a huge achievement against a backdrop of large scale funding reductions. The results were as follows: 

  • ASCOF 1a: Social Care-related quality of life: 20.4 - (NW avg: 19.2; England avg: 19.1)  (this is a composite score based on the rating of sub-questions,  not a % )
  • ASCOF 1B: proportion of people who use services who have control over their daily lives: 87% - (NW avg: 78.1%; England avg: 77.5% )
  • ASCOF 3a: Overall satisfaction of people who use services with their care and support: 72.7% - (NW avg: 66.8%; England avg: 64.9%)
  • ASCOF 3d: Proportion of people who use services and carers who find it easy to find information about services: 82.4% - (NW avg: 74.6%; England avg: 74.7%)
  • ASCOF 4a: proportion of people who use services who feel safe: 78.4% - (NW avg: 70%; England avg: 68.7%)
  • ASCOF 4b: proportion of people who use services who say that those services have made them feel safe and secure: 96.8% - (NW average: 84.5%; England avg: 85%)

Achievements 2014/15

  • The Customer Care Team send individual letters to all the people assessed over the previous three months inviting feedback and/or attendance at drop in events.
  • 99.1% of complaints resolved satisfactorily at local level, only one complaint required independent investigation.
  • High levels of user satisfaction (top performer in the north west in the annual user survey - see previous page).


  • Continuing to maintain high levels of customer care support at a time of reduced resources.

Priorities 2015/16 and beyond

  • The Customer Care Team will provide training to managers on the skills and knowledge required when undertaking investigations.
  • To revise customer care procedures in light of the Care Act 2014.
  • We are producing a new complaints DVD aimed at people with a learning disability to show them how to make a complaint.  The DVD will 'star' local service users who have a learning disability.

In focus: Mr P's Stairlift and the Customer Care Team

'Mr P' contacted the Customer Care Team to ask for help because his stairlift had stopped working.  The Customer Care Team arranged for the Council's contracted repair team to go and repair Mr P's stairlift.  Following the appointment, the Customer Care Team contacted Mr P to check that his stairlift had been fixed.  The engineer that visited Mr P and fixed his stairlift charged him £50.  The Customer Care Team checked with the Independent Living Service (ILS) whether there should have been a charge.  The ILS said that repairs undertaken should be free of charge, and they requested a refund for Mr P.  The Customer Care Team contacted Mr P to let him know about the refund, and Mr P was pleased with the outcome.

The Local Account provides an overview of Adult Social Services.

D Local account - Getting in touch, staying involved