Hertfordshire County Council’s adult care service has been rated as 'good' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In January, the local authority was the first to be assessed under the CQC’s new framework for assessing how well councils are performing against their Care Act duties.

Assessors looked at how well the council is meeting its responsibilities to ensure people have access to adult social care and support.

They also considered how well the council works with partners to deliver care and support - a factor that was deemed 'outstanding' - what it’s like to work for the council’s adult care service and how well it is led.

The CQC’s report found that Hertfordshire’s adult care service has a "positive culture of continuing development", where staff feel "well supported by their managers" with "strong, stable and effective senior leadership in place".

The report also found that the council had "clear plans focusing on supporting people to lead healthy, purposeful lives".

People who use the council’s services, and their families, gave positive feedback about their experiences and the support they received confirming "their care and support was specific to their needs".

"Excellent partnership working" across all teams was found to be a strength of the service, with assessors concluding that long-term, strong, effective relationships with the NHS and the Voluntary, Community, Faith, Social Enterprise (VCFSE) had led to "really positive outcomes for people".

James Bullion, CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care and integrated care, said: “At our assessment of Hertfordshire County Council, we found a strong leadership team who had a good understanding of the adult social care needs of people living in the area.

"They also had a good grasp of what was working well and also where they needed to focus their attention on improvement.

“Overall, Hertfordshire County Council should be really pleased with this assessment. They’ve built a great foundation on which to build their future plans and make improvements.”

Cllr Tony Kingsbury, executive member for adult care, health and wellbeing at Hertfordshire County Council, added: "We’re committed to working in partnership to deliver excellent services for Hertfordshire’s adults.

"The report, and ‘outstanding’ rating for the council’s approach to collaborative partnership working, rightly recognises the importance of our partnerships in delivering good outcomes for the people who use our services.”