The secretary of state for communities and local government discovered first hand how West Cheshire residents are benefiting from a pioneering new approach to delivering services.
Eric Pickles visited Ellesmere Port where he met staff at the forefront of implementing integrated services across the public sector under the Altogether Better programme, designed to substantially improve services to some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents.
The minister’s first stop was Whitby Lodge where he was able to learn more about the work of the Ellesmere Port South Integrated Care Team.
The team, one of the first to be established in the borough under the Ageing Well programme, supports people aged over 65 with complex conditions through the co-ordinated elivery of services across health and social care.
Mr Pickles then travelled to Stanlaw Abbey Children’s Centre where he met members of the Integrated Early Support team who are delivering a new approach to supporting families with complex needs, including protection and support of victims of domestic violence.
Staff explained how the £8m partnership model is aimed at identifying families needing support at the earliest opportunity, so that issues can be addressed before they escalate and potentially endanger the victims.
The minister was accompanied by Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Mike Jones on his visit, which he made ahead of his speech to the County Councils Network conference in Chester.
Cllr Jones said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to personally show the minister how West Cheshire is leading the way nationally on the implementation of the Government’s Community Budgets initiative.
“The minister spent time speaking to staff at Whitby Lodge and Stanlaw Abbey Children’s Centre and was very interested to find out how this radical new approach to partnership working is already benefiting people across our borough.”