Stroke Victim Praises Sunderland Council Care Services

Stroke victim Rodney Dobson has thanked Sunderland’s top-ranked social services for helping him rebuild his life. The 46-year-old from Hetton suffered a stroke in 2001, leaving him with severe mobility and communication problems.

The incident had a profound effect on his life, as he was no longer able to work and support his family.

But Rodney says the help he got from Sunderland City Council’s Adult Services department has given him a brighter future – and the staff deserve the three stars awarded by inspectors.

“My life has turned around. If it wasn’t for Health, Housing and Adult Services I probably would have stayed at a day centre for a long time,” he said. “But I was given that little push and I now look forward to taking on new challenges. It’s made me more confident.”

Rodney is one of the many thousands of Wearsiders who receive social care – and inspectors say they can be sure they are in safe hands.

Sunderland was awarded three stars for its Adult Services by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) just days ago.

The council was one of the first authorities to gain the coveted three-star status when performance tables were first introduced six years ago, and has kept its top ranking ever since.

The award puts Sunderland in the top 25 of 150 Adult Service Authorities in England. The ratings are based on continuous inspections, audits, plans and customer surveys of all social care services in the city.

Council leader Paul Watson said: “This is great news for the city and a just reward for the city council’s continued commitment to providing top quality social care for adults.”

Eric Timmins, the councillor responsible for Adult Services in Sunderland, said: “This is a great tribute to the entire workforce, who can be very proud of their achievements. Adult Services continues to have a very positive impact on the lives of people in Sunderland.”

He added: “During 2007/08, more than 12,000 people from all parts of the city used Adult Services.

“We have been given high ratings by the Commission across all the areas we were assessed on.”

Neil Revely, director of Heath, Housing and Adult Services, said: “We are committed to providing first class social care services.

“We recently launched our Vision for 2025, setting out our five key aims for social care in Sunderland. It aims to promote independence, give vulnerable people more choice and control over their lives, improve their access to all services and promote their health and well-being.

“We are delighted to retain our three-star, excellent status, but we also recognise that we need to carry on improving if we are to match the needs and expectations of the people of Sunderland.”