More people with disabilities are finding work, hundreds more residents are benefitting from Telecare assistive technology and an increasing number of vulnerable adults are being supported to live independently in Wolverhampton.

Those are just some of the highlights from the 2017 to 2018 Local Account - the annual report for the City of Wolverhampton Council's Adult Social Care Services - which details successes, challenges and priorities for the coming year.

It shows that 4,684 people received adult social care services in Wolverhampton during 2017 to 2018, three quarters of them older people, with the council spending just over £68 million on adult social care services last year.

Among the key achievements in that time is a dramatic increase in the number of people using Telecare - assistive technology which enables people to remain independent for longer in their own homes - with 1,234 new users last year.

The number of people who were delayed in hospital when they were ready to be discharged fell by a third last year, thanks in large part to closer working between the council and the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. Meanwhile, the Red Bag Project piloted by the council and Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has helped improve support for care home residents if they are admitted to hospital unexpectedly.

The number of people with a disability known to social care who are in work rose by 37.5% year on year, and increasing this still further is a priority in the year ahead. One person who has been supported into work said: "I feel more confident, I feel more positive about things, I feel happier and I am financially better off."

More people with mental health difficulties were helped to move out of residential or nursing care last year, and the Local Account features a powerful case study of a man who had lived in a nursing home for many years, but has since moved into very sheltered accommodation and is now enjoying greater independence.

Also in 2017 to 2018, Wolverhampton was officially granted Dementia Friendly Community status by the Alzheimer's Society in recognition of the excellent work being done by individuals and organisations across the city to improve services for people living with dementia and their families. 

As well as achievements over the previous 12 months, the Local Account identifies the areas the City of Wolverhampton Council is prioritising in the year ahead. These include enabling more people with care and support needs to live in their own homes if they wish, further increasing the number of people receiving Telecare and improving the timeliness of discharges from hospital.

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "Nationally, adult social care is facing unprecedented pressure from reduced resources and increasing demand for its services.

"Despite these challenging times, we have great ambitions to continue to promote personalised services and enable people to be as independent as possible. To achieve this, services have started to think differently and change the way support is delivered.

"A lot of work has taken place in the last 12 months and the performance reported in the Local Account is very encouraging. There is a lot more work to do, but it's clear we are going in the right direction and we are confident in our approach and our vision for the future of adult social care in Wolverhampton."