Birmingham City Council

Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) 2009 Results

Area Assessment

Organisational Assessment


The Audit Commission and five other inspectorates issued joint assessments of local areas on 9th December 2009


Area Assessment

This assesses how well local services are working together to improve the quality of life for local people. It looks across councils, health bodies, police forces, fire and rescue services and others responsible for local public services. Under CAA, local public services are collectively accountable for delivering better outcomes in their area.

Results:

Birmingham has been awarded two 'green flags' for outstanding achievements, putting us in a group of only 10 areas in England to get two 'green flags':

'Green flag' – Working in partnership to meet housing need.

  • Improved planning (i.e. looking at the bigger picture and planning for longer term) for housing has resulted in improved services and in turn good/excellent scores in service inspections.
  • Many more affordable homes have been built than originally planned through strong and effective partnership working with partners such as Housing Associations and affordable housing providers. This is a significant achievement given the economic downturn.
  • The social housing in Birmingham is on track to be brought up to the decent home standard by 2010.
  • There has also been significant progress in tackling high levels of homelessness.

'Green flag' – Tackling climate change and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

  • Partnerships are leading on tackling climate change which has resulted in big reductions in CO2 emissions. This includes Birmingham City Council:
    • addressing environmental risks with partners.
    • making good progress on improving the use of natural resources, where plans reflect a good understanding of major causes of carbon emissions.

The assessment highlighted a single 'red flag' for significant concerns:

'Red flag' – Returning home after a stay in hospital.

The assessment highlighted a single 'red flag' for significant concerns:

What's being done in response?

Partners have already identified this issue as a priority for improvement and plans have been in place for some time to address the problem. Although the target may not be met at the end of March 2010, the delays this year have been reducing every month.

The plans have recently been reviewed and revised and partners are now doing things differently to tackle the problem. E.g. the primary care trusts have changed their contracts with hospitals to place extra emphasis on reducing delayed discharges. The housing project is working well and the new model for physical disability is showing reductions in delays.

The partnership has decided that improving performance in mental health in the south of the city will be a priority. There are further plans in place to:

• learn from what's worked over the last year,

• review the approach to intermediate care between the Council and the health service, and

• renegotiate the agreement with hospitals based on a whole systems approach.





Organisational Assessment

Each public agency, as well as contributing to the Area Assessment above is also reviewed separately. Our Organisational Assessment covered the performance of Birmingham City Council on:

  • Managing finances-achieving Value for Money
  • Governing the business
  • Managing performance
  • Managing resources

The overall Organisational Assessment incorporates the Use of Resources and Managing Performance assessment and score. It is a different test to that of previous years and is nationally acknowledged as a 'harder test'.

Results:

Birmingham City Council has been rated 2 (out of a maximum of 4). They concluded that “Overall Birmingham City Council performs adequately. The Council continues to offer people mostly good services, the way the Council uses its resources is judged as adequate but there are still concerns about the quality of services to safeguard children.”

The Council performed particularly well in Managing Resources, scoring 3 out of 4. This highlights effective use of natural resources.

Use of Resources Score
Main KLOE Area Short Description Score 2009
Managing Performance 2
Use of Resources 2
-Managing finances 2
-Governing the business 2
-Managing Resources 3
OVERALL SCORE 2



Links:

Comprehensive Area Assessment

BeBirmingham-Local Strategic Partnership

Corporate Performance