A “lifeline” adult social care service for people in Sandwell is helping almost 80,000 callers a year, latest figures show. Sandwell Council’s Enquiry answered 78,000 requests in the last year as members of the public, carers and health professionals sought assistance and guidance. The team also receives up to 160 email enquiries a day at peak periods.

Enquiry supports local residents and their relatives and carers, health professionals and other services. Councillor Ann Shackleton, the council’s cabinet member for social care, visited Enquiry team members at the Independent Living Centre, Smethwick, to find out more about the service.

She said: “Enquiry is part of our wider independent living team and the staff there do an excellent job. It’s a lifeline service for the many thousands of people who use it.

“We want to help people get the right services at the right time, so that they can keep their independence, stay safe and have a good quality of life.

“People get guidance and support on a whole range of enquiries on matters that are very important to them. Where necessary, Enquiry refers people to key workers and other specialist adult social care teams for the support or advice they need.

“The range of enquiries is quite remarkable – from requests for blue badges, personal care assistance and equipment and adaptions in the home to hospital discharges, safeguarding concerns and mental health support.

“Another key aspect of the team’s work is to give advice on home maintenance and staying safe and independent to people with disabilities, older people who may be frail and those with particular health problems.

“I was very impressed with team members’ commitment to helping people resolve their issues, and it’s good to know this kind of high quality support and advice is available.”