Three councils re-emerge from special measures

Barking and Dagenham, Barnsley and Hillingdon Councils were
taken off Department of Health special measures this week.

Barking and Dagenham was placed on special measures in 1997
after a poor joint review. The appointment of a new chief executive
led to tangible improvements such as clear priorities for services
delivery, positive inspections of children’s and mental health
services and a culture shift in the authority’s perceptions of
service users and the community.

Barnsley went on special measures in 1998 after an SSI
inspection identified serious failures in mental health services.
The council has since established an integrated multi-disciplinary
mental health service managed by the NHS trust, leading to better

Hillingdon was placed on special measures in 1998 after an
inspection revealed failings in the children’s and families’
division. A follow-up SSI inspection published this week shows
“considerable progress”.

Most of the 10 recommendations from a previous follow-up
inspection in 1999 had been met, the report finds. Hillingdon
social services director Graeme Betts said:”Through the hard work
of staff over the last two years there is now a strong focus on
safeguarding children and improving outcomes for both children and
their families.”

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