Councils have struggled with Best Value says Platt

Best Value reviews in social care must focus on tackling the
difficult problems and cover a wide enough area to undertake a fundamental
review and make a significant impact on the issues being addressed, according
to a copy to report circulated to all social services departments, writes
Jonathan Pearce.

The report has been prepared by the Social
Services Inspectorate and the Joint Review team, in partnership with the
Association of Directors of Social Services, and brings together key messages
from last 18 months about the most effective use of Best Value.

Since April 2000, councils have had to develop
Best Value performance plans and review all their services over a five-year
period. But "many councils have struggled to implement Best Value
effectively," says chief inspector of social services Denise Platt in a
letter accompanying the report.

The report emphasises that Best Value is a
means of helping councils improve their public services and should be seen as
part of the overall performance management arrangements. It is also an
effective way of addressing the government’s social care modernisation agenda
and delivering Quality Protects and the national service frameworks, it claims.

Furthermore, it says Best Value reviews are
most effective when they are "wide-ranging, service user-focused and
address questions about what service is required before considering who can
provide it most effectively".

– Getting the Best from Best Value; available

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