Wrong data led to naming and shaming

More than half the 14 authorities named and
shamed as poor performers by health secretary Alan Milburn last
October would not have been bottom of the league if they had filed
accurate data.

Milburn’s speech to the national social
services conference in Harrogate provoked uproar when he read out
the names of authorities he claimed had failed to make the grade
against the government’s performance indicators.

But Tony Hunter, chairperson of the
Association of Directors of Social Services standards and
performance committee, said it had emerged that many of the shamed
councils had not deserved a slating.

“What it shows is that we must all take
responsibility for putting in accurate figures otherwise it can
have serious consequences.”

Hunter, who is director of social services at
East Riding of Yorkshire council, said though his own authority did
not do badly overall in the performance indicators, it had fallen
down on education.

“We found we got the names of two children
wrong and that affected our rating. But there’s no excuse – we
learned our lesson and other authorities have to do the same. You
have to make sure you put in all the relevant data, you must ensure
that information is robust, and that’s all there is to it.”


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