Social care services in Wales are disappointing, report says

A new Audit Commission report has warned that inspections in
Wales have revealed a disappointing picture of social care
services, writes Alex Dobson.

“No services inspected to date have been judged to be serving
most people well. While nine authorities were judged to be serving
some people well, three were not considered to be serving people
well at all. And less than half of the councils’ services were
believed to have promising prospects for future improvement,” says
the report.

It adds, “By April 2002, over 100 authorities in England and 12
in Wales had been inspected. The results present a generally
disappointing picture of social care services in Wales.”

The report says that joint reviews in Wales have found that:

* effort is needed to improve children’s services

* services for adults need to promote rehabilitation and

* limited evidence of carers’ needs being separately

* councils struggling to provide even basic information on
activity, costs, trends and performance against targets;

* councils need to concentrate more on their role as

“This report shows a generally mixed picture of the state of
public services in Wales. There are some very positive signs in the
overall quality of education provision and in some areas of the
health service,” said Sir Andrew Foster, Controller of the Audit

“But there is also room for improvement in many parts of the NHS
and in social services and housing,” he added.

The report also says that surveys of users and carers have found
that people are generally satisfied with their social care.

“On average, in the 15 councils where users and their carers
have been surveyed in Wales, three-quarters thought that the help
they had received from social services was good or excellent, and
fewer than one in ten felt that it was poor or very poor (compared
with 72 per cent and 11 per cent respectively for councils in
England),” says the report.

The review of services is the most comprehensive since the
establishment of the Welsh Assembly in 1999. The report,
‘Delivering a Better Wales’ looks at local government, health
and emergency services.

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