Nottingham social services department should increase the
availability of service provision for people in their own homes in
order to improve choice and access, according to a joint review
report by the Social Services Inspectorate and the Audit
The joint review, which was carried out during September and
October last year, finds a lack of flexibility and choice in
services for children and adults, families and people with mental
“A large proportion of the authority’s resources are
committed to residential provision, and the failure to invest in
alternatives can result in a lack of choice for individuals at
times of crises,” it states.
The report finds that although home care was provided to large
numbers, it was thinly spread and under pressure.
Inspectors also urged the department to improve consultation
with individual service users in the commissioning and operation of
But the department was praised for a strong and effective
partnership approach and a commitment by staff at all levels to
make services better. It was also praised for reducing waiting
times for assessment and the successful allocation of all priority
childcare cases to a social worker.
John Bolton, director of joint reviews, said: “Nottingham has
made significant progress in the last two-and-a-half years. There
is still work to do. They need to improve access to the services
and ensure closer matching of resources to needs.”
Social services director Paul Snell said the inspection
confirmed his view that the department needed to develop local
services. “We are already re-shaping many of our services to
respond more closely to local need,” he said.