Warwickshire Council’s social services finance system was
awarded a “good” two star rating by the Best Value Inspectorate,
writes Clare Jerrom.
Authorities must demonstrate to local people they are achieving
continuous improvement in their services, and are awarded star
ratings from zero stars for a poor service to three stars for
The council was praised for closely monitored budgets, which has
contributed to avoiding overspends. The departmental budgets are
stable and well managed and there is good staff morale with
Foster carers and independent care providers receive clear
payment systems and are aware what support is available to them,
and who to contact regarding problems.
Trish Haines, director of Warwickshire social services, was
pleased with the report and said it was a tribute to the dedication
However, the inspectorate pointed out several areas of
Finance staff and social workers do not work together to ensure
good customer care for service users and providers, and there is
limited focus on the needs of external customers.
Recommendations for the council include the review of charging
policy, set, monitor and publish service standards for accuracy and
focus on the needs of external customers.
Haines said she was confident that significant improvements
could be made: “We have started a review of our charging system
with the aim of making it simpler and easier for service
“We are looking at how our finance staff and social workers can
work more closely together to provide better customer care for our
service users, and we have put together an improvement plan which
is due to be approved by the council soon,” she added.