South Gloucestershire Council was praised by the Audit
Commission and Social Services Inspectorate for “notable
improvements“ in its children’s services, including child
protection reviews and reviews of looked-after children.
But the joint review report highlights other areas in need of
further attention, including mental health and learning
difficulties services and joint-working arrangements.
“There are gaps in services across the authority and users
experienced difficulties in knowing how to access services,” the
report concludes. “Although the authority introduced care
management into community care services in November 1997, too many
service users are still not care managed.”
The report cites the council’s priority for action as
improving the quality of services available to local people, in
particular by checking its screening activities and access
thresholds and by meeting the needs of the black and minority
“The authority must work with partners in education and health
in developing and adopting a more consistent approach towards
planning for the transition of children with disabilities into
adult services,” the report adds.
Social services director Bill Robbins said the council had
produced a special action plan to deal with the recommendations,
focusing on improvements to practice and action to achieve greater
partnership working with other agencies.