South Gloucestershire Council was praised by the Audit
Commission and Social Services Inspectorate this week for “notable
improvements” in its children’s services, including child
protection reviews and reviews of looked-after children.
But the Joint Review highlights other areas in need of
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 gain access to services.
Although the authority introduced care management into community
care services in November 1997, too many service users are still
not care managed,” says the report.
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 ethnic residents.
“The authority must work with partners in education and health
in developing and adopting a more consistent approach towards
planning for the transition of disabled children into adult
services,” the report adds.
Social services director Bill Robbins said the council had a
special action plan to deal with the recommendations, focusing on
improvements to practice and action to achieve greater partnership
working with other agencies.