Gloucestershire has `numerous pockets of weakness`, inspectors find

Gloucestershire social services department has “numerous
pockets of weakness“, and the prospects for improvement are
uncertain, according to a joint review, writes Clare

Key areas of concern include the best use of resources, long
waiting times for a service or assessment, unallocated case work, a
lack of focus on preventive work and poor management and review of
cases, according to the report from the Audit Commission and Social
Services Inspectorate.

“Gloucestershire County Council faces a huge challenge in
overhauling its social services. It needs to manage the resources
it has in hand better, and future improvement needs to be planned
strategically using the good partnerships it has with other
agencies,” the report says.

It acknowledges that the new social services management team
inherited poor prospects and serious financial problems. The
council has not had a chief executive for five years, and there has
been four appointments of directors of social services in 10

Director of joint reviews John Bolton said: “Clearly,
Gloucestershire social services is not without its problems, but
the good news is that the authority has taken on board the findings
of this review and is taking urgent action to tackle weaknesses
that have been pinpointed.”

The inspectors have urged Gloucestershire council to focus on
the needs of carers, users and potential users; manage resources
more strategically; set and publish standards and create a
three-year improvement plan.





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