Report shows extent of concern over quality of Welsh social services

A new Audit Commission report has warned that
inspections in Wales have revealed a disappointing picture of
social services.

reveals that no services inspected to date have been judged to be
serving most people well. While nine authorities were judged to be
serving some people well, three were not considered to be serving
anybody well at all. And less than half of councils’ services were
believed to have promising prospects for future improvement, says
the report.

adds: “By April 2002, over 100 authorities in England and 12 in
Wales had been inspected. The results present a generally
disappointing picture of social care services in Wales.”

report says that joint reviews in Wales have found:

Greater effort is needed to improve children’s services.

Services for adults need to promote rehabilitation and

Limited evidence of carers’ needs being separately

Councils struggling to provide even basic information on activity,
costs, trends and performance against targets.

Councils need to concentrate more on their role as

Andrew Foster, controller of the Audit Commission, said: “This
report shows a generally mixed picture of the state of public
services in Wales. There are some very positive signs in the
overall quality of education provision and in some areas of the
health service. But there is also room for improvement in many
parts of the NHS and in social services and housing.”

report also says that surveys of users and carers have found that
people are generally satisfied with their social care.

average, in the 15 councils where users and their carers have been
surveyed in Wales, three-quarters thought that the help they had
received from social services was good or excellent, and fewer than
one in 10 felt that it was poor or very poor (compared with 72 per
cent and 11 per cent respectively for councils in England),” adds
the report.

review of services, which looks at local government, health and
emergency services, is the most comprehensive since the
establishment of the National Assembly of Wales in 1999.

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