Cardiff council has promised a shake-up of social care services
after an admission that services have fallen below an acceptable
level, writes Alex Dobson.
In recent months the council has been hit by a series of
controversies and a joint review from the Audit Commission and
Social Services Inspectorate for Wales due to be published in
September is expected to be critical. The council’s chief
executive, Byron Davies, has called for a ‘cultural transformation’
in a letter sent to staff.
One of the controversies, which have dogged the council over the
last two years, is the ongoing concern over the way that a
residential home for older people, Hazelcroft in Cardiff, has been
run. The council has always maintained that many of the problems at
the home have been due to poor staff relations.
There have been hundreds of complaints made by staff against one
another at the 37-bed home that is currently closed for
refurbishment. But there have also been serious allegations about
abuse of residents, and a report published last year accused staff
of slapping and insulting residents.
In the latest development, the council has dismissed senior
social worker Neil White allegedly for failing to sack a
Jan Painowski, who is regional officer for Wales for the British
Union of Social Work Employees, says that White has been sacked
because he would not discipline Beverley Bush; the worker who first
blew the whistle on alleged abuse and poor care standards at the
home. He says that White will continue to fight against his
dismissal and may take his case to a tribunal.
A spokesperson for the council said that they had no comment to
make on the case.
An internal report on the problems at Hazelcroft is expected
shortly. The Social services Inspectorate for Wales will also
report on arrangements between Hafod Housing Association, and the
council, which jointly run a number of residential homes including