Departments slow to improve services

English and Welsh social services departments still have much to do
to improve services, according to two annual reports published this

The sixth annual report of joint reviews in England reveals that,
of the 30 councils reviewed in 2001-2, 16 were judged as having
poor or uncertain prospects. Just 4 per cent served most people
well and had excellent prospects.

The report finds that, where councils did not serve people well,
there were typically concerns over the management of risk to
vulnerable children or adults, slow response times and poor
customer care, or shortcomings in assessment and care management

Chief inspector of social services Denise Platt said: “Councils
should not be afraid to challenge and make radical change to the
way they have delivered their services in the past if they are to
meet the public’s expectation.”

Meanwhile, the second annual report of joint reviews in Wales
reveals that, of the eight councils most recently reviewed, only
two were found to have promising prospects.

The report says it is “disappointing” that there has only been
limited evidence that councils have learned from the experience of
others who have been through the inspection process.

It describes the agenda for a number of councils as vast and the
pace of change tentative.

– Tracking the Changes in Social Services in England and
Pathways to Improved Social Services
in Wales
from 0800 502 030

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