Staff shortages hit council’s services

Too many people are being turned away from social services at
Windsor and Maidenhead Council because of staff shortages, a joint
review has revealed.

The report into the council’s social services from the Social
Services Inspectorate and the Audit Commission finds that the
council is not serving people well and that prospects for
improvement are uncertain.

It describes weaknesses in access arrangements for vulnerable
children and adults and too many people excluded from needs
assessments, which are often superficial.

But it praises the department’s managers for delivering a
“demanding programme of structural change within tight timescales”
and successfully implementing a budget strategy.

The council said the overall assessment was “disappointing, even
harsh”, adding that the judgement on child protection had been
“influenced by national concerns triggered by high-profile cases,
particularly in London boroughs”.

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