Staff accuse managers of being ‘macho’

Staff working for social services in Cardiff have accused
managers of being ‘macho’ and failing to offer them the support
they need, writes Alex Dobson.

Council leader Russell Goodway was due to address a meeting of
over 200 delegates on Tuesday to debate the issues raised in last
September’s joint review that placed Cardiff among the worst
three departments in England and Wales.

A consultation exercise has shown there is dissatisfaction with
the way the department is run with staff calling for changes in
senior management culture.

The council has been given six months by Welsh assembly health
and social services minister, Jane Hutt to come up with an action
plan for radical change.

A report from the consultation exercise, ‘How Best to Care –
Issues Paper’, said: “Frontline staff feel that
they are undervalued, ignored and unsupported. They perceive there
to be a ‘macho’ culture within senior management, based
on a ‘command and control‘ approach.

“As a result it is felt by these staff that innovation and the
developing of professional practice is suppressed,” the report

“Communication in social services is felt to be poor both
vertically and horizontally, not only within the organisation, but
also with external stakeholders, users and carers. As a result
messages have become distorted.”

Council cabinet member Jayne Cowan said: “What the cabinet needs
to do is to speak to frontline workers, and find out what the
problems really are, and then we can turn things around.”

How Best to Care – Issues Paper
available here

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