Councils forecast target failures in some services

Councils are not expecting to meet all their targets in key
areas, according to a mid-year report from the Social Services
Inspectorate, writes Katie Leason.

While progress has been achieved in some areas of services for
children and families, older people and adults, in other areas
councils do not predict improvements at the levels they had planned

The report said that overall councils are not managing to reduce
the waiting times for care packages for older people at the rate
they hoped. The national average predicted for 2002-03 is for 29.2
per cent of people to be waiting for more than six weeks.

The report reveals that in spring last year many councils
reported difficulties, and it was anticipated that it would be hard
for most councils to meet the new target of a maximum of 4 weeks
wait from completion of assessment to receipt of service. Most
regions reported high proportions  – between 24 and 39 per cent –
of people waiting longer than six weeks.

The number of authorities forecasting “acceptable”
performance is increasing, but only by 16, which brings the total
number with acceptable performance to 98, representing just 65 per

More than half of councils identified problems in recruitment
and retention of staff in children’s services, but
surprisingly London was one of the areas which identified the
fewest difficulties.

Overall vacancy levels were falling, but still not as much as
planned, and nearly two thirds of councils reported significant
difficulties in recruiting and retaining approved social

The report can be downloaded

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