A joint review of Bridgend social services, which highlights
that the department has uncertain prospects for improvement, is the
latest critical report of Welsh authorities, writes
Despite recent improvements, further progress is needed in the
authority, especially in reshaping and improving access to
children’s services, according to the report by the Audit
Commission in Wales and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales.
“The central weakness of the council has been its lack of
corporate vision and the low priority afforded to social
care,” said Malcolm Newsam, assistant review director, adding
that councillors are committed to remedying this problem.
The authority has begun to shift the focus of care for both
children and adults away from institutional settings to more
community-based services. However, progress has been hindered by
funding constraints and difficulties in recruiting staff.
The report acknowledges that:
• Good cooperation with education and health is improving
the life chances of looked after children
• Appropriate care plans are being set in place for most
adults in need of services
• There is a high priority on staff training and
However it warns:
• A high proportion of looked after children are in
residential as opposed to foster care
• There is a shortage of nursing home care, especially for
those with dementia
• Access to children’s services should be more
The report proposes Bridgend continues to upgrade
children’s services, make better use of resources by
targeting in-house services, and focuses on the achievement of
measurable outcomes whether in strategic commissioning of services
or in care plans.