Performance action team in second bid to boost Birmingham’s services

A second performance action team is to be sent into Birmingham’s
social services department next month after it failed to improve
its zero star rating last year.

The first performance action team (PAT), from private sector
consultants Deloitte, visited Birmingham from August 2002 to
September 2003 to help improve its social services department after
it received a zero-star rating in November 2002.

Following its failure to win any stars for the second year running,
the Department of Health has confirmed that a second team from
Deloitte will be going back into the council in mid-February.
However, the DoH insisted Birmingham was “making progress”.

A spokesperson for Birmingham said that the second team would not
be repeating the work of the first. Instead it would focus on
managers and their roles in the directorate.

She said that the first PAT had looked at different areas in social
care and, on the whole, had been helpful.

However, assistant director for performance management Lesley Heale
previously told Community Care that the initial group of
people sent in from Deloitte had been good but after a few months
they had been replaced with a more junior team with less experience

“It was a real pity because I think we lost some of the momentum
then,” Heale said. “The new [more junior] group were helpful, but
they were more private-sector focused and didn’t seem to know much
about social services.”

The new PAT will only be visiting the council for 12 days, compared
with the 60 days provided by its predecessor. The council expect
the new team to finish its work by April and do not have to pay for

Elsewhere, Bedfordshire and Oldham social services departments both
have a PAT going in for the first time this month. Both councils
requested the PATs but will not have to pay for them.

Bedfordshire failed to improve its November 2002 zero-star rating
in 2003, and Oldham went down from one star to zero.

Performance Acton Teams: past, present and future

Social services department, Requested, Start date, Finish date,
Star rating 02, Star rating 03

Birmingham, No, August 2002, September 2003, 0, 0

Birmingham, No, February 2004, April 2004, 0, 0

Oldham, Yes, January 2004, August 2004, 1, 0

Bedfordshire, Yes, January 2004, August 2004, 0, 0

Coventry, No, August 2002, March 2004, 0, 1

Haringey, Yes, October 2002, March 2004, 0, 1

Lambeth, Yes, September 2003, June 2004, 1, 1

Swindon ,No, January 2003, March 2004, 0, 0

Waltham Forest, No, March 2003 ,March 2004, 0, 0

Plymouth, Yes, October 2003, July 2004, 1, 0

Walsall, No, August 2002, March 2004, 0, 1

North East Lincolnshire, No, August 2002, June 2003, 0, 1

Windsor & Maidenhead, No, September 2003, March 2004, 0, 1

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