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Some aspects of social services still need improvment

Created on 03/11/2020 @ 09:24
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Some aspects of social services still need improving even after confirmation has been given that “enhanced monitoring measures” are ending.

Following an inspection by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) in September and an Improvement Conference in October, it was deemed that PCC can now revert to normal levels of engagement with the watchdog.

Last week the authority received  letters confirming that CIW is stepping down it’s monitoring activity due to “significant improvement.”

Cllr Stephen Hayes, who was the Adult Social Services Portfolio Holder from May 2017 to September 2019 pointed out the letters included some areas that need improvement.

Cllr Hayes said:  “As we are all patting each other on the back, let’s be aware that they’ve picked up things that are not good.

“One of them is that practitioners are more sceptical about our ability to meet domiciliary care pressures than managers are. There is some work there for scrutiny to test that.

“The other area I picked up where they are sceptical is in our collaboration with other agencies.”

“Historically they have not been as good as they should be, I think there’s still some way to go and I believe CIW share that view.”

Cllr Hayes told the committee it was up to the portfolio holders for adult and children’s social services to explain to other cabinet members the importance of working with other organisations such as Powys Teaching Health Board.

Cllr Hayes said: “They will have to advocate for it again and again to make sure that the directors and senior service managers have the ability and authority to take those relationships forward.

“The point needs to be picked up by us politically as well.”

Cllr Hayes added:  “It’s wonderful to say we have come a tremendous distance, and all credit to the people who’ve helped the authority

“But the reasons we have this report now is because we were letting adults and children down.

“They’re the people for whom the service is there for, let’s not lose focus it’s about them getting a good service.”

Director of Social Services, Alison Bulman, replied that there are still areas to “strive to improve”.

On collaboration with others, Ms Bulman, said:  “The Improvement Conference recognises we are a number of different agencies trying to work together with conflicting priorities at times, and very different statutory responsibilities.

“The relationships we’ve built are strong because they are authentic, we don’t always agree with each other but we work together to find our shared space where we can work collaboratively.

In October 2017 Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) published a highly critical report of PCC’s Children’s Services.

This led to the formation of the Improvement and Assurance Board  in March 2018, with Children and then Adult Social Services brought under it’s remit.

This Board reported to the Welsh Government and was supposed to drive forward “the required change and improvement in the local authority”.

In July, PCC, were told by the Welsh Government that the work of the Improvement and Assurance Board would be wound down, finishing later this autumn.



By Elgan Hearn Local Democracy Reporting Service




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