A report published by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales has stated that Gwynedd Council needs to make further progress in developing modern social services that help vulnerable people lead full and independent lives.
Gwynedd Council last had a review of this kind in 2001 and the report’s authors acknowledged that the council had many good intentions at that time.
However, the new study says not enough of the good intentions have been delivered since then.
For example the Joint Review stated that while many service users are receiving help, care and support that enables them to lead independent lives, these levels of care are inconsistent with problems of flexibility, choice and consistent geographical coverage.
On the plus side, however, the study’s authors acknowledged that staff are working hard to deliver a service valued by users. There was also praise for the work of NCH and Hafal, Wales’s principle charity for people with severe mental illness and their carers, for their work in positively promoting carers’ assessments.
Referring to the report’s findings Auditor General for Wales, Jeremy Colman said: “The Council needs to focus on developing a broad range of modern services which provide better all round value for the resources expended.”
In response, Gwynedd Council said that work to improve the service had begun following last year’s inspection.
The authority said it recognised it would be “extremely challenging” to improve but it was confident it could deliver changes quickly and efficiently.
Gwynedd Council Leader Councillor Dyfed Edwards told the BBC: “This report confirms that the ‘traditional’ Gwynedd way of delivering social services is no longer an acceptable option and that we must modernise these services as a matter of urgency.”
To read the Care and Social Service Inspectorate Wales report on Gwynedd please visit: http://www.joint-reviews.gov.uk/assets/DocumentsEnglish/Gwynedd_joint_review_eng.pdf