Welsh social services require “greater consistency”

Rob Pickford, Chief Inspector of Care and Social Services in Wales (CSSIW) has suggested that social services and social care in Wales are improving – but greater consistency is required.

This week Mr Pickford launched the organisation’s first annual report, a document which examines a number of key areas within the CSSIW’s remit including services for children, for adults and local authority performance.

In a statement accompanying the document’s launch Chief Inspector Pickford was keen to emphasise the positive findings the publication contained. He welcomed an increase in more personalised services, quicker setting up and reviewing of plans to meet people’s needs and improvements in services to carers.

He also drew attention to the report’s finding that social services have made significant steps forward and that the progress made by the care home sector is also noteworthy.

However, on a negative note, the report suggested there are still some organisations providing services which are not good enough. It also stated that there is too much variability in the quality and performance of services across Wales.

Mr Pickford said: “Citizens have the right to expect services that meet their needs regardless of where they live in Wales.

“Overall, social services and social care in Wales are continuing to improve; many people report high levels of satisfaction with the services they use and say that services have helped them regain and maintain independence.

“Work over recent years to put in place the building blocks that are needed to secure improvement is paying dividends. The Welsh Assembly Government’s ten-year strategy for Social Services in Wales, ‘Fulfilled Lives, Supportive Communities’ has set the framework for this.

“We will support and promote the good work that is already going on, however poor services are unacceptable and we will address shortcomings where necessary.”

A statement from the Association of Directors for Social Services Cymru, the national leadership organisation for social services and care in Wales, said: “We acknowledge that there is occasionally practice that is not good enough and that is unacceptable and never something that ADSS Cymru would defend.

“However there is also, in the majority of cases, a great deal of excellent practice where vulnerable children and adults are being helped to remain independent and safe, but this seldom receives any attention from the media.

“Social work goes on with the most troubled families and individuals in our communities and most of it goes on unnoticed, because it is successful.

“It prevents matters deteriorating and people are helped to retain control over their own lives.”

For more information on the CSSIW please visit their website at: http://www.cssiw.org.uk