York Social Services Told To Improve

SOCIAL services chiefs in York have been told by a national watchdog they must be more consistent in the way they operate. City of York Council has received its final report following the Commission For Social Care Inspection (CSCI) analysis of the city’s services, which has outlined areas where improvements need to be made.

The council was included in CSCI’s national programme of inspections of Independence, Wellbeing And Choice For 2007-2009, which evaluate its performance in delivering effective social care and highlights where it must do better.

It focused on three key themes, with the council’s arrangements being rated as adequate, in line with national findings so far, but the CSCI said that although some very good practices had been developed, these were not in place consistently. It also raised concerns about the authority’s structures for overseeing and scrutinising safeguarding work and its systems for ensuring polices, procedures and training standards were implemented consistently.

Personalised services for older people were also found to be adequate, with the council saying it will soon be commissioning new ways of helping the elderly in its care, while preventative services for the elderly – including warden call and home support measures – were rated as good.

CSCI inspectors said prospects for improvement were “uncertain”, but at a meeting of the council’s executive member for housing and adult social services advisory panel this week, a detailed improvement plan outlining projects and specific actions which will be implemented to meet the report’s recommendations were approved. These include setting up a dedicated board bringing together parties such as the police, the NHS and care providers to strengthen safeguarding arrangements, increasing the number of adult protection staff, and training and supporting more workers to be aware of and report adult protection issues.

Bill Hodson, director of housing and adult social services, said: “We welcome this inspection as it focuses on the vital issue of preventing abuse and improving people’s quality of life through more personalised services. The inspectors found many examples of good working, but these were not in place consistently.”