Coun calls for review of York’s social care network following “scathing” report

FRESH calls are being made for a root-and-branch review of York’s social care network in the wake of a “scathing” report which branded many services as not being good enough.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) picked out a range of problems in the way elderly people and other vulnerable adults in the city are looked after when it gave City of York Council a rating of one out of four last December.

Now Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, spokesperson for adult social services on the authority’s Labour group, has asked for a new scrutiny inquiry to be launched into why the council performed so poorly.

But despite the watchdog’s criticisms – which included highlighting uncertainty and a lack of information and knowledge surrounding social services issues – her request has been recommended for rejection at a meeting of the authority’s health overview and scrutiny committee today.

“There were a whole host of problems detailed, from poor political leadership to weak management of safeguarding practice, and the council and councillors need to learn from what is a pretty scathing assessment,” said Coun Simpson-Laing.

“Only by using the scrutiny process will members be able to fully understand what went on and what is going on now to ensure the council is never again in that position. Many elderly people receive care either from or through the council, and we need to ensure they are receiving the quality of care they deserve. For council officers to say a scrutiny review is not required means, once again, information will not become public and there will be little understanding about future provision.”

However, the council’s housing and adult social services section said, in a report to go before the committee today, that a review would be inappropriate because “a robust reporting process is in place” and “very substantial progress has been made, which means the performance of adult social care would not be identified as a risk area”. It added that “detailed improvement plans” had been identified in January and “it would not be productive to go over that ground again”, while there would be “insufficient resources” to deal with a scrutiny review as well as projects and commitments already agreed.