Wirral social care scores among England’s worst in new report

WIRRAL’S social services department was rated among the worst in England in a national assessment released today.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) marked the borough as “poor” in two out of eight categories – the most “poor” scores in England.

The way abuse is dealt with and prevented was one area of criticism.

Wirral is now one of only four councils in England classed as “adequate” for social care, with none classed as “poor” overall.

Council chiefs said last night they were taking the findings “very seriously”, adding an improvement plan had been drawn up.

The low marks were for “privacy and dignity”, which includes abuse prevention, and “increasing choice and control”, which is meant to make sure individuals know what social care provision is available to them.

Other Merseyside boroughs scored well.

Both Knowsley and Halton gained eight “excellents” and Liverpool six “excellents” and two “wells”.

Sefton gained seven “wells” and one “excellent”, with

St Helens gaining seven “excellents” and one “well”.

Overall Wirral gained five “wells”, two “poors” and one “adequate”.

Howard Cooper, interim director of adult social services in Wirral, said: “We take these findings very seriously and have been in discussion with the Care Quality Commission since they reached their judgment.

“We have prepared a detailed improvement plan, which has been approved by both the Care Quality Commission and the Department of Health.

“We are making rapid progress on implementing this plan and I am monitoring it very closely through fortnightly meetings with cabinet members and the chief executive.”

Cllr Bob Moon, cabinet member for social care and inclusion added: “As part of the improvement plan, we have extended the use of personal budgets to give people much more control and choice over the support they receive.”

Cllr Roz Gladden, cabinet member for adult health and social care in Liverpool, said she was pleased with the results, adding: “We have continued to build on the progress which has been made in transforming social care over the last few years.

“I am delighted with this report.”