Social Work First As West Lothian Leads The Country

Social work services in West Lothian have been praised in a report by national watchdogs. The Social Work Inspection Agency has just issued its report, Performance Inspection of Social Work Services, and West Lothian received the first excellent grading for an individual council in Scotland for its impact on the community.

The service also received six very good ratings including becoming the first Social Work Service in Scotland to receive ‘very good’ markings for impact on people who use the services and strategic leadership.

Alexis Jay, SWIA chief inspector, said: “The report gives a very positive account of social work services in West Lothian.

“The evaluation highlights the quality of service delivered by the West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership, on behalf of West Lothian Council.

“The report shows the impact this high quality of delivery is having on the wider community, and praises the effective leadership and management of staff who continually strive to improve outcomes for people who depend on social work services.”

Inspectors also noted that multi-disciplinary working was particularly strong and the overwhelming majority of the staff were highly motivated and well trained.

It also found there were opportunities for staff at all levels to get involved in policy development and engagement with, and impact on the local community was excellent.

Councillor Graeme Morrice, interim chair of West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership and leader of West Lothian Council, passed on his praise to the department.

He said: “This is really excellent report and I would like to congratulate everyone involved.

“The comments and the ratings given by the inspectors are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Social Work Service to local people.”

Convener of West Lothian Council’s Health and Care Committee, Councillor Bruce Ferrie, added: “This is the best report on Social Work Services in Scotland so far and I would like to add my congratulations to staff on this achievement.”

The report included the lowest number of recommendations for improvement of any completed so far.

However, Grahame Blair, West Lothian Council’s Chief Social Work Officer, said he and his team will not become complacent.

He said: “I’m delighted for the people who use our services, and the team who provides them that the inspectors recognized the high quality of care, support and protection which is in place for those people in West Lothian who need it.

“The report also gives us some pointers to work on to improve services even further for people in West Lothian.”