Minister Raps Council’s Social Services

Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons has said he was concerned about the slow pace of improvement in adult social services in Carmarthenshire and the impact upon vulnerable people who are waiting for services they urgently need. This follows a major report into the way Carmarthenshire County Council provides social services, carried out jointly by the Social Services Inspectorate for Wales and the Wales Audit Office, which found found services to be inconsistent. The Council was judged as being uncertainly placed to sustain and improve services.

Dr Gibbons said: “Some of the findings in this report are encouraging, especially the improvements made to services for children and their families. Changes within the Council have meant that social services now receive a higher priority.

“The report acknowledges that the Council has a good track record in dealing with some of the big challenges it has faced and I am pleased to note the very positive response from the Council to the concerns raised during the review. This means that people in Carmarthenshire can realistically expect quick progress in dealing with the outstanding work needed to modernise adult services and to reduce waiting lists.

“I will be expecting both the Social Services Inspectorate for Wales and the Wales Audit Office to put in place a robust monitoring programme over the next year. There is evidence in the report that poor partnership working between the Council and the Local Health Board may have contributed to some of the problems in delivering effective services.

“Therefore, I will be asking the Health Inspectorate for Wales to join with SSIW and the WAO in examining the extent to which the Council and local health bodies work together in delivering the changes needed.”