Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) has published its annual evaluation of the performance of social services within Bridgend County Borough for 2019-20.
In a letter to the local authority, CIW said the council’s social services had strong corporate support and a clear vision for adult social care, adding that its practice was found to be pro-active, person-centred and outcome focused.
It praised assessments, care and support plans, saying they demonstrated ‘the views and wishes of people’ and highlighted the good range of community groups for older people which prompt a ‘good early intervention rate’ to prevent needs from escalating.
CIW also pointed to strong, integrated working between health and social care services, with people benefiting from quick decision-making and a joined-up approach.
The report highlighted areas where further improvements can be made, such as ensuring that carers always have access to a short break from their responsibilities and providing more support for people moving back into their homes following a stay in hospital.
Within children’s services, CIW said managers had worked to improve the choice and quality of placements for children and therapeutic services available but noted that the council continued to experience significant challenges in finding suitable placements for a small number of children with the most complex needs, despite the remodelling of its own provision.
Highlighting the directorate’s current focus to reduce the numbers of children being taken into care, CIW noted the creation of specialist posts within the local authority to lead the work.
Further improvement work was also identified around some aspects of work with vulnerable children which the council had already identified as an area for improvement based on its own routine performance monitoring within the service.
In April 2019, Bridgend County Borough Council entered into new regional working arrangements with considerable work undertaken to establish new operational and strategic partnerships across Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
Cabinet Member for Social Services & Early Help, Cllr Philip White, said: “I welcome this report from Care Inspectorate Wales as it recognises a wide range of areas where we are doing well while also helping us to identify where we can make further improvements.
“Within adult social care services, inspectors noted that the local authority was relatively advanced in its focus on early intervention and community services, which prevents an escalation of needs, and highlighted the positivity and commitment of staff as a noteworthy feature within our adult social care, individually and within teams, which supports improvements in people’s lives.
“Within the context of a strong sense of teamwork, enthusiasm and pride in the job, staff have also identified a number of areas for improvements, and action plans have already been developed in response.”
Cabinet members will discuss the report at a cabinet meeting next month.