Posted: Mon 26th Jun 2023

Improvements made to Social Services ‘front door’ contact /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 26th, 2023

Improvements have been made to contact services within the social care sector of Neath Port Talbot Council after complaints that were made last year regarding delays in call answering times.
The ‘Single Point of Contact,’ or SPOC, is the first point of contact for children and adults seeking help from social services across the borough, with a dedicated team of workers in place to respond to calls and emails.
Concerns were raised last year, however, after the call answer rate was reported to be only 51%, causing a review to be undertaken by the safeguarding principal officer in October 2022.
The report read: “In the summer/autumn of 2022, concerns were raised by cabinet members that there was a delay in the call answering times by contact officers in SPOC.
“At the point when concerns were raised our average calls answered rate was 51%. A review was undertaken by the safeguarding principal officer in October 2022 where it was recognized that due to pressures in the service and sickness/vacancies in the contact officers resource we were not sufficiently staffed to manage the demand of the phone calls we were receiving.”
Following this, improvements were reported to have been made this month at a Social Services, housing and community safety committee, that took place on March 9.
Here, reports to the cabinet showed that after the recruitment of additional staff and resources into the service there was a steady improvement, with figures showing 83.5% of calls were being answered as of February 2023.
While officers and councillors, agreed that further updates and reviews were important as they  continue to monitor the development of the service, all were pleased to hear of the improvements made so far.
Other steps for improvement will now include working with the council’s human resources team to make sure vacancies are filled quickly and sickness is better supported, along with work being carried out to improve answer phone facilities, and developing other platforms which residents can use to contact the service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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