Councillor criticises social media description of care inspection report
A councillor has criticised the Vale of Glamorgan Council for describing its care inspection report as “glowing” after it revealed a number of areas for improvement.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s healthy living and social care scrutiny committee met on Tuesday, May 16, to discuss the local authority’s most recent inspection report from Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), which was largely positive.
The report, based on an inspection of the Vale Council’s children and young people’s services and adult services in January, 2023, commended the local authority for strong leadership, clear strategic plans and clear evidence of improvement.
However, the report also referenced 23 areas for improvement, including responding to complaints on time, contingency planning and finding suitable housing to support people with substance misuse and complex mental health needs.
A member of the healthy living and social care scrutiny committee, Cllr Marianne Cowpe, said the CIW report should not have been described as “glowing” on a council social media post.
She said: “The report generated very many negative comments… no answers for any of these comments were provided.”
The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s head of social services, Lance Carver, said: “I think we do need to be careful about which social media platforms we use.”
The officer added that “getting the message out amongst professional colleagues is really important” and that the council “will look carefully at the responses that we get”.
Mr Carver was positive about the CIW report, noting that it made reference to the council, like other local authorities across the UK, being under considerable pressure as a result of the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “To have such a positive report in that context, it is very pleasing.”
The areas for improvement which were picked up on by the CIW are being looked at by the council’s Social Services Reshaping Board and will be transferred into its action plan.
Mr Carver said this work is “underway as we speak”.
Cllr Neil Thomas said he requested that the CIW report, which he called “very positive”, be brought before the scrutiny committee to “set the record straight” on it.
He said: “No organisation is going to be perfect and there is always going to be room for improvement.”
Cllr Thomas went on to add that he did not like some of the reporting and comments made on the CIW findings which he said had been critical.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s social media post on the CIW report was posted on April 7 and stated: “Our Social Services department has received a glowing report following a Care Inspectorate Wales inspection.”
It went on to thank the local authority’s social services staff for their hard work.
The post received hundreds of comments, many of which were critical of the council’s social services, and some criticised the description of the CIW report as “glowing”.
By BBC LDRS
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