Councils slated over social services

9 Sep 99
The Isle of Wight and Devon county councils both came under fire over their social services departments in reports published this week.

10 September 1999

The Isle of Wight council faced the most serious criticism from the Audit Commission and the Social Services Inspectorate in the reports.

The council spent £27m on social services for its 130,000 residents in 1998/99. But the inspection found care management was introduced belatedly and standards of assessment were uneven. Strategic development was inhibited by 'considerable instability' in senior management.

Devon, by contrast, is 'providing a good service to most local people', according to the report. The county, with a population of around 688,000, spends £136m annually on social services, £4.3m more than the average, but the council is known for developing innovative services, according to the joint review.

But it said there are some delays for those not assessed as high priority, and there was a shortage of foster-carers.

Andrew Webster, director of joint reviews, said: 'There are many areas in Devon where individuals' needs are met with high quality. The Isle of Wight is embarking on an era of change, and the joint review presents a considerable opportunity to improve.'


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