What we looked at
The inspection looked at:
- outcomes for people and their carers that access information, advice and assistance, including early intervention and prevention support;
- what the local authority understood about its own performance and the difference it was making for people.
Inspectors were testing out and learning from our new revised approach to local authority inspection.
What we found
The inspection took place during the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act and the introduction of a new electronic recording system.
Ceredigion has a transformation programme in place to meet financial challenges and the Act.
In order to help communities be more independent and rely less on statutory services, the local authority is focusing more on prevention and providing information and advice to people.
They have started to collaborate with the local health board and some voluntary partners to find alternative ways of delivering services, but tangible outcomes from this work are limited and the local authority will need to work more closely with the independent and voluntary sector to achieve its vision.
Staff we spoke to were knowledgeable, positive and committed, but we found variation in the quality of the responses received by some people using the social services contact centre. The role of the local authority’s carers unit was exemplary and received universal praise from all of its partners and carers.
We found the authority was committed to providing advocates to support people, but there were no arrangements in place to secure provision beyond this financial year.
Safeguarding contacts received a quick and comprehensive response, but some safeguarding recordings were not up to date, and formal supervision was not regularly given to the safeguarding staff. Managerial oversight and quality assurance was limited.
What we recommended
We recommended that the local authority:
- Work with independent and voluntary groups to develop a variety of preventative services for citizens.
- Develop a plan to offer advocates to people, in line with the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act.
- Improve how quickly information and assessments were offered to carers.
- Set up an effective quality assurance process for assessments.
- Implement their policy to make sure staff are supported to maintain high standards during periods of change.