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latest update 12 March 2010

Friday, 12 February 2010

OMBUDSMAN - Wirral Council "at fault"

The text of a letter from the Local Government Ombudsman to Wirral Council has been made available to this site. Edited to protect the privacy of those concerned, it proposes that the Council send "a suitably senior officer" to apologise in person for the distress caused.

It states that the Ombudsman thinks the Council is at fault on two counts, thus causing "an injustice". Compensation for this has not yet been set, although it is understood that no compensation was sought by the complainant.

Furthermore, the Ombudsman thinks that the complainant "has been put to avoidable time and trouble in pursuing the complaint" The Ombudsman's original suggestion of £200 compensation was increased to £250 due to the Council's tardiness in dealing with the matter. Again it is emphasizes that the complainant did not seek any compensation for this element.

Wirral Council has twenty working days in which to accept the Ombudsman's proposals.

© copyright Veridici

Friday, 8 January 2010

Red flag for Wirral - putting flesh on the bones of the previous report

Wirral flags

This assessment sets out how your local public services are working together to tackle the major issues facing the people of Wirral. Where we use a red flag, this is to highlight where something more or different needs to happen to ensure that the most important challenges in Wirral are addressed. Where we use a green flag, this means that public bodies are achieving exceptional outcomes in priority areas, or something innovative, and that others can learn from.

Red flags - significant concerns, action needed

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

There are concerns about the Council's safeguarding arrangements for vulnerable adults and its ability to address these concerns.

This is important as it means risks of abuse and neglect are increased. The people who need to be protected include everyone - but especially vulnerable adults. These are people who might need help to live a normal life. They are people with disabilities, people with mental health problems, people who suffer from illness and older people.

The Council receives a high number of referrals each year from organisations such as the police or the NHS and from the public about people who potentially may not be safe. These referrals can relate to both people who live in their own homes and people who live in care homes. The Council has a duty to investigate these concerns. The number completed was low and the Council was unable to show it had taken enough action to ensure that people were protected from harm.

There are other problems. Arrangements to check performance are not developed and the information that they use is not reliable. The level of safeguarding training for care staff working for the council and in services operated by private and voluntary sector organisations is low and this means that abuse may not be recognised or properly dealt with.

What's being done in response

The Council has undertaken a general review of safeguarding and has prepared an action plan.
The Council needs to carry out the plan quickly and make sure that it has the staff and procedures in place to protect the residents of Wirral.

The latest information from the council indicates that some of the actions that the council have been taking are beginning to work. However it is too early to say this has fully addressed the safeguarding issues identified. In early 2010 the inspectorates will undertake detailed work on the latest position and update this assessment.

© copyright Oneplace. Reproduced under fair use for the dual purposes of comment and news reporting