Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 16th April, 2012


Report of the Director of Social Services


Inspection of Adult Services by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)


Purpose of the Report

1.             To inform Scrutiny Committee about the key findings of the CSSIW inspection and to provide an update on how the Council is responding to the recommendations made.


1.             That Scrutiny Committee notes the content of this report.

2.             That Scrutiny Committee receives in due course a copy of the action plan produced in response to the inspection recommendations.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure that the Scrutiny Committee is able to exercise effective oversight of this key area of activity.

2.             To ensure that the Council's statutory functions in relation to Adult Services are fully met, in accordance with the Welsh Government guidance and regulation.


2.             In March 2011, in accordance with the Care Standards Act 2000, CSSIW inspected the Vale Intermediate Care Service. In October 2011, they returned to complete a wide-reaching and thorough inspection of Adult Services. This included revisiting the Intermediate Care Service, which had undergone significant change during the intervening period and become the Community Resource Service. This change of name reflected the co-location and integrated working with NHS rehabilitation services. At the same time, Adult Services were also driving forward significant structural change, to ensure greater collaboration with colleagues from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and .Health and improved outcomes for service users and carers.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             The inspection report is set out in Appendix 1. It is fair and balanced overall, in keeping with the approach adopted during the review itself.  The following is a summary of the key findings.

4.             The inspectors found significant improvement in the way services are planned and delivered by the Council’s Social Services Department. The new approach was needed to help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, achieve more timely hospital discharge and reduce the need for inappropriate placements in residential care and nursing homes.  The inspectors reported that this modernisation programme is achieving positive results for people using the service as, in partnership with local health services, the Council is improving its assessment, care planning and hospital discharge support services.

5.             The report states that the Vale Community Resource Service can demonstrate growing success (through quality early intervention and reablement services) in preventing inappropriate hospital admissions and also reducing dependence upon long term intervention by social care services. This is leading to fewer delays and more responsive services. 

6.             The Vale of Glamorgan Council has developed with health partners a locality model or framework which is achieving positive results for people using services. In assessing the performance of the Authority it is critical to recognise a fundamental shift in supporting people outside the formal social care system. Access routes to both social work and direct service help and support are diverse and evidence indicated that they are effective. A communication hub is developing which has co-located health, social services and out-of-hours support and is offering a proactive and reactive response to crisis situations through the Vale Community Resource Service and other support systems. Waiting lists for assessment, help and support are diminishing.

7.             Improved relationships and joint working with health services are realising the achievement of some shared goals and objectives. The creation of joint virtual teams is realising an integrated, whole-system approach in the delivery of community services. This is leading to fewer delays, greater responsiveness and an increased focus upon person centred care across organisational boundaries. This approach has significant advantages for people using services.

8.             Inspectors identified evidence of greater integration with health services – including improved dialogue and locality working amongst a broader range of professionals – which in turn supports improved intervention for people using services. Health service representatives highlighted a change in dialogue between partner agencies which they felt had been realised by having shared objectives and priorities. The focus was described as being very much upon ‘what does the patient / service user need?’ and ‘who is best placed to provide it?'.

9.             It is clear from the report that more work is needed to improve services. Priority areas for further development include care planning, the management of timely reviews and ensuring that people who receive services are afforded choice and flexibility. The report contains a number of specific recommendations and these will form the basis of an action plan.

10.        The Directorate is pleased to note that the hard work and skilled interventions on the part of staff in social services have been recognised. Adult Services operate in a very challenging context and it is welcome news that the inspectors recognised the Council's new approach as providing innovative and effective support for the people we serve. It is important too that inspectors confirmed how joint working between Social Services and health services is enabling the Council and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to achieve their shared goal – to provide the right care, at the right time and in the right place.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

11.        Further service changes as a result of identified areas for future development will need to be within existing resources.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.        There are no specific legal implications as a result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.        There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.        The positive inspection indicates Adult Services are developing in a direction that will have a positive impact on people who are disabled by improving their experiences of the services.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        To make the Vale a safe, healthy and enjoyable place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.        To manage the Council's workforce, money and assets efficiently and effectively in order to maximise its ability to achieve its service aims.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.        There are no matters in this report which relate to any individual Ward.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.        Social Care and Health.

Background Papers



Contact Officer

Lance Carver, Head of Adult Services and Locality Manager.


Officers Consulted



Responsible Officer:

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services