Reforms are being introduced to the way social services in Wales are reviewed and inspected. The changes announced by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales follow consultations with local authorities and social care providers.
The new framework will put the emphasis on local authorities being responsible for the quality and improvement of their social services. They will be required to have an annual improvement plan and to produce an annual public report on how it is being delivered. The Inspectorate will review and analyse evidence underpinning the reports and develop an individual Inspection and Review Plan for each authority. Authorities will also face announced and unannounced visits each year.
The Chief Inspector of CSSIW, Rob Pickford, said the changes were a major shift in the relationship between the inspectorate and inspected bodies that would allow more focus on the experience of people who received services. “It is an approach that encourages improvement and innovation by local government,” he said and added: “The new arrangement continues to focus on ensuring that some of the most vulnerable people in society receive the care and support they need.”
The new arrangements will come into effect immediately and the Inspectorate will work closely with councils and other stakeholders and partners during the implementation process.
The Welsh Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas, said the new framework would remind local authorities of their duty in continually working to improve services and to deliver appropriate care and support. “It will clearly set out who is responsible for delivering and improving services. CSSIW will continue to provide robust external inspection of services to ensure services are delivered effectively, and will continue to act swiftly to address concerns,” she said.