CARE INSPECTORATE WALES - ASSURANCE CHECK 2021
To receive a report on the findings of the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) assurance check of Denbighshire County Council undertaken 28 June to 2 July 2021 (copy enclosed).
The Corporate Director Communities (CDC) presented the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) Local Authority Performance Review (previously circulated).
The CDC introduced Sian Roberts from Care Inspectorate Wales to the committee. It was explained that Sian was the authorities lead inspector, an excellent working relationship had been established. Sian oversees both children’s and adult social care issues for Denbighshire.
The report summarised the findings of the CIW assurance check of Denbighshire County Council undertaken 28 June to 2 July 2021. The purpose of the assurance check had been to review how well local authority social services continued to help and support adults and children with a focus on safety and well-being. Due to the pandemic it was stressed the normal arrangements for oversight and scrutiny had been altered to reflect the restrictions. It was important to note that many of the CIW colleagues returned to frontline work and supported health and social care delivery in the pandemic. The CDC wanted to express her thanks to all CIW colleagues, it had been recognised and valued across all Wales.
As the restrictions eased, CIW officers felt that it was important to conduct assurance check to assure authorities and CIW that services were being delivered appropriately and safely. The letter summarised the findings of the CIW assurance check undertaken 28 June to 2 July 2021.
The CDC highlighted a number of positives stated within the letter. The recognition of the positive culture and improvements within safe guarding was given particular importance.
The letter also acknowledged areas of improvement for the service.
Confirmation that audits had been temporarily halted during the pandemic, but have reinstated. The report acknowledged the challenges in recruitment throughout the service. The CDC stressed the comment that staff in Denbighshire are a credit to themselves and to the authority.
The Lead Member for Well-being and Independence stressed the challenges faced by the service during the pandemic. She thanked the CIW officers for conducting the assurance check and producing the report.
The Chair on behalf of the Governance and Audit committee wanted to thank the staff and officers for supporting the service and the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the discussion, officers and the CIW representative expanded on the following:
· Recruitment was noted as a nationwide issue. A recruitment day had been held to provide additional information. Officers were doing all they could to recruit individuals into the service. Work to achieve a higher status and pay for employees in the service within Denbighshire was ongoing. The term ‘grow your own’ was made with reference to professional roles. It is an option the authority was exploring. Partnership work with Glyndwr University to explore the options had begun. Members heard that the process did have a number of problems but did present challenges.
· Work with colleges and sixth forms to aid recruitment had taken place. Work locally, regionally and nationally to promote the sector as a professional career for individuals was ongoing.
· Part of the Welsh Government hardship grant had been utilised to purchase technology. I-pads were purchased and placed in some extra care services and supported living schemes. Enabling individuals to maintain contact with friends, family and the officers.
· Members were pleased to note that support for staff had been provided during the pandemic. It was emphasised that it was a corporate wide approach to supporting our staff was adopted.
· The CDC provided members with some further information about referrals. It was acknowledged it was an area that needed further work and improvement. Managers and officers were exploring avenues to address the concerns raised in the CIW check.
Members discussed the need for any further scrutiny. The Chief Internal Auditor confirmed an audit on Children’s Services was scheduled in the audit plan of work. A meeting had been scheduled with Children’s Services in the New Year.
The CDC confirmed that CIW do conduct follow up reviews on the original issues raised and action plan. It was agreed that following those reviews a report would be presented back to committee.
RESOLVED that the Governance and Audit Committee receive the CIW assurance Check 2021 letter and note its contents. It was agreed following the CIW review of the action plan a report be presented back to the committee for consideration.
- 211110 CIW assurance check report for Governance & Audit Committee, item 5. PDF 212 KB
- CIW - Denbighshire - Assurance Check - Findings Letter - Final - ENG - PDF, item 5. PDF 253 KB