Highland Social Work Performance Inspection Report
The Highland Council’s Social Work Service has put in place a comprehensive plan of action to respond to issues raised in a Performance Inspection Report published by the Social Work Inspection Agency (SWIA), which states the Council is achieving good outcomes for the many people who use its services.
The report commends the Service on a number of important aspects including the quality of its assessments and care management; its well-developed services for children and young people; effective joint working with partners at a local level; and high quality mental health services. It also identifies some key examples of good practice which reflect the continued, high level of commitment of staff and the innovative approaches that the Service uses to achieve success in meeting a wide range of diverse need in a large geographical area, where service delivery often presents significant challenges.
Although community care services are generally of a good quality, the report confirms that the Council has been slow to implement change and there is an urgent need to modernise these, particularly in relation to services for older people and to shift the balance of care from residential to community and home-based services. The inspection also highlights the need for better engagement with carers and the need to develop a joint commissioning strategy with NHS Highland.
The Social Work Service has already put in place an action plan to address issues raised in the inspection report and work is already well underway on some of them.
Convener Councillor Sandy Park said: “We welcome this report which commends the Service for the good things it is doing and highlights areas for improvement. We will bring forward a plan of action to the next Housing and Social Work Committee after the summer recess.
“We are clear that improvements can only be made by the Council working together with NHS Highland, the Scottish Executive, and carers in the Highlands.”