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4th July 2016

CSSIW report finds stronger leadership and better communication needed for adults with learning disabilities

CSSIW's National inspection of care and support for people with learning disabilities has found that more needs to be done by leaders at all levels to support their staff by working in partnership with people with learning disabilities and family carers to shape care and support for the future.

The report sets out the findings of the national inspection of care and support for adults with learning disabilities undertaken by Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), supported by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), between July 2015 and February 2016.

  • The purpose of the inspection was to assess the success of local authority social services in achieving outcomes that matter to people.
  • Inspectors found that 'leading in partnership with people' was the area of work most in need of significant improvement.

The report says that most of the 22 local authorities who responded to the national survey thought that their performance was good. However, in the majority of the six authorities subject to fieldwork, inspectors concluded that performance either required improvement or was poor. 

Lack of 'clear, trusted and well-established channels of communication'

However the inspection found strong evidence that the absence of clear, trusted and well established channels of communication with people, carers, providers and other stakeholders makes the job of leaders that much harder.

HIW inspectors found that improvements were needed in communication between health board managers and staff to ensure that those at the front line felt valued in their roles and engaged with the health board’s direction and priorities.

The report states: "When deficits in communication are coupled with a lack of commonly understood vision for the development of care and support - as it was in some local authorities and health boards – then leaders and managers face an uphill task in creating a positive service culture."

You can read the report in full or download a copy here:

Key questions the report sets out to answer

The three key questions for the inspection were: 

  • How well does the local authority understand the need for care and support for people with learning disabilities, including support for carers and the development of preventative services, in its area?
  • How effective is the local authority in providing information, advice, assistance, assessment and care planning that achieves positive outcomes and which respects people with learning disabilities as full citizens, equal in status and value to other citizens of the same age?
  • To what extent have the arrangements for leadership and governance in the local authority delivered a clear vision for care and support for people with learning disabilities, aimed at improving outcomes, and which has the support and involvement of partners – including people with learning disabilities and carers?

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