Employment and Appointments Committee – 23rd March 2011 – Part 1

After the other reports and minutes were agreed most of the meeting was about the changes to Adult Social Services after the critical Care Quality Commission Report last year.

Howard Cooper (Interim Director of Adult Social Services) explained to those present that Social Services needed extra capacity in relation to safeguarding for vulnerable adults. He talked at length about how safeguarding was done in the Children and Young Peoples Department and how lessons could be learnt from them in how to do safeguarding well for vulnerable adults.

Although someone had been working with both the C&YP Dept and DASS, the current management team for children was stretched. As a result he recommended that the Employment and Appointments Committee make two temporary appointments (until a new Director was permanently appointed). The first would be an Interim Head of Service and the second an Interim Head of Joint Adults & Childrens’ Safeguarding.

Cllr Green asked about child safety. Howard Cooper referred to the recent OFSTED inspection. He pointed out the advantages and risks of taking a joint approach to safeguarding and that it would have positive benefits with the transition from children to adults. The changes to DASS would take place in phases. From January to March changes would be made, but from April to July longer term structures would be put in place before the transition to the new permanent director of Adult Social Services. Mr Cooper referred to changes happening in the NHS, Wirral Council becoming a health provider, the public health function coming to Wirral Council and GP Commissioning.

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