WBC - DASS - Non Social Work Staff Staff Conducting Care Reviews

Pete Sheffield made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please see the following link:

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/...

Please see the statement by Head of Branch 'Rick O'Brien' in the community care article, the officer responsible for chairing the budget meeting to delay care to vulnerable adults, is quoted below.

'However, Rick O'Brien, head of branch, access and assessment at Wirral Council, says that since its reorganisation the authority now has a "fairly balanced workforce" in terms of the number of social workers and other staff. Social workers, he argues, are better deployed now, managing complex cases and handling safeguarding.'

'Despite their reduced numbers, he says personalisation is opening up new opportunities for social workers. For instance, he says care reviews would previously often be carried out by non-social work staff, but because they are now more focused on outcomes, social workers are more involved.'

Above the article states 'For instance, he says care reviews would previously often be carried out by non-social work staff'.

Please disclose the following:

1. What staff were conducting reviews as referred to
2. The posts and job title of staff who were conducting reviews
3. The professional qualifications of the staff conducting reviews
4. The documents and training documents provided to 'Non-Social Worker Staff' and any induction training
5. For what period of time where 'Non-Social Worker staff' conducting care reviews
6. The reviewing policy of DASS
7. Any risk / impact assessments of non-social work staff conducting reviews
8. The definition of 'complex' cases and 'non-complex' cases
9. Who makes the judgement on the complexity of each case
10. Where the complexity of a case is recorded i.e. Which forms or system etc and at which point.

Yours faithfully,

Pete Sheffield

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Hello Pete Sheffied

 

 

Thank you for your request for information shown below.  I have been
advised by Department of Adult Social Services that to answer all
questions numbered 1 to 10 below would take us over the appropriate limit
of 18.5 person hours.  Because of this Wirral Council is unable to provide
you with the information that you seek, please see further information on
this aspect of the legislation below.

 

 

 

“Where an authority is not obliged to comply with a request for
information because, under section 12(1) and regulations made under
section 12, the cost of complying would exceed the "appropriate limit"
(i.e. cost threshold) the authority should consider providing an
indication of what, if any, information could be provided within the cost
ceiling. The authority should also consider advising the applicant that by
reforming or re-focusing their request, information may be able to be
supplied for a lower, or no, fee.”  

 

 

 

In the spirit of the legislation to advise you, I can suggest 2 options
for you to consider:-

 

 

 

1.                Would you like me to seek clarification from Department
of Adult Social Services with regard to which questions they could answer
within the appropriate limit?

 

2.                Would you prefer to reduce the scope of your enquiry?

 

 

Many thanks in anticipation of your reply.

 

Kind regards

 

Tracy O'Hare

FOI Co-ordinator

Information Management

CH41 6BU

[Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

show quoted sections

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

Thank you for your response dated the 5th April 2012. Please can you disclose which officer of DASS informed you of the statement you disclosed in your correspondence.

I am surprised that Wirral Borough Council's department of Social Services response due to its intention of being transparent and changing its culture.

The background to this FOI request is clear. The department has been subject to numerous scandals, disability discrimination, overcharging, cover-ups, bullying and harassment and illegal delaying of care which by the council's very own legal advice would bring strong criticism on the council.

The response to these repeated scandals, mismanagement, cover-ups, golden payoffs, independent investigations and failures of the department in fulfilling its statutory duties has been that the council has brought itself into explicit disrepute and has lost the trust of the people of Wirral.

When a senior officer of DASS is quoted in an article on a national website as saying 'For instance, he says care reviews would previously often be carried out by non-social work...' there will no doubt, be concerns raised into what actually was happening within DASS. When this same officer is responsible for implementation of a 4 week delay of care, it is increasingly concerning.

If I may suggest the information is actually at hand on the care management system, however it may be easier for a senior officer of DASS to be able to provide this information. I would suggest that Rick O'Brien would be aware of this information as he was obvious aware of the information to be able to provide the information in the interview with the communitycare website.

As a guidance to the information:

1. This point can be disregarded
2. This information is already available and surely must be able to be provided by HR
3. This point can be disregarded
4. These documents would surely be available if in existence
5. The Senior Officer would surely be aware of the reviewing policy within DASS that non-social worker staff were conducting care reviews
6. The policy would surely be available
7. Any risk assessment or impact assessments would surely be available
8. The definitions of complex and non complex would surely be available within the reviewing policy or a senior officer would be able to provide definition
9. This would surely be included in any reasonable policy defining procedure but failing that a senior officer would be able to provide
10. This point is merely procedurally where the complexity of a case is recorded and if you could provide a form which evidences this

This would surely not be a time consuming task which would take more than the time allocated.

Yours sincerely,

Pete Sheffield

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'WBC - DASS - Non Social Work Staff Staff Conducting Care Reviews'.

This request is late.

Yours faithfully,

Pete Sheffield

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

I have passed this to the ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Pete Sheffield

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

20 Attachments

Good Morning

 

Thank you for your request, Wirral Council would like to apologise for the
delay in responding to you, please see responses Wirral Council can
provide to your queries below and attached I do hope the information is
still of use to you:

 

2. The posts and job title of staff who were conducting reviews

 

Social workers, Assessment & Support Officers and Occupational Therapists
could all be involved in a review depending on the nature of the
presenting needs.

 
4. The documents and training documents provided to 'Non-Social Worker
Staff' and any induction training

 

Please see attached

 

5. For what period of time where 'Non-Social Worker staff' conducting care
reviews

 

Members of staff without a social work qualification have always been
involved in some reviews.

6. The reviewing policy of DASS

 

Information about the current reviewing process is on the Wirral Council
Internet site under Social Care & Health (‘Reviewing your support’
section).

 

[1]www.wirral.gov.uk

[2]http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/soc...

 

 

7. Any risk / impact assessments of non-social work staff conducting
reviews

8. The definition of 'complex' cases and 'non-complex' cases
9. Who makes the judgment on the complexity of each case
10. Where the complexity of a case is recorded i.e. Which forms or system
etc and at which point.

 

Team Managers allocate work based on the information presented and the
skills, experience & qualifications of the member of staff. The details of
the individual needs and the individual’s situation determine the judgment
about the level of complexity or risk in each case. These details would
emerge from the assessment process. Team Managers make an initial judgment
about the complexity and risk of an individual case and may review that as
further information is gathered. If the additional information suggested a
qualified social worker (or other qualified member of staff) needed to be
involved, the Team Manager may reallocate the work.

 

 

 

Thank you for your enquiry, kind regards

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Wirral Council

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.wirral.gov.uk/
2. http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/soc...