Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lincolnshire to spend £100k on legal fees to chase a star...

The Tories who run social services in Lincolnshire have decided to throw thousands of pounds in public money at a legal battle over whether they should be graded ‘one star’ or ‘two star’...It's total madness.

For the past six annual assessments by the Commission for Social Care Inspection, adult social services in Lincolnshire have only achieved an official ‘one-star’ rating.

But rather than focus on raising their game, council leader Martin Hill is diverting attention from the people who need real help to mount a futile legal challenge to the judgement.

The fact that they are prepared to spend up to £100,000 on legal fees rather than on getting on with the job shows why they only manage a one-star grade year after year.

Today, I’ve appealed to Martin not to lose the plot on this one.

It’s not too late for Martin to pull the plug on his daft commitment to go for a Judicial Review.

Doing the sensible thing now would save up to £100,000 in legal fees and allow us to get on with the real job of improving services. that's the best way of getting another star.

In a statement following representations by the council, the Commission has explained that their assessment of one star was based on a rigorous and detailed process. After an appeal by the council, an independent former director of social services was called in but the one-star was confirmed.

CSCI said: “The Commission was particularly concerned to find that in an inspection carried out in November 2007, the safeguarding of vulnerable adults was found to be ‘poor’. This is a worrying finding which means more work is urgently needed to ensure that appropriate safeguarding arrangements are in place for vulnerable adults in Lincolnshire."

And in the Commission's own words:

The Council needs now as a matter of urgency to channel its energies into improving the services it provides for the benefit of the people who rely on them.

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