Watchdogs bark at Gateshead

Posted on June 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

A joint report on the Gateshead Council’s Social Services Department has found that, while giving lip service to working in partnership, it has taken a heavy-handed approach in its dealings with private providers – an all too familiar tale. A joint report by the Audit Commission and the Social Services Department says people in Gateshead are not consistently well served by social services. The report is critical of several areas of provision, saying that generous budgets have failed to deliver maximum value. It says over-reliance on council-run residential care has restricted resources available to develop services to support people at home. Gateshead Council serves a population of 201,000 people in the Tyne-and-Wear district and, although its social services budget has reduced in the past two years, spending was 20.5% higher than Standard Spending Assessment in 1998/99, which represents the fifth highest excess for a metropolitan district. The joint report quoted the council as saying it had formed “strong

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