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Positive steps in Services for People with Learning Disabilities 7 November 2005

    In July of this year, an independent review team, appointed by Steve Rodan, MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security, reported back on their findings on the provision of residential services for people with Learning Disabilities on the Island.

    The Review Team was headed by Vic Citarella, former Director of Social Services in Liverpool and Margaret Flynn from Sheffield University. The review team carried out inspections of all the Divisions learning disability services and consulted widely with residents, carers and staff about their experience of services.

    The Review indicated that services had improved significantly over time, but that there were a number of weaknesses in the way that services were provided and that there was scope for further improvement. The Review produced a comprehensive set of recommendations and were invited back by the Minister in early October to check and test out whether the Division had produced a plan to address the concerns and also to see whether any improvements had been made in the service.

    The Review Team have found that the Department has responded very positively to the Review and reported that managers and staff were ‘up beat’ about the future and that there had been clear improvements in several key areas including management, communication and work around the vision and strategy for services. At service level, staff teams were responding well to the challenge of the Review and inspections of the homes.

    Commenting on the Reviewers’ recent visit, Mr Rodan said,“I am pleased to report the positive steps taken by the Department in responding to the challenges of the Review. The Review team have commended the rapid progress made over the last three months in the service and also expressed satisfaction that the comprehensive Action Plan as drawn up will address their Recommendations. I would like to congratulate the Social Services Division and learning disabilities team for the way that they have embraced the review and responded to the challenges”

    Work will continue in developing a strategy for the future and planning further service enhancements. The Department will be holding some sessions to explain what developments are planned, but also to obtain the views of service users, parents and carers, staff and others about future needs and direction.

    The actions as planned also consolidate the Department’s ongoing work in responding to the recommendations of the Select Committee report on the Petition For Redress of Grievance of Jill Dugdale, in relation to the range and quality of services available and consultation processes.

    7th November 2005

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