Published: 30/05/2002, Volume II2, No. 5807 Page 7
Ten local authority departments were given no stars in the first set of star performance ratings for social services, published today.
Produced by the Social Services Inspectorate, the ratings - the equivalent of the stars awarded by the Department of Health to trusts last autumn - examine the state of both adult and children's services between April 2001 and March 2002. They also assess the future performance prospects of services.
The Local Government Association described the first set of ratings as 'crude', but said they were something to build on. But the list of no-star departments differs drastically from the list of 14 worst performing departments controversially 'named and shamed' by health secretary Alan Milburn last October. None of the councils warned by Mr Milburn that new management would be brought in if they failed to improve appear on the no-star list.
The worst performers include Haringey which has been severely criticised during the ongoing Victoria Climbié scandal. It received no stars.
Walsall social services has the most damning rating - prospects in children's and adult services were both poor and neither were serving people well. Its no-star rating follows a joint review of social services by SSI and the Audit Commission. Published this week, it condemned the services' financial management and quality of care.Walsall has already brought in management consultants KPMG and produced a three-year action plan.
Social services departments at the following local authorities were given no stars: Birmingham, Bromley, Coventry, East Sussex, Haringey, Merton, North East Lincolnshire, Swindon, Wakefield, and Walsall.
Social services departments at the following authorities got three stars: Bexley, Cornwall, Kensington and Chelsea, Leicestershire, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sunderland, Wandsworth, and Westminster.