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  • 23 May 2024
  • News

Our findings from our assurance check of the Adult Community Team in Blaenau Gwent

We carried out this assurance check between 26 and 28 March 2024.

This is a community adult team, whereby staff support all vulnerable adults over the age of 18. This assurance check focused on adults with a learning disability, and reviewed Blaenau Gwent’s performance in exercising their duties and functions in line with legislation for this group of adults and their carers.


Inspectors found a stable and experienced leadership team in place. Senior managers were aware of the significant ongoing challenges in responding to the increased complexity of presenting need and demand, and financial pressures. 

There is a need to ensure a focus on delivering sustainable strategic plans for learning disability services, and robust financial sustainability plans are critical to prevent short-term crisis-driven cuts. Practitioners feel well supported by managers and generally caseloads are manageable.

The local authority promotes different types of housing support to enable people to reach their outcomes, including the outcome to live as independently as possible in the community. People, practitioners, and a few unpaid carers told us there is a good offer of resources and support services available, but they would like more opportunities for adults with a learning disability to volunteer and to gain meaningful employment. 

Stakeholders who responded to our survey described positive working relationships with the local authority. They consider social workers are responsive and treat people with dignity and respect. One stakeholder commented: “Practitioners have always put the views of adults using our services at the forefront and always ensure they find out what is important to them.”

Next steps

We expect the local authority to consider the areas for improvement identified in our letter, and take appropriate action to address and improve these areas. We will monitor progress through our ongoing performance review activity with the local authority. 

Where relevant we expect the local authority to share the positive practice identified with other local authorities, to disseminate learning and help drive continuous improvement in statutory services throughout Wales. 

To see all our findings and recommendations read the full report below.