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Report of performance evaluation inspection: Pembrokeshire County Council

This report summarises findings from our inspection of Pembrokeshire adults and children’s services between March and April 2022.

We conducted this inspection to review the local authority’s performance in exercising its social services duties and functions in line with legislation, on behalf of Welsh Ministers.

Summary of findings

  • Pembrokeshire County Council has been experiencing a challenging social care context in common with other local authorities across Wales; with increased volume and complexity across the service coupled with a workforce supply challenge.

  • We found the local authority can respond to immediate safeguarding needs and crises, but delay and drift is evident in some situations. This means people’s outcomes are not always met in a timely manner.

  • We saw some excellent examples of staff engagement with people living in complex circumstances. However, we heard waiting lists for assessments and overdue reviews are a significant concern for managers of adult services.

  • Although there are excellent operational examples of services working together, effective partnerships are not always in place to commission and deliver fully integrated, high quality, sustainable outcomes for certain groups of adults.

  • The local authority has a significant challenge to ensure sufficiency of good placements that are matched to the needs of children looked after (CLA), particularly those young people with complex and traumatic backgrounds. Work is being undertaken both locally and regionally to improve this position.

  • Children’s services practitioners understand their role and responsibilities in contributing to safeguarding and promoting the well-being of children, but vacancies and workload are compromising their capacity to achieve this.

Next steps

We expect Pembrokeshire County Council to consider the areas identified for improvement and take appropriate action to address and improve these areas. We will monitor progress through our ongoing engagement activity with the local authority.