10 Questions For Wirral WBC



1.     We hear Destination Effluence was well attended and that staff were left in tears by Steve’s moving and inspiring oratory skills. BUT, were staff threatened or warned, by any Heads Of service  that disciplinary action would be taken should they  not attend Destination Effluence? Were staff told to give  the time and date they were attending to be noted by their managers to avoid ‘repercussions’ . Were Team managers told to follow this up for any staff who failed to attend?


2.     If Social Workers have problems with unmanageable case loads, or problems with working practice around safeguarding, who can they approach and would this person understand the implications ie/ are they qualified ?


3.     How many employees in each area of DASS have been off with stress related illnesses in the past 24 months.  How many Team Leaders and managers? How many are still off ?  Has anybody looked into the reasons WHY ?


4.     Have any companies/ individuals worked with vulnerable adults as independent support planners, and not gone through DASS, instead using “contacts” and “friendships”. This would of course be a breach of ethics should such activity take place.  But even managers in WBC couldn’t be that stupid could they ??


5.      Is there a new assessment tool being piloted  in DASS at present? And is this designed to reduce the number of points for carers  which in turn will effectively mean less money for carers ?


6.     Are there any concerns around safeguarding, given Wirral’s uncanny ability to attract “RED FLAGS” . Statistics as well all know,  are often used and presented to elected members by way of the magical “power-point” to ensure they are assured just how fantastic a job DASS are doing,  but of course if you torture numbers they will confess to anything. Therefore are procedures effective and robust ? Do they ensure people are safe from potential harm and are they more than just a box ticking arse covering exercise.


7.     Are there any employees , care providers , “support planners” involved in personal budgets who have taken Voluntary Severance (VS) or Early Voluntary Redundancy (EVR) from surrounding Councils and are known to any Senior officers in DASS


8.     What can senior officers tells us about a private support planning company called “Self Directions?”


9.     Are Assistant Support Officers still presenting complex cases to panel, if so how many and how often ?


10.  Why did the departments Brokerage team send out , as standard, emails with regard to asking about a “waiver” of a default position of a four week delay that was in place which meant brokerage would not start  EVEN LOOKING for care when somebody was found eligible under The Fair Access To Care Criteria in the past. Who implemented this policy, or was an “unwritten” arrangement. It is claimed by Richard O’Brien (Access and Assesement Manager) and the much missed Howard Cooper(CBE & former interim Director) that staff simply misunderstood instructions. If so why do thousands of emails exist on Council IT systems relating to this policy, that go back years ? ( A forensic IT audit could easily reveal this,) Why was no impact assessment on such a policy undertaken ? 


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