Council acts after care homes scandal
9:20am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
Town Hall bosses took action after a damning report into the abuse of vulnerable adults at a council-run care home.
The independent report, which contained a detailed action plan of changes needed at the council, came after two care workers, Joanne Robinson and Ann Leach, were jailed for the abuses at a care home in Worsley Road, Farnworth.
Leach, aged 48, of Piggott Street, Farnworth, was jailed for 21 months, and Robinson, aged 47, of Bolton Road, Kearsley, for 15 months.
The report found there was an overall good service and the majority of staff provided compassionate care, but said its service lacked clear leadership and strong management and required a fundamental review.
Now, Bolton Council’s ruling cabinet has been told about changes into the way the local authority operates its supported housing services.
There were 15 recommendations made in the report, including appraisals of management, improving the whistle-blowing policy, a new rota system, working with trade unions and rethinking job roles.
The project took place in two phases, the first between October and February, and included ensuring training and supervision was enforced.
The second phase started in December and will run until April.
It involves restructuring the service to deliver savings.
As part of the sweeping changes, adult services was merged with children’s services, and the new department is now run by director Margaret Asquith, Bolton Council’s Director of Children’s and Adult Services.
She said: “A culture shift will take another year or so but the fact staff are telling us about the good and not so good things happening in the service, there are indications it’s beginning to shift.”
Bolton Council Chief Executive Sean Harriss added: “The real issue will come when one or two years have gone by after this period of scrutiny has passed.
“The long-term issue is not how things are currently being checked, but once things go back to a period of normality, the ongoing measures where we can bring issues to the fore.”