Hants CC agree terms for taking over IW child protection and education

Councils move closer to the final agreement for Hampshire County Council to take over responsibility of Isle of Wight child safeguarding and education.

This in from Kate Ball, Communications Manager, on behalf of Hampshire County Council. In their own words. Ed

The outline terms for proposals that could lead to a groundbreaking strategic partnership between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to deliver Children’s Services on the Island were approved yesterday. 25 March 2013.

Roy PerryThe decision by Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Roy Perry provides a formal basis for the proposals, which are designed to strengthen child protection and education services on the Island.

Substantial further work is now required before an agreement can be finalised and the Councils are engaged on a steady and considered approach to ensure all challenges, risks and solutions are identified, in what could be a significant opportunity for both local authorities.

Perry: “An opportunity for us to offer assistance to our neighbour”
Cllr Perry said: “It is a credit that Hampshire County Council with its reputation for strongly performing Children’s Services should be approached by the Isle of Wight Council, with the support of the Department for Education, with a view to establishing such a partnership. It is an opportunity for us to offer assistance to our neighbour and an opportunity for us to develop an area of work as an extension of our capacity – the prospect of this type of partnership is something that’s beenunder informal consideration nationally for some time in view of general financial and performance concerns.”

“While it does represent a significant opportunity for both councils, uppermost in my mind is that I have a first and unequivocal responsibility to the children of Hampshire. I will be seeking full assurance that these proposals are subject to very careful assessment and that there can be no question of Hampshire’s Children’s Services budgets being utilised.”

Possibly commencing in June 2013
Broadly, the outline proposals for a strategic partnership, which would be unlikely to start before end of May 2013, would mean that Hampshire County Council’s Director of Children’s Services and Children’s Services Departmental Management Team would take full operational responsibility for Isle of Wight Children’s Services, including education and social care, as per the terms of Children Act 2004 as part of an improvement programme under the auspices of Government.

The Isle of Wight Council would retain political authority and accountability. Line management and operational responsibility would rest entirely with Hampshire County Council. The Isle of Wight Council would remain financially accountable and fund all relevant costs of the arrangement.

Pugh: “Ensure the arrangement is the very best one for Island residents”
Isle of Wight Council Leader Cllr David Pugh said: “It is imperative that these arrangements to improve our child protection services are put in place swiftly and also that they are effective. We also look forward to the potential of working with our colleagues in Hampshire to drive forward continued improvement in our schools.

“We welcome this step forward and will continue our discussions with Hampshire to ensure the arrangement is the very best one for Island residents and, most importantly, the children and families who deserve the very best support.”

Tuesday, 26th March, 2013 12:40pm


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Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Black Dog

    26.Mar.2013 1:36pm

    Yet another set of services passed over. Councillor Pugh we look forward to handing over the responsibility of leader of the council to some one else.

    I see lots of jargon above but no mention of cost! I see the comment of “An opportunity for us to offer assistance to our neighbour” but at what cost to the Island. Just how many Social Workers could that pay for or is Hampshire doing us a favour?

    What about the Director responsible for Social Services, Ian Anderson? does he get to keep his job when Hampshire are taking over the responsibility?

    A total shambles presided over by a Shambolic Leader – Pugh.

  2. It will cost and that cost will be met by the loss of Island jobs and it won’t be the highly paid ones either.

  3. I agree with Black Dog’s comments wholeheartedly.This statement from Hampshire and Pugh just smacks of Mumbo Jumbo political spin.
    There has been no debate.
    What is the cost.?
    Is this a temporay measure?
    Can I just remind people of the Facts,when Ali Matthews was given the sanction to restructure C/Services,she stripped out the Fabric of Safeguarding and Support to very vulnerable Families and made 15 social workers redundant.Interestingly those workers who she felt had inadequate skills for the Isle of Wight have all found new roles.Suprise ,Suprise 3 now work for Hampshire and over the past two years have shown their potential and been promoted.The rest now work for Southampton or Portsmouth in C/Protection.What a waste and as a result the Island C/P service crumbles.You just couldn’t make this up could you.

  4. wightywight

    27.Mar.2013 10:06am


    just to add….the Council are now *crisis managing* the situation by taking on ‘Agency’ care management staff to deal with current and backlog of work (assessments in particular where there are upwards of 2,000 in Adult care outstanding). About £16 per hour [from the Ad’s] for the job on 6 month fixed contract.
    There is an enormous sleight of hand going on in Social Care. Pugh wrote to me after I wrote to every Councillor claiming that the Budget for Adult Social Care had risen every year (under Mazillius). I told him that the Council had cut £3M from a £7M spend on frontline adult social care [FOI request]and it was mis leading to suggest the budget had increased. Where had the £3M been spent if he was correct…….
    Then I realised, a flash of light, he talks incessantly about the budget but NOT the spend!

    Therefore, you set an increased budget – proclaim you are doing so because that is (politically?)judicious and then you make the cuts and savings and have an *underspend* on budget….everyone’s happy! ….Except those people affected by the savagery of the cuts.
    The truth is, this whole Social Care has not been managed well since Ian Anderson arrived who came from the mainland bringing the usual non Island ideas that don’t work across the Island for all sorts of peculiar reasons.
    Two problems then…we have a funding stream that is not doing what it should be doing (underspend) and a Director who is not right for this Island…I hope and pray that another administration is returned in May and that group take a long, hard look at the performance of this Director,I suggest it is woefully inappropriate and inadequate for the needs.


    • I think you need to unpick and state the statistical origin of your phrase that assessments oustanding are “upwards of 2,000 in Adult care” WW. Readers might think there is a queue that long awaiting an initial appointment, and I really don’t think that’s the case.

      • wightywight

        12.Apr.2013 10:54pm


        I can do better than statistics…..I have discussed this with one of the care managers involved…. there work load is already identified…and it is over 2,000 assessments. That includes the re-assessments for those receiving social care already and for which there is (usually) an annual *review*.
        You added the “initial” bit to my comment but I’m happy to confirm I am talking ALL assessments and not just initial assessments. The re-assessments are equally as important as initial assessments and are all part of the same problem. Cutting care management to far, too fast and too hard. But then we have a Director who believes we won’t need care managers within a few years and thinks we should call service users customers…. In the meantime we are shoring up the service by agency staff on short term contracts.


        • Well, WW, it’s useful to know where a figure comes from, and in this case it’s from a care manager, which is the old IWC name for qualified social workers and their unqualified colleagues. For other people reading here, these are not organisational ‘managers’ in the usual sense; they work with individual vulnerable people and their needs all day, along with their family and others involved who affect the person’s wellbeing.

          Confusingly, the term ‘care manager’ is also commonly used by private care agency staff, (amongst other organisations), who arrange the nuts and bolts of personal care and domestic home calls when asked to.

          I think you will get a different view from different IWC ‘care managers’, but in any case that level of worker won’t have direct access to statistical info.. Even where one of them might believe they have the full picture, I think you have not got clear from them the practical differences between assessments, re-assessments & annual reviews,( it does get complicated to explain), and I get the feeling there’s been a lumping together of figures that, to begin to be really understood, need to be given separately. Sorry to be boringly pedantic!

          I don’t at all take issue with you that Adult Social Care are under a great deal of pressure, along with having a huge sense of responsibility towards the people they serve, with fewer staff, (very conscientious and whose instinct is to stand up for their clients against IWC policy if necessary, and who are mostly on longterm contracts), very cramped conditions that make it ridiculously hard to put adequate systems in place, and no interview rooms, so some time is spent travelling out that wouldn’t otherwise be necessary.

          But in particular, it’s important that people here realise there isn’t a queue of 2000 vulnerable people waiting to be initially seen.

          I would add that for vulnerable people with ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’ needs, council funding is demonstrably available for them. Nowadays their own weekly financial contribution towards the cost may be more than it used to be, but there are still many people who pay nothing or very little towards the very expensive cost of very large care packages.

          • I should probably also add that the only way an ‘assessment’ or ‘re-assessment’ or ‘review’ can be gathered statistically is if each is recorded in particular places on the computer system. The relevant notes of visits with clients & connected people, have already been made in another part of the computer system already. But the ‘stats people’ can only ‘see’ that these things have been carried out if they are also recorded on site-specific parts of the same system.

            When time is at such a premium, with fewer staff and higher stress levels, duplicating a record to another part of the system, (with its own different fiddly ways, so not simply a cut and paste job), may not get done, & then count as an assessment (etc) not having been carried out: whereas it has! But the ‘right’ box hasn’t been ticked, and so the far-off person collecting the info records that it hasn’t been done. They’re not to know that it has.

  5. L R Traite

    27.Mar.2013 11:39am

    Presumably a newly elected council would have the powers to overturn the arrangements with Hampshire?

  6. @Wightywight’s comment.
    You clearly have a good grasp of Adult services,I’m old enough to remember when there was a Director of Social Services i.e. Bill Davidson.One thing that may help your quest and inflame you and others even more however is that when the Council talk about employing “Agency Staff” the cost is not £15 or £20 per hour because the agency charges the L/A Double that to meet their costs.I agree with all your comments related to Adult Services and good luck.
    Can I return to the wolly spin regarding Children’s services being Administered by Hampshire.
    I am not clear but will it be a remit for Hampshire to now be in control of Looked After Children’s Team ,Fostering Team and Childrens Disabillity Team?This, if it is the case will have huge implications for Island Families as Adoption,Fostering placements and Island Foster Carers could come into the “Pool” of available resources for Hampshire.There is always a shortage of Foster placements so the potential of acquiring an extra 150+ approved foster carers will make those in Winchester rub their hands with glee.I am not scare mongering we just don’t know the facts from this glib Press release do we?

  7. I happened to overhear some Social Workers yesterday (in a public space) talking about the problems on the Isle of Wight. They made a comment that there was nothing wrong with our social workers – there was just not enough of them.

    Could some one tell me exactly why we are engaging Hampshire to help? What costs are associated with this help? Could those costs not actually pay for more Social Workers? Why is Ian Anderson still employed if Hampshire has taken control of Child Protection? By removing Ian Anderson and Hampshire we could actually employ the appropriate numbers of front-line staff to provide effective Child Protection.

    When Hampshire leaves we will slip back to the bad old days because we will not have learned the lessons of our recent past. Some would argue (I would agree)Investing in more social workers actually has a positive impact on budgets by helping with crime reduction, police time, NHS costs. However, above all the arguments of costs one has to ask what is the cost of a child’s life?

    The above further highlights the Councils inability to fulfill their statutory duties. The council led by Councillor Pugh is not fit for purpose.

    Pugh has surrounded himself with yes wo/men Councillors together with officers who exploit his complete lack of knowledge and acumen to strengthen their own positions. Pugh’s Political ambition (not matched by talent) and his priorities based on personal ambition/gain has seen this Island of ours fall into accelerated decline. Perfect example of Politics before people.

    Tell our friends and families to get out and vote on 2nd May and take back control of our Island. Remember Councillors are voted into public office to serve the public not the other way around.

    • phil jordan

      12.Apr.2013 11:23am

      @Black Dog:

      You are onto one of the current problems with Social Care on the Island. Firstly, The Director is responsible for all Social Care across the Island..not just children. Adult social care is under his remit, for example.
      Care Managers have been cut in their numbers. There is a backlog of (re)assessments to be undertaken in social care and not enough staff to do them. The IOW Council is currently, or recently, advertising for and employing ‘agency’ staff social workers on interim 6 month contracts (according to their adverts)to deal with this problem.
      I believe the problem stems from cuts being made too far and too fast and we have now lost vast experience in those social workers who have gone. Replacing numbers is one thing (we won’t anyway) but the experience lost is irreplaceable. The system put into place also makes more use of ‘admin’ type staff (initial telephone assessments) and duty teams who know very little about individuals receiving social care simply because we once had dedicated care management teams that had ‘caseloads’ and knew their *clients* inside out.
      For the professional providers of care on the Island, contact with social care managers can be very, very difficult at times making care provision problems difficult to manage.
      As a general comment, the message sent out by allowing Hampshire so much control over our Island social care is that we have failed and that we cannot manage the service. I believe we can and should manage the service on the Island.
      There are also *hidden* cuts to adult social care that are not being shown up and are being hidden within an overall budget (which is quite probably underspending as well…)
      In the year ended December 2011, for example, £3M was taken in spend from front line Adult social care (the budget was around £7.8M at the time)an enormous reduction of about 40%. Meanwhile, claims of the overall Social Care budget (but not spend!) rising year on year completely mask this action. You may make your own conclusion about where the problem starts and where it ends…..

      Phil Jordan
      Independent Candidate for Ryde North West

      • Care managers were not just cut, from what I hear they were discontented with the leadership, having to re-apply for their own jobs, essential car users taken away, being taken down a scale because even though they had been doing the job for years they were deemed unqualified. Those that did not leave in their droves still do those jobs and more, but on a lower pay scale. Sign a new contract or leave, who want’s to work under those conditions. The most experienced have gone, this is not to say those staying are not capable, just really overworked and stressed. With decisions made from above changed daily because they cannot get it right. Get the right leadership and things can be put right.

        • There are plenty of very experienced staff still there! There are fewer posts at one particular level than there used to be, so those who didn’t get or didn’t want to apply for the ‘new’, more demanding posts, had to accept a lower rate.

    • Billy Builder

      12.Apr.2013 1:00pm

      What should be realised here is that at the end of the day the Council had no choice but to outsource Children’s Services to Hampshire County Council, because OFSTED deemed the Isle of Wight Council under David Pugh incapable of running a satisfactory service. The Council was incapable of running the Children’s Services as a direct result of restructuring/reorganisation decisions made by David Pugh on the recommendation of Steve Beynon and Ian Anderson over the last few years.

      This Council has chosen to put Party dogma before the statutory duties

  8. aggrieved worker

    13.Apr.2013 2:31pm

    @tryme, I think that WW has already made the point that many vulnerable adults are not waiting for an ‘initial’ assessment, but are waiting for re-assessment.
    As a care worker, I can confirm that I know of hundreds, possibly thousands of vulnerable adults who have not had any sort of review for 2 or 3 years.
    An annual review is a legal requirement and so the local authority is clearly breaching their contract with social care providers, but there is nothing they can do about it. If they complain, the local authority can threaten to move the vulnerable adult to another provider. This means that many vulnerable adults don’t see a care manager from one year to the next and therefore have no opportunity to express concerns or even safeguarding alerts.
    This really demonstrates the lack of care and dignity afforded to older people and those with a learning disability on the Island by the local authority.
    They expect care providers to jump over hoops to demonstrate complaince with their standards, yet can’t manage the one thing that they are responsible for – what a cock up and not something thats happened overnight. This has been occurring for years.

    • Aggrieved worker, I have met that point about re-assessment (or any kind of assessment) in my previous post.

      As you are a care worker, I take it you are not what WW called a ‘care manager’ in IWC, so we have different perspectives. You won’t necessarily know that a ‘review’ has been undertaken by IWC, for example.

      As you are as unhappy as you say, I hope you have routinely been taking matters further, from your provider’s perspective.

      • wightywight

        14.Apr.2013 12:37am

        Are you suggesting that a *professional* (let’s call it a care manager since that is the term most likely to be used by each and every one of the domcare providers on this Island to describe the Social Worker assigned either directly or by duty team to a service user and for which – in the past – would have been part of their case load) does not enter up the details of a visit in the care plan situated in the service users home…?
        That further exemplifies how bad the system has become if that is so…
        I’m actually not sure here what point you are making.
        I have explained to you that there are 2,000 (re) assessments/reviews outstanding across the Isle of Wight, it has been discussed in numbers of quarters and that information is fairly well known amongst social care staff (adult care)and others, the Director is aware of it, I have discussed it (I am not going to explain to whom or where or when….) and that is the case.
        AW has also confirmed that some/many/all of her service users have not had re-assessments or reviews for longer than one year. This information actually, is widely known within each and every dom care provider, it is even discussed at certain domcare provider meetings and to be honest, right up to, and including, the Director, no one is disputing this whatsoever.
        It is also ‘part’ of the reason that agency care managers are being taken on.
        Finally, there are many things that are not correct in the care provision system, these concerns are aired at domcare provider meetings as well as directly to management. The concerns are mirrored by just about every provider individually and therefore collectively.
        Lack of (re)assessments and reviews is just part of a failing system, as is a duty team that is largely unavailable on the telephone for long periods (mornings currently), as is waiting for purchase orders for months after a care package has commenced, or agreement to put in extra care for palliative care needs in the final day(s)/hour(s).
        …but I think perhaps we are getting too far into this which will be of little interest to the casual reader and might be better aired in a *professional forum*….say ‘Community Care’?
        Rest assured there are serious problems that have developed since the present Director arrived (from the mainland…hey ho)since tendering ceased and a Framework agreement was imposed with imposed rates, since the arbitrarily decided raising of the threshold was made – and subsequently challenged and lost at Judicial Review – Councillors claiming they had no knowledge of the action, 40% spend taken from Adult social care, care management decimated and more…
        AW sees one perspective but that perspective is a reflection of how things actually are across the Island.
        I’ll add not maintaining the care plan by a visiting care manager or informing the exisiting care provider, either before or after the visit, to the list of failings…


        • WW, reviews and (re)assessments look the same: the IWC practitioner visits the vulnerable person, who may be with their family /friend. (I am talking of work with older people here). The care agency has a folder of their own there, in which their staff keep notes of each ‘hands-on’ call they do, as well as the details that underpin the practicalities of their calls.

          The IWC practitioner does not make a note in the agency’s folder when they visit and talk with the vulnerable person – if the agency is carrying out the work as contracted, and the hands-on aspect is going well, as established by the IWC worker’s t/calls to the agency and the agency’s to the worker,and the older person’s own views, it would not be appropriate to leave notes in the agency’s folder. Apart from not wanting to leave details of confidential discussion lying around, the IWC worker is not answerable to the private agency as an employee would be, they don’t clock in and out with them.

          Often there are joint meetings between IWC worker and care agency staff, which may include the vulnerable person/ family, and there is a lot of communication on the phone. The relationship of IWC worker and agency commonly goes very well and productively.

          When you refer to ‘some/many/all’, it is indicative that there is a lot of feeling in what you say, which brooks no disagreement, but shows how there is uncertainty as to the basis of some of it: not surprisingly, and there would need to be some face to face discussion to get us further on, and I sense that even then we might not come to an understanding.

          There is no duty system that is afternoons only.

          I too have explained to you my response to the figure you put on outstanding work.

          I stand by my earlier posts.

          Where we agree is that more staff are needed, as those who are there are under constant pressure: thank goodness they are nevertheless totally committed to the people they serve, and are prepared to carry on at the expense of their own ‘health and wellbeing’, very often.

          • wightywight

            14.Apr.2013 11:42am

            …as I said, this is getting into detail and specifics outside the general interest of a forum such as this.
            It’s clear we both work in this field so have an understanding and depth somewhat more detailed than most.
            I think however, AW will also express how it *actually* is…
            This very aspect of not being able to contact anyone was discussed at some length this week….. by numbers of domcare providers and Council staff….
            who still are unable to understand it is happening!
            Purchase orders (not provided after telephone instruction to put care into place)going back to November 2012 are another sign of the inept and mismanaged care provision. Numbers of domcare providers have been told “not to contact Duty” in the mornings.
            As I said, I’m going no further with this..I work (along with AW it appears) in this field and am very much aware and involved in what is happening…
            This great chasm is very easily identified at domcare provider meetings…


  9. Aggrieved worker

    14.Apr.2013 11:28am

    Well the provider managers that I have spoken to do not speak regularly with care managers on the phone as the care managers either don,t ring back, or you can,t get hold of them in the first place. Many providers have been told only to contact care managers in ‘crisis’ situations, so in effect, they are working in ‘crisis management mode’ at the moment. This will only make problems worse as more and more vulnerable adults with ‘ significant needs’ will quickly move up into the crisis bracket without the necessary support. Many of the best care managers have gone and yes, there are a few good ones left, but the are also ones that are so demorilised and broken down by the failing system that they really don’t give a damn.
    I’ve also yet to see a situation where the relationship between IOW council worker and provider is working well?? Not from where I’m sitting it doesn’t.

    • wightywight

      14.Apr.2013 11:54am


      You’re right of course. Instructions not to contact Duty in the mornings has been conveyed to domcare providers. The care mnanagers don’t call back because they are crushed under by workload. In addition, they have no real and/or personal idea (in most/many/all!) of the cases about the service user you wish to discuss….if and when they do “call back”
      All of this is well known around domcare on the Island and has been told to senior (Council) management countless times over a very long time.
      We are using Agency staff as care management on 6 month short term contratcs….it brings nothing to the service whatsoever…it is crisis management brought about by an ideological approach to social care on the Island and by cutting too much, too far, too fast and too quickly. There is one person above all responsible for this and he pulled the ladder up very swiftly when the Deputy Director for childrens social care was forced onto her sword.
      On May 2nd we need to start the changes and then we need for that new administration to deal with this senior management role that is not fit for the purpose. I’m encouraged they will.


      • I think you are unjustly denigrating IWC staff WW, and I think it unintentionally revealing that you are content not to make a distinction between ‘most/many/all’.

        You will find there are reasonable alternative responses to many of the things to which you and AW refer in belligerent and alarmist terms.

        The fluster of strong feeling on an unspecified or disputed basis isn’t enough to sensibly progress this discussion here,( on either of our parts), we can agree on that.

        • wightywight

          14.Apr.2013 2:09pm


          Sorry to appear to want to have the last word…that’s not the case! Happy for you to respond..but..I must assure you I am not in ANY way denigrating IWC staff. At all or whatsoever. I am, however, accusing senior Management (so, if we wish to be ‘pedantic, also IWC staff) of mis-managing Adult Social Care provision on this Island. In many, many ways.
          I must also assume (since Councillor Pugh and Mazillius claimed that there was a year on year increase in social care budget) that there is an underspend on budget since the cuts are plainly obvious to each and every person involved in Social Care (..and many service users) and no doubt will bear witness to.



    • We are certainly at variance, AW. I am sorry that in discussion about this that either of us should make offensive aspersions about staff on either ‘side’, (a pity I feel the need to characterise it that way here, when both ‘sides’ have their roles to play in concert).

      Certainly IWC social care staff are overworked, but they give plenty of ‘damns’ I can assure you, (though any employee of any organisation will say all sorts of things on occasion, sometimes just to seem sociable, or just to end one conversation and carry on with something else, but not intending to give a considered or even-handed opinion).

      I tend to feel as WW on this, that there is nothing to be gained by going further with this here.

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