Adult Social Services Restructure

“To agree or not agree, that is the question…”

The bulk of the role profiles have been agreed. There are a couple of outstanding questions:


1)                 Should OTs (Occupational Therapists) accept that part of their role is to carry out some tasks completed by social workers?


2)                 Should social workers accept that part of their role is to carry out some tasks completed by OTs? Should we accept the notion of “trusted assessor” on our role profile?


I believe there is a consensus amongst most staff (if not all) and management we want residents in the Borough to have a service which causes the least headache for them in terms of waiting and jumping through hoops. I believe there is consensus amongst most staff and management we want service users to be safe in the delivery of that service and for staff to feel safe and confident in the assessments they have made. The question is about how to deliver on these positions. We will be having a meeting for those staff affected by the question of trusted assessor 10.2.09 10am-12pm in Barnet House to finalise our UNISON position.


3)                 Should Administrators accept onto their role profile they should take minutes of Adult Protection case conferences.


Our current administrators in Adult Social Services are paid low wages for an important job of keeping us from completely grinding to a halt with the volume of administration necessary to our roles. Adult Protection cases are notorious for producing rain forests of documentation. From a social worker point of view it would be fantastic if some of the burden of this administration could be done by someone else allowing the social worker to concentrate solely on the investigation. However, our UNISON members on the administration side of things have indicated they would not be happy to carry out this new task – with or without the training and the pay. An issue they find difficult to deal with is the emotional trauma of listening to the sometimes graphic detail divulged in some of these meetings. It’s a fair point. Management was going to consider this and propose a way forward. We believe the best way forward would be to have a dedicated team which would deal with this administration. We will keep our members updated on any developments.


Dignity at Work and the DDA


UNISON and management are working together on statements to encourage employees with a disability to come forward and inform the employer on the adjustments they need to continue carrying out their work. This is to make sure no one has to face any indignities for the lack of adequate planning following a move into a new structure. We will be putting out more info on this in due course.


Drive My Car?


Finally I have requested a statement from management/ HR regarding essential car user allowance. Some of you have pointed out this is missing from the new role profiles and are worried about what this means. I have been verbally reassured there is nothing sinister in this, although the car allowance for team managers is falling under intense scrutiny. I await the written response with bated breath.