COUNCILLORS pushed the cabinet for an apology during a debate on a recent inspection report on Powys County Council's Adult Services, but were told that "all" Councillors should take responsibility.

On Tuesday, May 7, the full council met to approve recommendations that respond to the report by the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) that was published earlier this month.

While not as damning as the report into Children's Services, the report into Adult Services noted several aspects of concern.

The report found evidence that there was an "unacceptable backlog of safeguarding work at screening and enquiry stages."

Some people received good care and support but this was "not consistent."

Some people faced significant delays in being assessed for care and support and in receiving a service.

But there were some positives as well as the CIW highlighted that: "There was good co-operation between frontline health and social care staff and a range of voluntary sector and community groups."

"Urgent safeguarding referrals were dealt with swiftly and effectively."

And the inspectors noted the commitment of staff who have shown professionalism whilst coping with many changes and depleted resources.

New Director of Social Services Alison Bullman gave a presentation to the members on how work to improve the service will be carried out and stressed that there was "No" direct intervention by the Welsh Government in Adult Services.

Council leader Cllr Rosemarie Harris explained that lessons had been learnt from the critical children's services report in October last year, and knowing that an inspection or adult services was due to take place in January.

"Most of the issues identified in Children's Services were picked up in Adult Services and work was well underway by the time the inspectors got here.

"We have had a lot of help, the report is about the authority as much as the service," said Cllr Harris.

Cllr Huw Williams said: "I really want you to succeed. I want Adult Services and Children's Services to be the best."

"I feel guilty that I did not challenge the previous cabinet, but I didn't have the guts to do so."

"Many parts of the report are critical, just because we had a worse one in Children's Services, don't misunderstand me, it's bad.

"There's form in this council, two that were in the (old) cabinet are still there.

"They need to apologise."

"It's our job to scrutinise and challenge, I'm ashamed I did'nt not do it in the past but I'm doing it now."

Cabinet Member for Adult Services, Cllr Stephen Hayes, said: "I am perfectly willing to apologise that people have not had the speed of care or transition through the service.

"It's up to the portfolio holder to influence the thrust of both reports but it's the responsibility of all members.

Liberal Democrat Group leader, Cllr James Gibson-Watt, felt that reading the report was like "Groundhog Day" and that issues that were being discussed were known problems 10 years ago, such as workforce development, failure in the call centres and had still "not been put right."

Cllr Gibson-Watt said: "Members are right to be sceptical.

"I welcome the improvement but there's a long way to go.

Plaid Cymru - Green Group Leader, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, said that he had a great interest in the call centre, Powys People Direct having worked at starting call centres for S4C and Traveline Wales.

Cllr Vaughan said: "I look at the statistics and 43 per cent of calls were dropped in December, that's hellish.

"If this were a private company it would have lost the contract."

He believed that there was a need to bring all the different call lines used by Powys CC together into a"one stop shop" bilingual call centre to deal with callers across all services,

Cllr Vaughan also expressed concern at how mental health issues were dealt with especially where people transitioned from the Children Services age bracket to Adult Services and worried that they fell between "two stools" reminding members that suicide is the biggest killer in the under 45s age range.

Members voted in favour of four recommendations to note the report and address the inspectorate's concerns and all councillors will get to scrutinise the work.