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AYRSHIRE WIDE SOCIAL WORK OUT OF HOURS RESPONSE issue number one

Introduction

Where are we now?

An Ayrshire Wide Social Work Out of Hours Response Service will be established and operational by 1st April 2012. East, North, and South Ayrshire Councils are working in partnership to deliver this important and innovative joint service.

The initial model of the service will be one project manager with two senior practitioners on shift covering hours that usual social work offices are not open. In addition there will be a bank of experienced staff identified who can be called upon to support the established team.

In the next few months we want to make sure everyone who needs to know about the service is well informed. In order to keep everyone advised on developments we will provide regular newsletters as updates.

Why move to an Ayrshire wide service? We are all aware that an increased focus of social work practice is towards early intervention and preventative services. An exercise was started during 2010 to look at how our current arrangements through the West of Scotland Standby Service supported this in terms of outcomes, service quality and resource use. As part of this process the number of referrals and responses by the West of Scotland Standby Services were reviewed, including how many times social workers actually visited service users within Ayrshire. This was considered along with what each council paid for the service. We also considered alternative delivery models and on behalf of the partnership officers from East Ayrshire Council visited other Out of Hours Social Work Services in Scotland and the conclusion of this work resulted in Chief Officers and politicians from all three Ayrshire Councils agreeing to establish a local response service.

MHO cover will be provided by a pool of staff paid to respond to out of hours situations. The Social Work Out of Hours Response Service will be subject to regular review in order to quantify levels of activity at key times and adapt staffing arrangements as required. The Project Manager has now been appointed – Linda Dickinson and has been in post since October. A core group of Senior Practitioners have been recruited and we are now looking to enhance this particularly in relation to the Sessional pool of workers. It is anticipated this will be an excellent professional development opportunity for all staff, being able to operate autonomously in a generic response team.

What next? Details of staffing and human resource implications are now being finalised and the arrangements for co-location of the team base with NHS staff at Crosshouse Hospital concluded. A programme of direct contact with all stakeholders including NHS and police colleagues, other out of hours social care provision and ultimately the public of East Ayrshire will be progressed to ensure there is absolute clarity with respect to protocol and access arrangements. The recruitment of the team will also be finalised.

Linda Dickinson Project Manager | 01563 503364 | linda.dickinson@east-ayrshire.gov.uk SOUTH AYRSHIRE Lesley James Acting Manager Children & Families Debbie Stewart Co-ordinator Adult Services

01292 614321 01292 612090

NORTH AYRSHIRE David MacRitchie Senior Manager Mary Francey Senior Manager

01294 317781 01294 317761

EAST AYRSHIRE Alison Findlay Senior Manager Celia Gray Senior Manager

01563 503356 01563 503358


Out of Hours