Wigan family centre praised for improvements

Changes have been made at a residential family centre in the borough after concerns were raised earlier this year.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 4:55 am

Ofsted received three complaints about Foundations Wigan, a centre in Hindley which accommodates up to six families for assessments to help local authorities and courts make decisions about the welfare of children.

There were allegations beds were infested with insects, staff were working long shifts without sufficient breaks and the manager was not always available when on-call.

Inspectors visited the home and issued two compliance notices, which included making sure there were enough staff and that incidents of serious staff misconduct were referred to the designated officer.

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Ofsted found changes had been made

Ofsted has since returned to the home to check on its progress and found changes had been made.

The home’s manager has left and management arrangements have been “strengthened”, with a “strong” deputy manager in post and support from other managers.

Changes have been made to the leadership culture, with managers working care shifts to get to know staff and residents, and employees and families describing managers as “approachable”.

There were now “numerous” ways in which residents and staff were asked for their views, with residents saying they were happy with the changes made and staff morale improving.

The on-call system for staff to access support from management now worked “effectively” and recording sheets were used to show “clear lines of accountability and an audit trail”.

Several new members of staff had been appointed, easing pressure on those working extra shifts and long hours, and recruitment was ongoing.

Social care inspector Charlie Bamber said: “Consistency of staffing has improved as a result of the recruitment of additional staff.

“There is less reliance on ‘borrowing’ staff from other settings. Residents said they were familiar with all staff members now and had already developed positive relationships with the new staff.

“Residents felt that there were sufficient staff to meet their needs.”

Ofsted reported that both compliance notices had been met. The inspector recommended staff should complete a written family placement plan, which details the objectives and intended outcomes of the placement and other details.

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