A report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was recently published with Lib Dem-run Sutton Council failing 2 of the 6 criteria. Safeguarding was rated as needing improvement and leadership was considered inadequate.
I join with my Sutton Conservatives colleagues in acknowledging and thanking the hard work of many people who work tirelessly providing health care in Sutton. Ultimately this report does not reflect on them but on the Liberal Democrat Councillors who are responsible for this service. However, it appears that no lessons have been learnt from when the Liberal Democrat administration failed an OFSTED report for Special Education Needs and Disability services in 2018. As we can now see, the same portfolio area has failed yet another inspection.
The report identifies that:
There was recognition at a senior level that stronger leadership was needed in the service with more focus on quality of both practice and delivery of the service.
The report was also highly critical of safeguarding in Sutton. It highlighted that:
At the time of the inspection, only 6 of 20 staff listed on the services staff training record had completed safeguarding vulnerable adults training. Managers in the service had not completed any safeguarding training.
I agree with Sutton Conservatives and fail to see how the Chair of the People Committee, Cllr James, along with the 2 Deputy Chairs, Cllr Batt and Cllr Joyce, can remain in their position. The entire portfolio is in dire need of leadership and it is clear this is something the present councillors in charge are unable to provide.
We’re once again witnessing the most vulnerable in our society being let down by the Liberal Democrats in Sutton. Sutton not passing this inspection needs immediate and decisive action. We have gone from being rated as “Exceptional” in leadership to being rated as “Inadequate” in the space of 5 years.
A fresh approach is desperately needed and I call on the Lib Dem councillors who have presided over this failure to do the right thing, take responsibility for this failed service and step down as they have consistently shown that they are not up to the job.
Conservative Group Leader on Sutton Council, Cllr Tom Drummond commented:
It is hugely regrettable that Sutton has failed this inspection and that those in our community who are most vulnerable are being let down. This is yet another example of a council that has become complacent, a council that prefers pet projects rather than focuses on the core services that every resident in this borough deserves. It seems clear that a fresh approach is needed and come May 2022 I know that the Sutton Conservatives are ready and waiting to give the residents of Sutton what they expect from a competent Council.