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Local care services need improving

2nd December 2005

Improvements must be made to the provision of care services by local councils, following the release of star ratings.

The ratings show that although some authorities have increased their standards, there are a worrying number who have shown no improvements.

Carried out by the Commission for Social Care, the review found that many local councils are underperforming and as such had their star ratings reduced, leading to concerns over national standards.

Vulnerable people reliant on the service are most at risk, according to the review, with elderly people and unpaid carers not receiving adequate support.

However, despite the concerns over the 15 authorities that were forced to reduce their ratings, the inspection also praised those that had been successful in achieving their aims.

Care services minister Liam Byrne commented that "more councils than ever before are performing well", while Julie Jones, president of the Association of Directors of Social Services, said that authorities were doing their best with the money they have.

"Despite the continuing, widely-acknowledged under-funding of our services and the growing demands from the growing numbers of elderly and disabled people, we remain encouraged by the inspectorate's report, " Ms Jones added.