It’s sometimes said that external reviewers are like buses; they all turn up at the same time. And the challenge to the Inspection Wales partners, as the four principal external review bodies in Wales, is to demonstrably work together effectively to plan and deliver our work. Such collaboration is essential to make the most of our respective, limited, resources, and to add most value to public bodies being reviewed and the people of Wales.
We’ve now published a review of the progress [opens in new window] we’ve made in delivering our programme, an initiative to improve cooperation and collaboration between the four external review bodies in Wales.
The examples and case studies described within the paper demonstrate the extent to which the four review bodies are already planning and delivering work jointly, and show how, to again paraphrase another commonly used phrase, four heads are better than one.
The paper identifies long standing arrangements for collaboration, such as healthcare summits and quarterly meetings between the Heads of Inspection. It also outlines a recent new initiative from Estyn [opens in new window] and refinements to existing practices by CSSIW [opens in new window] which further demonstrate the commitment to information sharing by Inspection Wales partners. It provides details of joint working, particularly, but not exclusively, in the areas of education and health. For example, joint reviews by Estyn and the Wales Audit Office [opens in new window] of the four regional consortia for education improvement and joint reviews by HIW [opens in new window] and CSSIW of learning disabilities and Deprivation of Liberty safeguards.
Next steps for Inspection Wales
Over the next 18 months, Inspection Wales will further progress its first joint national thematic review on the topic of services for young people. Working across their respective remits in this way will enable Inspection Wales partners to take a more comprehensive look at the services provided to young people by different public bodies and report more holistically on young people’s experiences of services.
There will be a further blog in the near future about the joint work Inspection Wales partners are doing on youth services in Wales. There will also be a further blog about the forthcoming joint HIW and Wales Audit Office review of governance at Betsi Cadwalder University Health Board.
Inspection Wales partners will also continue to engage with the Welsh Government as it develops its plans for local government reform, as set out in the January 2017 White Paper on local government reform.
About the author
Dr Emma Giles took over as Inspection Wales Programme Manager in March 2017. Prior to this, Emma was a performance audit lead with the Wales Audit Office.
Emma is an outdoor enthusiast who likes mountain biking and walking.
Her PhD in Criminology looked at how offenders and criminal justice staff understood fairness, and what these differing perceptions of fairness meant for relationships between staff and offenders.