HMIP and PAC reports - it's time for the government to act.

How timely, just ahead of our AGM, come two damning reports. The first by HMI Probation into the performance of private provider RRP in Derbyshire and the second, from the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee into what they describe as the failure of Transforming Rehabilitation.

No surprise to us of course, and they are not the first or the last of their kind that have appeared,  as the impact of Graylings ill-considered social experiment becomes increasingly clearer. The links to both reports appear below and as you would expect we issued media releases as soon as we picked up on the Press Association alerts.

At the time of writing we have had BBC Radio 4 showing interest on the back of our ongoing work with them about the public safety issues that they are chasing down in a number of CR's. As you will appreciate this is a delicate issue given the propensity of the media to sensationalise incidents involving serious harm or death and the need for us to do all that we can to raise serious questions around public protection.

Probation union Napo responds to HMIP report on Derbyshire probation services

Public Accounts Committee report echoes probation union 's concerns on the failures of Transforming Rehabilitation

Over and above the various issues contained in the two reports comes a looming crisis over funding and the financial viability of some CRC providers who have seen major reductions in the WAV (Weighted Annualised Volumes) for the caseloads that they hold.

The obvious conclusion is that there is a reduction in the numbers of CRC service users but actually its more complicated than that, with growing evidence of a rise in higher risk cases (especially sexually related offences) that need to remain in the NPS, and reductions in the activities required of the CRCs in respect of the clients on their books. Throw in the complexities of the less than transparent payment by results formula, and the reasonable gripes of many CRC owners that they purchased a bit of a dud at share sale, then we have a growing crisis that requires high level intervention. Hopefully we will get a bit more by way of a reaction from the Ministry than the: 'its still early days' mantra.

We have a crisis and its time to take remedial action now.

Top judge sounds alarm bell over care cases

This is a really interesting blog by the President of the Family Courts Sir James Munby. I am sure the subject matter will feature in the debates at next weeks Family Court Section General Meeting in Cardiff and the professional session the following day. We will be contacting Sir James to enquire if he would be willing to have an article published in Napo Quarterly.

Care Cases -- The Looming Crisis

Napo demands clarity over AP Issues

Napo and Unison met with the employers this week to discuss some of the issues that have been raised by our AP members over the E3 implementation plans for Approved Premises. It was a useful meeting which,  as always,  resulted in many more issues being identified. We did secure an agreement that a Q&A document will be issued by NOMS, most likely next week, to give members answers to the majority of the issues you have raised. We will obviously be having ongoing discussions with the employers on these issues so do continue to feed any concerns and queries in via your local branch.

In the meantime we are aware that some members will be attending their 1:1 meetings and this is obviously a cause of some anxiety when queries and questions remain unanswered. Despite our requests for this part of the process to be paused until the requested information can be provided the employers have decided that they cannot delay the implementation in any way. It might be their call but we think its a mistake.

For that reason we have issued  the following advice to members attending 1:1 meetings with their line manager.

  • Prepare any questions or queries you have in advance and ask your manager to note at the end of the meeting any that remain unanswered with a description of how the answers will be sought and a plan for a further meeting once answers are available.
  • Ask your line manager to make a note that any decisions made during the meeting are subject to change if new information comes to light later.
  • Make sure you ask which roles you have been matched to, if you do not agree there is an appeal process attached to the pro-forma for the meetings.
  • If you are not happy with anything that happens in the meeting seek advice from your local branch rep in the first instance.
  • For members wishing to change the number of hours they work (for example from part time to full time or vice versa), you can do this at the same time as the E3 1:1 process, using the relevant form from My Services. Your line manager should be able to help you find this.

We will issue further more detailed advice on this and E3 related matters as soon as we can.

Looking forward to AGM!

This is certainly looking like its going to be an action packed gathering with some serious issues to be debated such as NNC Reform , our future professional strategy, and the many issues being faced by our members across all the employers that we cover.

I hope to see even more late registrations to boost the numbers even further, and I look forward to welcoming everyone and especially new members and first time AGM attendees to Cardiff.

Blog type: 
General Secretary's Blog