Another difficult week for Members in Napo Cymru

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This week saw the publication of another HMIP inspection report in Wales, this one of Gwent PDU. HMIP assessed the PDU as ‘requiring improvement’. The Inspectorate picked up on issues relating to casework and the assessment and management of the risk of harm as well as service delivery issues mainly linked to the pandemic and unification (which in Wales happened in two stages with case management unified in December 2019 and other work alongside the rest of the CRCs in June 2021).

Members in Napo Cymru branch are devastated and frustrated at the outcome of this inspection. They are dedicated staff who have worked heroically through all adversity from TR through the collapse of the CRC contract in their area to being the first stage in unification through the pandemic and now through the final stage of unification of the service. These staff have persevered despite excessive workloads, lack of staff, massive organisational change and the pandemic posing a significant risk to their health and safety.

This at least has been recognised and Justin Russell, HM Chief Inspector of Probation said this in his foreword:

“The impact of the rate and scale of change the service has had to navigate should not be underestimated. Managing unification or the Covid-19 pandemic alone would have been challenging. The 24 months preceding the inspection were unprecedented and we commend staff at all levels who have, in the face of adversity, kept delivering this critical public service.”

Napo Officials and Officers have offered support to the branch and will continue to work with branch reps and activists to ensure that the response to this inspection by HMPPS is to support and listen to members to find solutions to the problems rather than place blame and create additional pressures on staff.

Napo Contacts – Tania Bassett and Carole Doherty