BBC Radio Wales Interview - January 8th 2010 - Social Service Provision During Extreme Weather Conditions
Neelam Bhardwaja, President, ADSS Cymru
Responding to the question of how do social services continue in extreme winter weather conditions, Neelam Bhardwaja, President, ADSS Cymru said:
"Local authorities have contingency plans in place to deal with situations such as extreme weather conditions and local authorities are implementing these plans currently across the country.
"Local authorities are particularly conscious of ensuring the most vulnerable people in the community continue to receive services, particularly older people and people with learning disabilities. Local authorities also prioritise those people who don't have other networks to rely on and are isolated.
"During the current period of winter weather, local authorities have managed to ensure those most vulnerable have received the services they need. Importantly local authority services have pulled together to help this process. For example, if a day centre needs to be kept open to ensure the provision of meals on wheels or support service users, the Highways Department has worked closely with social services to ensure the surrounding road network is kept accessible. 4 x 4 vehicles have also been used to reach the most vulnerable, and these vehicles have helped retain the meals on wheels service across the country.
"The dedication and hard work of staff can also not be overlooked. Staff have worked incredibly hard to reach those most isolated, and in some cases going beyond the call of duty to ensure the health and safety of service users".