An SSI report picks out a number of concerns about the service, including a 'service provider mindset' and a 'very strained relationship' with profit-making independent sector providers.
It says the department takes longer to approve funding for private sector care than for council-provided care. It found services did not promote independence sufficiently.
But the service is cost-effective and financial management systems are 'sophisticated and robust'. There is clear publicity about how to use services. Some innovative multi-disciplinary initiatives are 'at the leading edge of national development'.