WIRRAL'S adult social services has been rated among the worst in the country, according to a national report.

The Care Quality Commission scored the borough as "poor" for giving adults with a learning disability more choice and control - the only council in England to be given this low mark.

Wirral was also one of just three local authorities to be rated as "poor" in safeguarding adults' privacy and dignity.

However, the CQC said the department was performing "adequately" in offering support to those living with a learning disability.

Adult Social Services director John Webb opted for early retirement last month.

His replacement Howard Cooper, who is interim director of the department, said today that he has held talks with the Commission to set out an improvement plan and is confident changes will be made.

He said: “We take these findings very seriously and have been in discussion with the Care Quality Commission since they reached their judgement.

"We have prepared a detailed improvement plan which has been approved by both the Commission and the Department of Health.

“We are making rapid progress on implementing this plan and I am monitoring it very closely through fortnightly meetings with cabinet members and the chief executive.”

Overall, Wirral was rated as "adequate", while Liverpool City Council celebrated an "excellent" mark.

No councils were scored as "poor" on the whole.

Cllr Bob Moon, cabinet member for social care and inclusion, said: “As part of the improvement plan, we have extended the use of Personal Budgets across the borough to give people much more control and choice over the support they receive.

"We will also use the most modern technology to help people to live fulfilled and independent lives in safety and are currently developing a broader range of services for people to choose from.

“The results of this assessment are not satisfactory and do not reflect the standard of service that we want to deliver to Wirral residents.

"Our recent budget consultation showed that people broadly support the idea of the council working more closely with the private and voluntary sectors.

"Evidence from other authorities shows that this approach could make a real difference to the standards of care we provide and further discussions are scheduled on how we take this forward.”