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HEALTHY LIVING AND SOCIAL CARE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 10th July, 2017.

 

Present:  Councillor Ms. B.E. Brooks (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. K.F. McCaffer (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. J. Aviet, G.D.D. Carroll, Mrs. C.A. Cave, S.T. Edwards, K.P. Mahoney and N.C. Thomas

 

 

121     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillors Mrs. R. Nugent-Finn and Mrs. M. Wright.

 

 

122     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

123     MINUTES –

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12th June, 2017 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

124     CLOSURE OF ACCOUNTS 2016/17 (DSS) –

 

The Operational Manager – Accountancy presented the report, the purpose of which was to inform the Scrutiny Committee of the provisional financial position for the 2016/17 financial year.

 

The Operational Manager stated that Appendix 1 provided details on amendments to the revised budget which took account of the following adjustments: 

  • IAS 19 Retirement Benefits – The purpose of this Standard was to ensure that the operating costs of providing retirement benefits to employees were recognised in the accounting period in which they were earned by the employees.  Figures provided by the actuary differed from that estimated and the movements needed to be incorporated into the accounts
  • Asset Rents – This charge could vary each year due to an increase / decrease in the valuation of assets.  The movements needed to be incorporated into the accounts
  • Carbon Reduction Commitment Scheme – The scheme required the Authority to report on carbon dioxide emissions associated with the use of electricity and gas within its buildings.  Payment was then made to the Environment Agency to cover the charge in respect of those emissions. 

The Committee was advised that the overall budget position was a net adverse variance of £5,000 when compared to the provision actual budget. 

 

With regard to Children and Young People Services, the Operational Manager stated that this budget had a favourable variance of £10,000 at the end of year.  There had been a number of favourable variances during the year totalling £720,000.  The Joint Budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children was held in Social Services and was set up with a 90% contribution from Social Services and 10% from Education.  At year end, there was a favourable variance of £236,000 relating to Social Services after a transfer of 10% to Education.  In addition, a new agile working pilot had been undertaken which was to be implemented with new ICT tablets, however the equipment was not able to be delivered prior to the end of the financial year and therefore there was an underspend of £63,000.  Other favourable variances were reported for Adoption fees and through maximising grant income and by achieving alternative means of provision and accommodation costs required for the current cohort of Looked After Children. 

 

In terms of Adult Services, the Committee was advised that at year end this had shown a favourable variance of £11,000.  An adverse variance of £196,000 related to community care packages was reported, which included £254,000 for the over-recovery of income received under the Deferred Payment Scheme. 

 

There had also been a number of favourable variances during the year totalling £1.097m.  There were favourable variances of £398,000 on staffing and £139,000 on supplies and services.  There was an over-recovery of income in Customer Receipts resulting in a favourable variance of £61,000, mainly due to self-funding clients in Council run residential homes.  Additional grant income was received of £429,000, some of which was awarded late in the financial year. 

 

For Resource Management and Safeguarding, the end of year budget showed a favourable variance of £13,000.  The majority of this budget was recharged to Children’s and Adult Services.  The position before recharges to services was a favourable variance of £117,000.  £80,000 had been achieved through maximising grant income, £22,000 related to transport, £6,000 related to staffing and £9,000 related to supplies and services.  The favourable variance had meant that there had been a reduced internal charge to Children’s and Adult Services of £104,000.

 

As planned as part of the Social Services Budget Programme, £970,000 was utilised in year from the Social Services Plan reserve.  £1.6m had been transferred in year into Social Services reserves.  In recognition of the ongoing pressures on the service from legislative changes, £1.45m had been transferred into the Social Service Legislative Changes Fund of which £50,000 had been allocated to cover Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) issues.  In addition, funding had been set aside in the Social Services Development Fund, £87,000 to provide funding for the implementation of the Welsh Community Care Information System (WCCIS) system and £63,000 to cover the purchase of IT for the Children’s Service agile working.

 

For Leisure, there was an overall adverse variance of £39,000.

 

Grounds Maintenance had an adverse variance overall of £29,000.  This was made up of adverse variances on staffing of £27,000 and other small adverse variances on internal charges to grounds maintenance totalled £10,000.  Transport had an adverse variance of £43,000 however the majority of this was due to the one off purchase cost of vehicles that had reached the end of their lease term.  It was anticipated that these purchases would reduce vehicle costs in 2017/18 thus contributing towards the savings target required.  There was a favourable variance of £51,000, with Premises costs having a favourable variance of £23,000 due to a reduction in spend on repair costs and £28,000 related to income due to carrying out additional work for other departments.

 

Leisure Services had an adverse variance of £10,000.  This was made up of an adverse variance of £40,000.  There was an adverse variance of £5,000, mainly due to spend required on St. Paul’s Church and the supplies and services budgets had a small adverse variance of £5,000.  There was a reduced requirement to draw down £30,000 funding from the Visible Services reserve for additional play schemes and the funding would be used in 2017/18.  Within the leisure and play section there was a favourable variance of £30,000 on employee costs.

 

£170,000 of the Visible Services reserve was used for planned improvements to play areas and £15,000 of the Council Building Fund had been used for works to Leisure Centres.

 

In terms of capital expenditure, attached at Appendix 2 to the report was a breakdown of 2016/17 Capital Programme by scheme.  The overall outturn was a variance of £491,000.  Slippage of £493,000 had been requested.  In addition, a slippage of £229,000 had been requested for the refurbishment of Leisure Centres. 

 

Attached at Appendix 3 was a schedule showing the Committee’s reserves as at 31st March, 2017. 

 

As part of the Final Revenue Budget Proposals for 2016/17, savings targets were set for this Committee. Progress on the achievement of these savings had been reported during the previous year, with Appendix 4 confirming the final status of these savings at the end of 2016/17.  In total, the services had been able to find savings to the value of £902,000 which was 74% of the required target. 

 

As a result of the capital underspend in 2016/17, Managing Director’s Emergency Powers had been used to approve slippage into 2017/18.  This would fund the completion of schemes as shown in Appendix 5 to the report.

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the provisional financial position and the financial measures taken and proposed for 2016/17 be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To make Members aware of the provisional financial position and actions that had been taken. 

 

 

125     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST MAY 2017 (DSS) –

 

The Committee was asked to consider the position in respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st May, 2017.

 

As it was very early in the financial year, the forecast for Social Services was shown as a balanced budget.  A table and graph setting out the variance between the profiled budget and actual expenditure to date and the projected position at year end were attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Children and Young People Services – The major issue concerning this service for the coming year would be the pressure on the children’s placements budget given the complexities of the children currently being supported.  Work continued to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements.  However, it should be noted that due to the potential high cost of each placement, the outturn position could fluctuate with a change in the number of Looked After Children and / or the complexity of need.  This budget would be closely monitored during the year.

 

Adult Services – The major issue concerning this service for the coming year would continue to be the pressure on the Community Care Packages budget.  This budget was extremely volatile and was influenced by legislative changes such as the National Living Wage.  At this early stage of the year, the outturn position was difficult to predict.  Final negotiations regarding fee levels had yet to be concluded with service providers.  The service also continued to be affected by the pressures of continued demographic growth and the Community Care Packages budget would have to achieve further savings this year.  The service would strive to manage growing demand and would develop savings initiatives which may be funded via regional grants.  Welsh Government had continued to provide Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) grant to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to allow collaborative working between Health and Cardiff and the Vale Councils, however the level of grant funding was not guaranteed on an ongoing basis.  Additional funding had been announced by Welsh Government recently.  The Social Care Workforce Grant which totalled £10m across Wales had provided additional funding of £371,000 to the Council.  A further £20m had also been announced by Welsh Government, however details as to the exact use and allocation to the Council had yet to be received.

 

Leisure – There were usually high costs for vehicles during the start of the Grounds Maintenance season, however, it was anticipated that this would reduce over the winter months and therefore it was currently projected that the overall budget would outturn on target.

 

Attached at Appendix 2 to the report was a full list of savings to be monitored by the Committee during 2017/18.  There was currently no savings target allocated to Leisure Services.

 

Appendix 3 to the report provided a further breakdown and an update on the individual areas of saving within the Social Services Budget Programme.  The target savings had been allocated to individual schemes.  However work was underway to ascertain the achievability of individual schemes and to identify additional / alternative savings to contribute to the Directorate's savings target in this and future years.

 

Appendix 4 detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st May, 2017.  Members were made aware that Appendix 4 included requests for unspent committed expenditure to be slipped from 2016/17 into 2017/18.  A request for this slippage had been approved by Managing Director’s Emergency Powers.

 

Flying Start Family Centre – An emergency power was approved on 3rd May, 2017 to include a new budget of £30,000 in the 2017/18 Capital Programme, to be funded from a Welsh Government Grant.  This funding would be used to carry out rewiring works at the Family Centre.

 

Social Services Asset Renewal – A delegated authority request had been approved to allocate the £100,000 Asset Renewal budget as follows:

 

Scheme

Budget £’000

91 Salisbury Road Boiler Renewal

45

Cartref Porthceri External Repairs

10

Residential Homes Internal Refurbishment

10

Fire Precaution Works

20

Southway Asbestos Removal

15

Total

100

 

Romilly Mess Room – This scheme was estimated to cost £16,000 more than anticipated due to additional drainage work.  It had therefore been requested to vire £16,000 from the Parks and Grounds Maintenance Asset Renewal budget to this scheme.

 

A Committee Member asked for clarification regarding the RAG status for budget saving projects.  In reply, the Operational Manager – Accountancy advised that Green would indicate that the saving had been achieved, Amber would mean that a plan was in place but not yet fully implemented and Red would be those projects which were the most difficult to achieve.

 

The Chairman queried the major issues associated with the budget for Children’s Placements.  In reply, the Head of Children and Young People Services stated that the report at Agenda Item No. 6 regarding the Annual Placement Review would provide greater information regarding this budget area.  The Head of Service advised that the 1st quarter for this year had been very challenging with an increase in the number of Looked After Children and the number of children with complex needs.  The budget for this area had therefore shown a projected overspend.

 

A Committee Member queried whether, within the Looked After Children placements budget, there was an element for the provision of education.  In reply, the Head of Children and Young Services referred to the joint budget between Children and Young People Services and Learning and Skills to meet the education and social care costs of residential placements

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2017/18 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the progress in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure that Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2017/18 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to this Scrutiny Committee.

 

(2)       Following consideration of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

           

126     CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE SERVICES – ANNUAL PLACEMENT REVIEW (DSS) –

 

The Head of Children and Young People Services presented the Annual Placement Review, the purpose of which was to outline actions taken during 2016/17 with regard to placement provision for looked after children.  The report also outlined priority actions for 2017/18.  For this item, the Committee also welcomed the Operational Manager whose responsibilities include placements.

 

The Head of Service began by advising that looked after children include those for whom the Local Authority shares parental responsibility under the auspices of a Court Order and those who are voluntarily accommodated with the agreement of their parents.  The Head of Service stated that the Council had seen a rise in the number of children looked after. 

 

The Committee was advised that the service had a responsibility to ensure that the needs of looked after children were met, this was the Council’s first priority.  There was also regard to managing the looked after children population within the resources available.  The Head of Service underlined the responsibility of all elected members as corporate parents.  The Head of Service stated that the key priorities were: 

  • Reducing the number of children entering care
  • To allow children a smooth transition through their care journey
  • To prevent drift
  • To enable them to be reunited with family and friends where possible
  • To have stable placements and exit the care system positively
  • To help them to achieve their potential. 

The Head of Service advised that the Council needed a diverse range of quality placements as it had been recognised that there had been an over-reliance on external placements.  She stated that for each of the past three years, the service had been required to make savings of £150,000 which was equivalent to the annual cost of one placement.  The Operational Manager was then asked to provide an overview of the annual review report which was attached at Appendix 1.

 

The Operational Manager outlined that there were a number of outside influences. 

 

The first related to children with complex needs and she advised that in common with other Local Authorities, the Vale of Glamorgan had experienced an increase in the number of children with complex needs which had resulted in rising costs and a continuing pressure on the budget.  Children and young people with challenging and complex behaviours often could not be maintained within foster placements and required admission to residential care.  Placements of this type could cost in the region of £200,000 a year.  In addition, the Operational Manager advised that there was evidence of increasing demand for support for older disabled children and young people.  Families often managed to cope with children at a younger age, but some of them found it increasingly difficult to do so when the child was older and may become more challenging or aggressive. 

 

The second external influence was the Welsh Governments “When I Am Ready” scheme which aims to promote better support by extending a young person’s transition to adulthood within a supportive family and household environment.  Young people were now able to remain with their foster carer beyond the age of 18 until their 21st birthday, or until they felt able to leave for independent living before that age.  The scheme was implemented in April 2016 and as of 31st March, 2017 the Council had 14 young people in “When I Am Ready” placements with a potential further 5 identified for this financial year.  The Committee was advised that this scheme would continue to have an impact upon the Fostering Service as children remained in placements for longer and there was a need to recruit and retain foster carers.

 

The third external influence was remand placements, which were linked to the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.  This meant that Local Authorities became responsible for the costs of young people under the age of 18 who had been remanded into Youth Offending institutions, Secure Children’s Homes and Secure Training Centres.  The costs of a remand placement were £158 per night for a Youth Offending institution, £561 per night for a Secure Children’s Home and £533 per night for a Secure Training Centre. 

 

Moving on, the Operational Manager referred to the current placement profile which showed the number and nature of placements on a quarterly basis during 2016/17.  With regard to placements with Friends and Family Foster Care (also known as Kinship Care), Members were advised there had been a significant increase in kinship care from 29 in March 2015 to 44 in March 2016, to 57 in March 2017.  These were arrangements involving the placement of a looked after child subject to an Order from the Court with family and friends, where the arrangement requires the assessment and approval of these carers as foster carers.

 

Placements with parent referred to circumstances where a looked after child subject of a Care Order was placed with one or both parents with a degree of delegation of parental responsibility for decisions about the day to day care of that child, whilst parental responsibility was shared with the Local Authority.  There had been an increase in placement with parent arrangements, from 13 in March 2015, to 24 in March 2016, to 36 in March 2017. 

 

With regard to the overall looked after children population, the Operational Manager outlined that this had reduced between April 2011 and April 2013 with a 12% drop.  However, the looked after children population of the past year had increased by 31 with the largest increase seen in Family and Friends placements.  This reflected a national upward trend in kinship placements.  Members were advised that across Wales, figures for 2016/17 were yet to be published.  The all-Wales average rate of children looked after per 10,000 population was 89 at 31st March, 2015, with the Vale of Glamorgan reporting a figure of 70.  This was the ninth lowest of the 22 Local Authorities. 

 

The Operational Manager also advised that the majority of looked after children were cared for by in-house foster carers and family and friend placements.  A breakdown of the looked after children population confirmed the Council’s strategy to return children to placements within Wales and, where possible, within the boundary of the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Committee was advised that one child had been placed with relatives, one was in a specialist residential school and one was in a residential care home but was due to return to the area.  There had also been an increase in the number of children placed in externally provided foster care from 30 in 2015/16 to 39 in 2016/17.  This was due to a small number of large sibling groups whose assessed needs required them to be placed together.  The reduction in the use of externally provided foster care continued to be a target for the future.

 

With regard to the number of children requiring residential care, the Operational Manager advised that this remained stable during 2016/17 with on average 12 children requiring this type of provision during the year.  A reduction in the use of residential care was also reported, with 23 children placed in March 2014 compared to 30 in March 2017.  The Council was also aware of the increasing complexity of need amongst those children and young people currently requiring support which had seen a rise in the number of residential care to 15 during the first quarter of 2017/18.  Within the current cohort of children there were also 3 children who had significant disabilities.  There was also one child in secure accommodation.

 

The Committee was then provided with an overview of three case studies to illustrate the type and level of need that required a residential placement.  The first related to a young person with complex needs who had become looked after in May 2016.  The young person’s behaviour had become extremely challenging which resulted in him being excluded from school.  This young person was now placed in a specialist residential school out of area at a cost of £213,000 per year.

 

The second case study was a young person with disabilities, autism and associated behavioural difficulties.  The young person’s parents felt unable to cope.  This person’s needs were too complex for fostering placement and so he moved into a residential placement at a cost of £127,000 per year.

 

The third case study related to a 17 year old male who had been looked after for a number of years.  He was placed in a residential children’s home following a number of criminal convictions aswell as spending time in secure accommodation and a specialist residential setting.  Two years ago he moved to a residential setting in the Vale of Glamorgan in order to enable the service to work more closely with him and his family.  Following a plan of increased contact, he was able to live with his grandmother with a package of support.  This had saved the Council approximately £118,000 per year.

 

Moving on to the placement budget, the Operational Manager advised that the budget for looked after children for 2016/17 was underspent by £309,000.  The Joint Residential Budget was also underspent as was the Secure / Remand budget, but there was an overspend for the external placements for independent foster carers. 

 

The Committee noted that during 2016/17 five young people had left residential care while five young people also entered residential care.  Of the five new young people requiring residential care, four had experienced a series of foster placement breakdowns and one had come straight into a specialist residential school following an adoption breakdown.  As of June 2017, there were 15 young people in residential care at a projected cost of £2.12million per year.  The Head of Children and Young People Services added this was where we would see an educational provision within the Joint Budget arrangement.  She referred to the Multi-Agency Placement Panel, of which Education was a member, which would approve the placement and budget allocation.

 

A Committee Member queried whether the service would use Headlands residential school in Penarth.  In reply, the Committee was advised that the Council had placed some looked after children there along with some non-looked after children. This was an example of a locally used residential school.

 

The Operational Manager outlined that during 2016/17, a number of initiatives had been implemented to address key service issues and objectives.  These included: 

  • An audit of external placements
  • Implementation of the Internal Foster Carer Recruitment Strategy
  • Continuation of a joint budget between Children and Young People Services and Learning and Skills
  • A programme to reduce the overall number of looked after children with a revocation of Care Orders. 

In line with the overall objectives, the following activities were underway: 

  • To reduce the use of independent fostering agencies for placements through the foster carer recruitment project which included a target of eight newly recruited foster carers and the reduction of two independent foster placements during 2017/18
  • Minimise movement into residential care and limit the numbers coming in and the length of stay
  • Utilise local residential provision to return looked after children to local lower cost residential placements where possible and appropriate
  • Continue to address the overall looked after children population with a particular focus on the increase in Kinship Placements, through the use of revocation of Care Orders and preventative services
  • Work in partnership with Health to offer increased therapeutic support to looked after children and foster carers in order to promote placement stability and prevent placements breaking down which could lead to more costly placements.  

A Committee Member asked whether officers were aware of a recommendation regarding looked after children being categorised as their own carer.  In reply, the Operational Manager stated that they were not aware of this but that this may be referring to the “When I Am Ready” scheme which supported children remaining with their foster carer beyond the age of 18 until their 21st birthday, or until they felt able to leave for independent living before that age.

 

A Committee Member stated that from the outset of the report, it was mentioned that there was a need to reduce the number of looked after children in residential care.  The Member asked how it was ensured that the use of residential placements was a last resort.  In reply, the Head of Service advised that the process of placing a child in a residential placement was complex and always informed by a thorough assessment process, with any decision being considered by the Multi-Agency Placement Panel.  In addition, the Head of Service outlined that the use residential care placements was appropriate in some cases, such as when there was a need to stabilise a placement before returning.  It was agreed that further information on the assessment process would be provided to Scrutiny Committee.

 

A Committee Member asked why the number of looked after children had increased.  In reply, the Head of Service stated that a large proportion of the increase was as a result of kinship placements, which was an expanding area.  There had also been an increase in the complexity of need.  The Head of Service added that this meant that there was a need to be more creative in the type of support provided but this needs to be carried out safely.

 

The Committee queried the location of the residential homes in the Vale of Glamorgan and whether there was enough capacity.  In reply, the Operational Manager stated that there were no Council homes but there were five independently run homes throughout the Vale, with some located in Barry and Penarth and others located within the rural Vale.  These were not large units, with around three or four places available.

 

A Member, in referring to the percentage of looked after children per 10,000 of population, asked how the Vale compared to demographically similar Local Authorities.  In reply, the Operational Manager stated that this information was available on the Welsh Government data site, although current rates were not yet available.

 

The Committee also noted that where a young person was being supported to live in a residential placement at age 18, this residential arrangement would come to an end, with planning in advance to source suitable move on accommodation.  The Director of Social Services added that at this stage, where a young person met the criteria for Adult Services, responsibility would transfer to Adult Services along with the associated funding responsibility.  Further to this, the Head of Children and Young People Services referred to the Council’s leaving care responsibilities to those up to the age 21 and up to age 25 for previously looked after children in education.

 

A Committee Member, with regard to the recruitment of foster carers, referred to those couples in their forties who had already seen their children reach adulthood.  The Member asked whether any direct marketing of this demographic had been carried out.  In reply, the Operational Manager stated this was a very interesting idea as the service had never before targeted specific demographic groups.  Previous marketing campaigns were more generalised, although the service was trying to make more use of social media.  It was agreed that this idea would be considered further.

 

The Chairman stated that that as well as the cost factor, it was important to remember the human side and the key aim was achieving better outcomes for looked after children.  The Chairman referred to the ‘When I’m Ready’ strategy and commented that she was aware of a case of a young person in care, who whilst attending college, had indicated how important the extra support was in giving them more confidence.  This was therefore a very important area of work, for which, the Chairman thanked officers for the detailed update.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee continues to receive regular updates through existing reporting arrangements, including the monthly Budget Programme report and update reports on the Corporate Strategy for Children in Need of Care and Support and also through the Foster Carer Recruitment Strategy.

 

(3)       T H A T a further Annual Placement Review report be received in July 2018.

 

(4)       T H A T the report be referred to the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee for its consideration.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-4)    In order to allow Members to have opportunity to exercise oversight of this key statutory function.

 

 

127     LEISURE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT – MEMBERS WORKING GROUP (DEH) –

 

The Operational Manager – Leisure presented the report, the purpose of which was to agree the establishment of a Members Working Group in order to monitor the quality of service provided at Legacy Leisure sites.

 

The Officer advised that previously the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) had established a small Members Working Group that periodically visited Legacy Leisure sites within the Vale of Glamorgan to assess the quality of the service.  This was normally undertaken without advance notice to Legacy Leisure although opportunity would be given for a member of staff of Legacy Leisure to walk around with Members during their visit.

 

General discussion then took place, with it being noted that visits would be undertaken on a quarterly basis.  Members were also advised that the Operational Manager – Leisure would suitably advise the Members of the Working Group prior to any visit.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, Mrs. K.F. McCaffer, K.P. Mahoney and N.C. Thomas be appointed to the Members Working Group.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In order to allow greater involvement to Members of the Committee in appraising the performance of the contractor.

 

 

128     END OF YEAR (2016-17) PERFORMANCE REPORT: AN ACTIVE AND HEALTHY VALE AND TARGET SETTING UPDATE FOR 2017-18 (DSS) –

 

The Director of Social Services presented the report, the purpose of which was to present the performance results for end of year, 1st April to 31st March, 2016/17 for the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcome 4, “An Active and Healthy Vale”.  The report was also presented in order for the Committee to propose targets for improvement for 2017-18 for new local and national performance indicators aligned to the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes.

 

The Director advised that for end of year performance 2016-17, an overall Green RAG status had been attributed to Well-being Outcome 4, “An Active and Healthy Vale”. 

 

At the end of year 15 out of 16 Corporate Plan actions attributed to this Well-being Outcome had been completed, giving an overall Green performance status for actions.  The Director advised that a Red performance status had been attributed to reflect the progress made to date in the development of a commissioning strategy for accommodation with care to meet the increasing demand for older people to remain independent for as long as possible (AH13).  Through the use of the Intermediate Care Fund, significant progress had now been made and discussions were now ongoing with the Council’s Housing Service to develop opportunities informed by the findings of the recent Market Position Statement and the Population Needs Assessment.  The Director also outlined that related individual schemes had progressed such as the Extra Care facility and Reablement Units in Redlands and Longmeadow Care Homes.

 

An overall Green performance status had been attributed to the measures contributing to this Well-being Outcome.  Of the 14 measures for which end of year data was reported this year, performance had met or exceeded target for 10 indicators, with two being within 10% of target and the remaining two missing target by more than 10%.  The two indicators that missed target related to play scheme attendance (CPM/029) and young people looked after whom the Authority was still in contact with who were engaged in education, training or employment (CPM/062). 

 

A detailed report outlining the progress this year towards achieving Well-being Outcome 4 was provided at Appendix A.

 

Previously, for a number of performance measures, baseline data was not available in order to propose targets.  Therefore, Appendix B outlined the proposed targets for these measures.  All proposed targets were supported by a rationale, explaining why the target had been set at that level. 

 

Of the ten performance measures where a target was required for 2017-18, seven had proposed targets.  Of the ten, four had targets set to improve on the performance achieved during 2016-17, two had set targets to remain the same when compared to 2016-17, two measures had no target set as the service was establishing a baseline for 2017-18 and there were no targets applicable for the remaining two measures.

 

There were an additional 15 measures being reported as part of the statutory national data set for Social Services.  Targets had been proposed for the six outstanding measures that were part of this suite, which was not possible back in February when the Council undertook its annual target setting exercise.

 

The Chairman queried the use of the new Reablement facility at Ty Dyfan.  In reply, the Director stated that the numbers using the facility had increased.  For Members not familiar with the unit, the Director stated that this was a 6 bed unit within a care home setting, which had been funded via the Intermediate Care Fund.  This unit would help clients in hospital who were ready to be discharged home.  The Director also advised that the initial referral rate to the unit had been low at around 50%, with 4 people currently there.  The Director also outlined that without this unit, many individuals would have been admitted into residential care.

 

A Committee Member queried progress in relation to service action plan, BM/A014 (Continue to build on the work initiated in 2015/16 to develop an effective commissioning strategy for accommodation with care to meet the increasing demand for older people to remain independent for as long as practical).  The Head of Resource Management and Safeguarding advised that the strategy was progressing with a workshop held recently that would help inform the next stage.  She also added that following this there would a need to re-visit the Council’s Commissioning Strategy.

 

In referring to missed target for performance measure CPM/029, in relation to play scheme attendance, a Committee Member asked if officers could elaborate further.  In reply, the Operational Manager – Leisure stated that the Council was struggling to attract the appropriately qualified staff and recent recruitment exercises had received little responses.   The Chairman, in following this up, asked whether nursery and play group staff had been asked to support the play schemes.  In reply, the Operational Manager – Leisure stated that it was difficult to attract those types of workers because the rate of pay was not quite the same and because the work was very demanding.  The Operational Manager stated that it was very frustrating as resources were available at a time of increased demand.

 

The Chairman asked whether the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) would be willing to relax the qualification requirements.  In reply, the Operational Manager – Leisure stated that this was very difficult because play rangers were required for most events and it was important to ensure the right level of safeguarding was available.  The service would regularly raise issues with the CSSIW where appropriate, but the Council did not want to reduce the level of service available.  The Operational Manager stated that the Council was willing to deliver a service on a partnership basis and he alluded to the possibility of a joint service provision with Cardiff Council.

 

A Committee Member asked whether student teachers had been considered.  The Operational Manager – Leisure advised that an exercise had previously been carried out through Cardiff Metropolitan University but the result of this had been disappointing.  The Committee agreed that an update report on the use of play schemes would be provided.

 

There being no further questions, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the performance results and progress made towards achieving key outcomes in line with the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcome 4 – “Residents of the Vale of Glamorgan lead healthy lives and vulnerable people are protected and supported” be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the proposed targets for 2017-18 aligned to Well-being Outcome 4 priorities be endorsed.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure that the Council is effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement as outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009 and reflecting the requirement of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act that it maximises its contribution to achieving the well-being goals for Wales.

 

(2)       To ensure that the Council reports a relevant set of performance indicators against which it can demonstrate achievement of its Well-being Outcomes and consistently sets challenging yet realistic performance improvement targets for those priorities in line with the requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

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