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HEALTHY LIVING AND SOCIAL CARE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 11th September, 2017.

 

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

 

Also present:  Councillors A.D. Hampton and L.O. Rowlands.

 

 

250            APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor S.T. Edwards.

 

 

251            MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 10th July, 2017 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

252            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

253            CARDIFF AND VALE DRAFT DEMENTIA STRATEGY 2017-2027 (DSS) -

 

For this item, the Committee welcomed Dr. Suzanne Wood, Consultant in Public Health Medicine.

 

In presenting the Strategy, attached at Appendix A, Dr. Wood advised that she would be providing an overview of the following aspects: 

  • Why dementia was important
  • Findings from the Dementia needs assessment
  • Dementia Strategy development
  • Next steps.

In terms of why dementia was important, Dr. Wood outlined that there were approximately 5,000 people living with dementia in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and this was set to increase to over 8,000.  Dr. Wood advised that many people with dementia were likely to be vulnerable and isolated from their communities.  Solutions around dementia were complex and cross-cutting across many health and social care agencies, with many people not aware that dementia was preventable through lifestyle choices.  In addition, it was recognised that a dementia friendly community was a good place for everyone to experience. 

 

In terms of findings of the Dementia Needs Assessment, Dr. Wood advised that there was a discrepancy between the number of people diagnosed with dementia and the estimated number.  Dr. Wood advised that of the population of the Vale, there were cluster pockets with a high rate of people with dementia.  These were mainly located in the central and eastern parts of the Vale. 

 

The assessment had also identified that for mortality rates of people with dementia, most individuals’ place of death was a care home or a hospital.  However, Dr. Wood stated that, if asked, most members of the public would state that their preferred place of death would be their own home.  This was therefore something that needed to be addressed.

 

Dr. Wood then outlined the findings of a qualitative analysis undertaken following a review of existing data, holding of a focus group with people with dementia and through interviewing carers, staff and stakeholders.  From this work, nine key themes were identified:

 

1.         Isolation and loneliness

2.         Kindness and compassion

3.         Co-ordination of services

4.         Caring for carers

5.         What to do in a crisis

6.         Moving support to primary care and GPs

7.         Inequality in accessing services

8.         Dementia is everyone’s business

9.         Prevention is essential.

 

In terms of developments, Dr. Wood advised that progress had been made following the creation of strong partnership arrangements and from the formation of the Dementia Strategy Steering Group.  In addition, on 14th March, 2017, a Strategy Development Event was arranged which assisted with creation of the Strategy’s vision.   This resulted in the Strategy that was being presented.  Dr. Wood advised that the draft Dementia Strategy was currently still out for consultation with a closing date for responses being 15th September, 2017. 

 

With regard to the Dementia Vision, Dr. Wood advised that by 2027 it was hoped that the whole population of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan would be dementia aware and this would reduce their risk of dementia.  A key aim was for no individual to fear diagnosis of dementia for themselves or others.  Furthermore, it was hoped that people with dementia would have equitable and timely access to a diagnosis, that they would have seamless tailored care delivered locally with kindness and the carer would feel supported and empowered. 

 

The Strategy’s visions would be achieved through the following objectives: 

  • Dementia is everyone’s business
  • Prevention is essential
  • We will combat isolation and loneliness
  • Services will be fully co-ordinated
  • Services will be delivered with kindness and compassion
  • Support will be moved to primary care
  • Carers will be cared for
  • Crisis’ will be avoided
  • Access to services will be equitable.

Dr. Wood then thanked the Committee for its time and welcomed any comments that Members would have and advised that these would be fed back to the steering group.

 

A Committee Member in referring to the Strategy and page 7, asked whether the cost of providing direct dementia services would be included.  In reply, Dr. Wood stated that this was critical and that a figure would be ready in time for the Strategy launch.  Dr. Wood stated that because support was ‘pro-rata’, the analysis of cost was complex and included consideration of a wide range of services.

 

A Committee Member queried the effectiveness of GPs to refer clients onto further support services.  In reply, Dr. Wood stated that GPs would regularly refer individuals onto other care agencies.  This would be improved following further training for GPs in order to improve their knowledge around dementia.  Dr. Wood also advised that all new referrals would be sent to the Dementia Liaison Workers so that patients could be signposted to the support needed.

 

In reply to a question regarding awareness raising campaigns, Dr. Wood advised that the Alzheimer’s Society had a branch in Cardiff and the Vale which undertook various campaigns such as memory walks.  In addition, Dr. Wood stated that more could be carried out in respect of the risk factors, as a low percentage of the population were aware of the six steps that would reduce the risk of dementia. 

 

In referring to page 11 of the Dementia Strategy, and the issue regarding the lack of co-ordination, Dr. Wood clarified that this came out following the Needs Assessment and was around continuity of care and the need for agencies to work more closely.  There was a particular issue with regard to the sharing of personal data.

 

A Committee Member stated that the Strategy seemed to be more aimed at people over 40, and the Member queried whether more focus could be included around children.  In reply, Dr. Wood stated that these needed to be undertaken in parallel and there was a requirement to promote the message of other health strategies.  It was understood that more awareness raising was required, and that more innovative approaches should be considered such as the use of social media. 

 

A Member, in referring to the Befriending Service, stated that they had recently looked into supporting a local resident with learning difficulties and they were shocked with the demand that he should have to be vetted and also sign up to a certain amount of hours per week.  The Member stated that he was sure that there was a huge pool of people who wanted to help out, and this would be voluntary work it did not seem very flexible.

 

The Chairman stated that the number of young people with dementia was increasing, with the knock on effect that carers were becoming younger.  The Chairman queried whether the Strategy could include more emphasis on support for younger people.  In reply, Dr. Wood advised that this was embedded in the Needs Assessment and was included within the support provided to families.  Dr. Wood also advised that the number of younger people in the Cardiff and Vale area with dementia was lower, with somewhere in the region of 120 cases identified.  Dr. Wood however agreed that this area required more focus. 

 

A Committee Member queried consideration of private sector agencies and their relationships to the Council around the monitor of staff training.  In reply, the Head of Adult Services advised that for the domiciliary care sector, the monitoring of staff was the responsibility of individual providers.  She also referred to the Council’s contract monitoring arrangements and the role of the Care and Social Services Inspectorate of Wales.

 

There being no further comments, and having thanked Dr. Wood, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the draft Cardiff and Vale Dementia Strategy attached at Appendix A be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In order to keep the Scrutiny Committee informed and to ensure that the Members of the Committee were fully aware of how the Council could support the implementation of this Strategy.

 

 

254            COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES (DSS) -

 

The Operational Manager - Learning Disabilities and Mental Health presented the report, the purpose of which was to update the Scrutiny Committee on developments in community services for adults with mental health problems in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

The Operational Manager stated that one sixth of the working age population in Wales had symptoms of mental health problems.  The overall cost of mental health problems in Wales was an estimated £7.2 billion per year. 

 

Within the Vale of Glamorgan, Social Services staff work in partnership with the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) in three Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), working to the GP surgeries in the Central, Eastern and West areas of the Local Authority area.

 

Each CMHT operates a duty function where two health or social care professionals are available to accept referrals and undertake a screening assessment during office hours.  Between 1st January, 2017 and 31st July, 2017 the number of referrals to Vale CMHTs was 998.  Out of this number 117 were allocated with 30 referrals awaiting allocation.

 

Some people may need to be detained in hospital for a period of assessment and treatment on a compulsory basis, in the interests of the person and/or the public. Where this is the case the assessment process and application is led by an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP).

 

The Vale of Glamorgan operated a rota of AMHPs to provide functions required under the Mental Health Act 1983.  This includes ensuring that the Local Authority had sufficient numbers of AMHPs available at all times to undertake Mental Health Act Assessments of people requiring emergency care.  The report indicated that the Vale of Glamorgan employed nine qualified AMHPs (four part-time and five full-time) who undertake the role as part of their broader responsibilities.  The number of AMHPS had risen to ten, following a recent appointment.

 

During the first six months of 2017 the Vale of Glamorgan AMHP service undertook 65 Mental Health Act assessments and made 53 applications for compulsory detention in hospital.  This activity resulted in 55 admissions to hospital as two individuals were admitted without the need for compulsory detention.

 

A small proportion of adults with mental health problems will require additional support to maintain their independence and wellbeing.  The Vale of Glamorgan currently supports 11 adults with mental health problems in residential care homes and 38 through the provision of domiciliary care in their own homes.  Currently no individual was supported in a Nursing Home and the Council had developed very robust mechanisms for highlighting people’s need for Continuing Health Care.  It was noteworthy that the majority of people receiving commissioned care through the CMHTs were older people who had had a life-long, serious mental illness often with other complex physical conditions.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan CMHT also acted as Social Supervisor for 9 adults with severe mental health problems who were restricted under Part III of the Mental Health Act 1983 (which was concerned with people involved in criminal proceedings or under sentence).  The Vale of Glamorgan retained responsibility for a number of other individuals who were supervised by other specialist forensic teams such as the Caswell Clinic, based in Bridgend.

 

The partnership arrangements for mental health services with Cardiff and Vale UHB required continued oversight and involvement.  The condition and suitability of the Amy Evans continued to be of concern, however, following the involvement of health and safety advisors some repair work had been completed.  New windows had been fitted with the upstairs floors being redecorated and meeting rooms soundproofed. However, repairs to the roof were still pending and another incident form had been submitted following a persistent leak from the upstairs toilet.

 

It was agreed between partners that an alternative base should be sourced and meetings had taken place between the Local Authority and Cardiff and Vale UHB to discuss options available.  Feasibility studies were currently being undertaken into Barry Hospital and Ty Jenner.  This work, although expedited by the poor state of Amy Evans, was also part of a wider Community Service Review looking at a more sustainable model of CMHT provision.

 

In response to increasing referral demands, a community review of the service began in 2015.  It was intended to: 

  • explore potential alternative models of delivering screening and assessment activity;
  • review the use of the existing buildings; and  offer a range of more specialist assessments and interventions;
  • ensure a resilient and responsive service is in place; and
  • deliver a constructive discharge.

A programme implementation steering group had been set up to monitor the progress of four work streams, reporting back to the Operational Board.  The work streams cover the CMHT duty system, review of referral process / assessment models, developing treatment pathways and workforce and organisational change.

 

A Committee Member queried whether individuals could self-refer.  In reply, the Operational Manager stated that individuals could, but most referrals came from a GP.  In reply to a follow-up question regarding the referral process, the Operational Manager clarified that only a small proportion of referrals for mental health services came through Contact One Vale and that these referrals were mainly around public protection.  Urgent referrals were forwarded immediately onto the GP and the Mental Health Teams. 

 

In referring the ‘time to change Wales’ mental health awareness campaign, a Committee Member queried progress in relation to the reduction of the stigma around mental health.  The Member also queried whether support for individuals with mental health problems was on parity with support offered to people with physical needs.  In reply, the Operational Manager stated that a lot of work was being undertaken in order to reduce stigma and she referred to the NHS’s Strategy to reduce suicide and self-harm.  The Operational Manager also advised that a lot of work was required in order that the two areas of mental health and physical need achieved parity, but the key was around opening up the debate and in ensuring that all elements of the community had responsibility.  In addition, the Director of Social Services stated that stigma was a very difficult challenge, which also affected clients with other disabilities, there was a big difference in the experience and how assessments were carried out.  However, both sets of clients would come under the same eligibility criteria and so this was consistent.  The Director also stated that it was hard to compare services provided to those with long-life effecting injury and those requiring mental health support.  He also added that coming from a mental health background he appreciated that mental health services were better at focussing on what individuals could do and this was something that could be considered by other support services. 

 

The Chairman queried what was in place for younger adults at the time of crisis.  In reply, the Operational Manager stated that would depend on the age group e.g. with teenagers who self-harm and presented suicidal tendencies, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services was the main support network.  There was also the Amber Project for 14 to 25 year olds and a requirement for the Local Authority to provide support.  In addition to these comments, the Head of Children and Young Peoples Services stated that there was also a need to consider the needs of the family as a whole.  The Scrutiny Committee had been closely looking at developments within the Community Mental Health Service and an update report on this would be presented in November.

 

A Committee Member stated that as mental health champion, they would be willing to receive any feedback and comments that Members may have.

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T developments in community services for adults with mental health problems in the Vale of Glamorgan be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

Following consideration of the report which detailed developments.

 

 

255            CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING ANNUAL REPORT 2016/17 (REF) -

 

The Committee was apprised of the work that had been undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and adults who required specific Council services. 

 

The Head of Adult Services highlighted some of the key developments within the area of Social Services.  She referred to the implementation of a new Corporate Safeguarding Policy which had been promoted to staff.  In addition, the Cardiff and Vale Safeguarding Boards were leading on the development of revised national procedures for Adult and Child Protection. 

 

Members were also advised of an increase in the number of child protection referrals which had also led to an increase in the number of Child Protection Conferences.  With regards to child sexual exploitation, a new sub-group had been formed to monitor and address operational issues.

 

With regard to protection of adults at risk, which was formerly known as Protection of Vulnerable Adults, the Head of Adult Services stated that new duties were introduced under the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act.  This had meant that there was now a more broad definition and as a result there had been an increase in the number of referrals. 

 

The Head of Adult Services, also briefly outlined work within the Learning and Skills Directorate and she referred to improvements in safeguarding training and reporting.  She also commented that a satisfactory position was being reported for safer recruitment, for which, an Action Plan had been developed following an audit of the Council’s Safer Recruitment Policy.

 

A Committee Member asked whether the Council had identified best practice from other parts of Wales.  The Head of Adult Services stated that the Council was well connected, particularly in the area of child protection, which had well established policies and procedures.  For adults, there was some catching up, although an All-Wales process had been developed. 

 

The Committee queried the membership of the Corporate Safeguarding Working Group and asked whether there were any gaps in representation.  The Director advised that there was full representation across all Directorates but there was an issue in terms of continuity of officers as a result of some vacant posts. 

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the work that has been undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and adults be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To note the recent developments in corporate arrangements for safeguarding.

 

 

256            SERVICE FIT FOR FUTURE: QUALITY AND GOVERNANCE IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE CONSULTATION (DSS) -

 

The Director of Social Services presented the report the purpose of which was to allow Elected Members to have an opportunity to consider the proposed consultation response from the Vale of Glamorgan Council in relation to Welsh Government’s proposals to change quality and governance arrangements in health and social care. 

 

The report advised that the White Paper - Services Fit for the Future sought views on the proposals covering a number of health and social care issues which may require future legislation.  Welsh Government’s aim of any new legislation would be to enable organisations and empower citizens.  Proposals included the strengthening of local health boards so that they function as integrated, accountable, population based organisations; new duties of candour and quality; areas where health and social care could act more collaboratively; and more effective inspection, regulation and capture citizens’ voices.

 

The White Paper covered four key areas: Effective Governance; Duties to Promote Cultural Change; Person-Centred Health and Care; and Effective Citizen Voice, Co-production and Clear Inspection.

 

The proposed consultation response drafted by the Director of Social Services was provided at Appendix A. 

 

In summarising his response, the Director began by referring to the area of effective governance.  The Director stated that a Director of Social Services and an Elected Member would be required to sit on a governance board, but it was important for their role and responsibilities to be made clear.  The Director added that as robust arrangements were already in place through the Regional Partnership Board, queried whether membership of another board was necessary.

 

With regard to duties to promote cultural change, the Director’s response indicated support to ensure that all health and social care organisations were under similar duties to be transparent, which would be consistent with a more person centred approach.  However there were some reservations as Social Workers would have a different code of practice to other health professionals and so it was not clear how all the different policies and procedures would fit together.

 

Around person-centred health and care, the Director advised that in terms of Social Services and funding, there was an aim to give people choice, for example through Direct Payments.  This was something that was not currently available within the NHS.  Furthermore, there was a proposal for a single complaints process, which the Director stated would make sense.

 

In terms of co-production and clear inspection, there was a proposal to ensure citizens were more involved.  The Director advised that following the introduction of the Social Services and Well-being Act, citizens were already involved in the planning of services, so there was some uncertainties as this could cause confusion.

 

The Director also made specific reference to the replacement of Community Health Councils (CHCs).  The Director stated that there were reservations and so it was considered that an analysis of what may be lost and what may be gained needed to be undertaken.  The Director added that there was also no reference to the role of Scrutiny Committees.  Members agreed that Cabinet should be informed of the Committee’s concerns regarding the lack of recognition for the role of Scrutiny Committees.

 

A Committee Member, as a Member of a CHC, stated that CHCs were in a difficult position because they were meant to consider the views of patients, but patients were never informed of their role.

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed consultation response (attached at Appendix A) in relation to Welsh Government proposals to change the quality and governance in health and social care, be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet be advised of the Scrutiny Committee’s concerns regarding the lack of recognition around the role of Scrutiny Committees.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1)       To provide Elected Members with an opportunity to contribute to the consultation process for this key area.

 

(2)       To advice Cabinet of the Committee’s concerns regarding the role of Scrutiny Committees.

 

 

257            ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES 2016-2017 - CHALLENGE VERSION (DSS) -

 

The Director of Social Services presented the report the purpose of which was to allow Elected Members to contribute to the challenge process of the Director’s Annual Report and to agree the future priorities for the service. 

 

The Director advised that this was an important report for the people of the Vale of Glamorgan, Members of the Council and Council partners, both statutory and in other sectors.  The Annual Report outlined the current context within which Social Services were operating and detailed proposed priorities for improvement.  A Challenge Version of the Director’s report was attached at Appendix 1. 

 

He added that unlike previous years, separate service area reports by Heads of Service had not been produced.  For this year, the format had changed as part of a transition to a new format required by Welsh Government through regulation from 2018/19.  The Directorate had utilised this transition year to allow the new Director’s report to have closer alignment with the Council’s Corporate and Service Plans. 

 

The report represented the views of the Director and other managers in Social Services and was not policy at this stage.  The Social Services’ performance Quarter 4 (end of year) overview report, attached at Appendix 2 was used to supplement the Director’s report.

 

As part of the challenge process, the report was presented to provide Elected Members with an opportunity to contribute their views.  This was regarded as a key milestone in finalising the report because of the crucial role this Committee had in providing consistent oversight and monitoring of Social Services.

 

The final report would be presented to Cabinet for approval of the priority objectives and then circulated widely.  It would then be made available via the Council’s website.

 

The Director advised that for the new format, the report had been split into the six Wellbeing Objectives.  The Director then provided a brief summary of the key achievements and the priority areas going forward for the six Objectives.  The six Objectives being: 

  • Wellbeing Standard 1 - Working with people to define and co-produce Personal Wellbeing Outcomes that people wish to achieve.
  • Wellbeing Standard 2 - Working with people and partners to protect and promote people’s physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing.
  • Wellbeing Standard 3 - Taking steps to protect and safeguard people and reduce common neglect or harm.
  • Wellbeing Standard 4 - Encouraging and supporting people to learn, develop and participate in society.
  • Wellbeing Standard 5 - Supporting people to safely develop and maintain healthy, domestic, family and personal relationships.
  • Wellbeing Standard 6 - Working with and supporting people to achieve greater economic wellbeing, having a social life and living in suitable accommodation that meets their needs.

Around Wellbeing Standard 1 and the production of personal wellbeing outcomes, the Director referred to the successful launch of Dewis Cymru.  The Director alluded to the improvements around the Family Information Service and the Families First advice line, which had increased focus on early intervention and prevention in order to reduce the need for costly and intrusive interventions at a later stage for children and young people.  He also outlined changes to the assessment and planning process for individuals which had greater focus on “what matters to me”.  In addition, the Director also highlighted work aimed at better integration of the Information Advice Service for people with autism.  In terms of priorities for 2017/18, the Director advised that there was an aim to pilot an outcome focussed case management and measurement system for domiciliary care and to undertake a pilot citizen engagement panel for people with care and support.

 

With regard to Wellbeing Standard 2, and the need to promote people’s physical and mental health, the Committee was advised that a key part of the Council’s work had been around the child and adolescent mental health service.  In addition, through the use of the intermediate care fund a programme to deliver service reform had been devised.  Improvements had also been made in reducing the rate of delayed transfers of care and there had been further developments to improve access to preventative and early intervention services.  The Director advised that 2017/18 priorities were to develop a joined up care package approval process with the University Health Board to further enhance the integrated discharge service and to work with partners to plan services in response to the Population Needs Assessment. 

 

For Wellbeing Standard 3, around protection and safeguarding, the Director advised that an evaluation of the increase in the number of looked after children had been undertaken.  Following this, a new intense approach to support families had been piloted.  For child sexual exploitation, the service had also responded to findings that had come out of Operation Jasmine.  Priority areas for this year, included improvements to safeguarding procedures with providers of nursing, residential and domiciliary care and to ensure that staff and potential referrers were aware of the requirements under statutory guidance regarding duties to report safeguarding concerns. 

 

In terms of Wellbeing Standard 4 and encouraging people to learn, develop and participate in society, the Director stated that a review of the Council’s approach to Corporate Parenting had been undertaken with a new Corporate Strategy and Action Plan for children who need care and support developed.  The Council had also looked at how young people leaving care accessed training and opportunities for learning.  There was one priority for this standard, which was to procure a Children and Adult Advocacy Service. 

 

In relation to Wellbeing Standard 5 regarding people developing and maintaining personal relationships, the Director advised that there was now better co-ordination of services for children and young people, particularly around the Family Information Service and the Families First Advice Line.  The Council had also looked at how it was meeting the support needs for care leavers.  For 2017/18, the priorities were to increase the use of Reablement Care, conclude the pilot Therapeutic Fostering Scheme and to extend the pilot for direct family support to promote the prospects of children remaining with their families. 

 

With regard to Wellbeing Standard 6 and the need to support people achieving economic wellbeing, having a social life and to live in suitable accommodation, the Director referred to a review of options for accommodation to care for older people.  He also referred to the adult placement scheme and the opening of a reablement unit at Ty Dyfan.  In addition, the Therapeutic Fostering pilot had supported placement stability and funding had been set aside for the building of new Council homes in the Vale.  There was one priority for 2017/18 which was to further develop the use of direct payments with a particular emphasis for clients with a learning disability. 

 

A Committee Member queried whether mention should have been given to the Youth Offending Service.  In reply, the Committee was advised that this service area came under the responsibility of the Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee.  In addition, due to the change in the structure of the report, specific service teams were no longer referred to and Welsh Government had required for the report to concentrate on the six Wellbeing Outcomes.  However, the Director stated that this was an area that could be looked at for next year’s report. 

 

The Committee subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T the improvement priorities for Social Services as set out in the Director’s Annual Report for 2016/17 - Challenge Version be endorsed.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director’s Annual Report be referred to Cabinet for its consideration.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2)  Following consideration of the contents of the report and the improvement priorities for Social Services for 2017/18.

 

(3)       In order to provide Cabinet with an opportunity to contribute to the challenge process for the Director’s Annual Report 2016-2017.

 

 

258            REPORT OF THE CHIEF INSPECTOR’S ANNUAL PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT 2016-2017 (DSS) -

 

The Director of Social Services presented the report, the purpose of which was to update the Scrutiny Committee on the Chief Inspector’s Annual Performance Evaluation of the Vale of Glamorgan’s Social Services Department for 2016/17.

 

The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) inspects all Local Authorities regarding the way in which they deliver their statutory Social Services functions.  The inspection and review activity covers all aspects of social care within a Local Authority, i.e. adult and children services.  It was informed by and helped to validate the annual self-assessment of services undertaken by Directors of Social Services in accordance with the Annual Council Reporting Framework (ACRF). 

 

The report containing the overall evaluation of the Council’s Social Services performance by CSSIW had been published and was attached at Appendix 1.  This provided evidence about what Inspectors identified as areas of progress and areas for development. 

 

In their findings, Inspectors reported positive progress in a number of key areas.  It was recognised that the review of the structure of Social Services would make the authority more responsive to the change in business needs and the implementation of the Social Services and Wellbeing Act. 

 

Progress with regard to the implementation of the Social Services Wellbeing Act was also recognised as the service moved towards an outcome focussed approach.  It was recognised that Council staff had undertaken training in better conversations to support the provision of information, advice and assistance in both children and adult services. 

 

The report also acknowledged that there was good partnership working with the University Health Board and Cardiff Social Services Department.  Also it acknowledged that the Local Authority had invested additional resources to reduce delayed transfers of care from hospital. 

 

The report also set out the considerable progress made in areas for improvement following last year’s evaluation.  There were also new areas of challenge which included the impact of the National Living Wage and competition from neighbouring authorities which had made the domiciliary care market difficult to manage,

 

It was also highlighted that there had been an increase in the number of people using direct payments which had helped meet demand and improve outcomes and choices for people. 

 

The CSSIW concluded that there was a good understanding of the Authority’s safeguarding responsibility and all Members had been provided with training as part of their induction.

 

In 2017/18, the CSSIW aims for inspection, engagement and performance review were as follows: 

  • support provided for people with mental health needs with a focus on Community Mental Health teams
  • placement decisions for Looked After Children.

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the key messages to emerge from the evaluation, including areas of progress and areas for improvement be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the key messaged to emerge from the evaluation, including areas of progress and areas for improvement be referred to Cabinet for its consideration.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To ensure that Elected Members are kept informed about outcomes from independent evaluation of Social Services performance in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

 

259            QUARTER 1 PERFORMANCE REPORT: AN ACTIVE AND HEALTHY VALE (DSS) -

 

The Committee received the performance results for Quarter 1, 1st April - 30th June, 2017 for the Corporate Plan Wellbeing Outcome 4, An Active and Healthy Vale.

 

The report advised that an overall green RAG status had been attributed to Wellbeing Outcome 4, An Active and Healthy Vale.

 

At Quarter 1, all of the 15 Corporate Plan actions attributed to this Wellbeing Outcome were on track to be delivered giving an overall green performance status for actions. 

 

An overall Amber performance status had been attributed to the measures contributing to this Wellbeing Outcome.  Of the 10 measures for which Quarter 1 data was reported, performance had met or exceeded targets for six indicators, one was within 10% of target and two had missed target by more than 10%.  The indicators that had missed target related to the percentage of people who have completed the Exercise Referral Scheme (CPM/090) and the percentage of care and support plans for adults that were reviewed within agreed timescales (CPM/207).  A RAG status was not applicable for one of the ten measures. 

 

A detailed report outlined the progress this quarter towards achieving Wellbeing Outcome 4 was provided at Appendix 1.

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the performance results and progress towards achieving key outcomes in line with the Corporate Plan Wellbeing 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 performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address areas of underperformance and to tackle the key challenges identified, be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure that the Council clearly demonstrates the progress being made towards achieving its Corporate Plan Wellbeing Outcomes in that making a positive difference to the lives of Vale of Glamorgan citizens.

 

(2)       To ensure 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 Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act to ensure that it maximises its contribution to achieving the wellbeing goals for Wales.

 

 

260            SCRUTINY COMMITTEES DRAFT ANNUAL REPORT (MD) -

 

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer presented the Scrutiny Committees’ draft Annual Report for 2016/17. 

 

In accordance with Section 7.4.4 of the Council’s Constitution, Scrutiny Committees must report annually to Full Council on their workings.  The draft Annual Report attached at Appendix A detailed the role of scrutiny, how scrutiny was undertaken in the Vale of Glamorgan and highlighted key achievements from the work of each Scrutiny Committee.  It also outlined significant events during the year and also future working, specifically in relation to the Council agreement that the work of scrutiny should be closely aligned for four Wellbeing Outcomes and their objectives had formed the basis of the Council’s new Corporate Plan which was published in April 2016.

 

In considering the draft Annual Report, Members were requested to refer specifically to the Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee section and to make any amendments or suggestions as appropriate. 

 

Tabled at the meeting, was an amendment made by the Homes & Safe Communities Scrutiny in relation to page 14 and public engagement.

 

The Director of Social Services commented that the Scrutiny Annual report reflected some of the difficult decisions that the Committee had been asked to consider and he added that the Scrutiny process was valued and the input of Members welcomed by the Directorate.

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the draft Scrutiny Committees’ Annual Report be approved.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

Following consideration of the Scrutiny Committees’ Draft Annual Report.

 

 

261            1ST QUARTER DECISION TRACKING AND UPDATED WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE (MD) -

 

Members were advised of progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and were asked to confirm the Work Programme schedule for 2017/18.

 

A Committee Member raised a point in relation to the Leisure Management Contract and Monitoring Group of which he had been appointed.  The Member stated that he had been approached by one of his constituents regarding the provision of fitness machines at Barry Leisure Centre.  The individual had advised the Committee Member that they had been referred by their GP to attend the National Exercise Referral Scheme.  The individual had expressed concerns with the condition of the room where the fitness machines had been located.  The Committee Member advised that he had taken the opportunity to look at the facilities for himself and was shown the room by a member of staff.  The Committee Member commented that the room was airless, depressing and that the class instructor had to resort to bringing in a domestic fan in order to improve the airless environment.  The Committee Member stated that this was of concern when considering the nature of the exercise rehabilitation model. 

 

Having considered the Member’s views, the Committee agreed that the Working Group’s first point of call would be to visit Barry Leisure Centre.

 

The Committee subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the recommendations deemed completed as outlined below be accepted:

 

12 June, 2017

Min. No. 33 – 4th   Quarter Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Work   Programme Schedule 2017/18 (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the updated Work Programme shown at   Appendix C be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website. 

Work   programme uploaded to the Council’s website.

Completed

Min. No. 34 –   Cardiff and Vale Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Strategy 2017-2020 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That an update report on implementation of   the Strategy be received in 12 months’ time.

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 35 – The   Vale Family Information Service – Annual Update (DSS) – Recommended

(3)   That an annual   update on the Family Information Service be received.

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

8 December, 2016

Min. No. 592 –   Leisure Management Contract – Year 4 Report (DEH) – Recommended

(3)   That a working group be formed in order to   visit each of the Leisure Centres.

Report   to Committee on 10th July 2017, with Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks,   Mrs. K.F. McCaffer, K.P. Mahoney and N.C. Thomas appointed to the   Members Working Group.

(Min.   No. 127 refers)

 

First   visit of Working Group in process of being arranged.

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the updated schedule attached at Appendix C to the report be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To maintain effective tracking of the Committee’s recommendations.

 

(2)       For information.