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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 12th March, 2012.

 

Present:  Councillor Miss. S.J.C. Williams (Chairman); Councillor J.W. Thomas (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. M.E.J. Birch, S.C. Egan, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, Mrs. K.A. Kemp, N. Moore, C.L. Osborne, Mrs. M. Randall and Mrs. S.I. Sharpe.

 

 

959     APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor Mrs. S.M. Bagstaff.

 

 

960     MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 6th February, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

961     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

962     DRAFT ALCOHOL MISUSE STRATEGY CONSULTATION (REF) -

 

Cabinet had approved the draft Alcohol Misuse Strategy for consultation on 1st February 2012 and referred the same to the Scrutiny Committee as part of the consultation process.  The Alcohol Misuse Strategy was aimed at reducing the harm associated with alcohol in relation to both health related harm and adverse affects on the community as a whole.  The Strategy had been designed to meet the needs of the population of the Vale of Glamorgan and would be overseen by the Area Planning Board, which covered both Cardiff and the Vale Health Board area, as well as the Vale of Glamorgan Community Safety Partnership. 

 

The draft Strategy was attached to the report as an appendix and included the following main themes as well as the mechanisms that would aid delivery:

  • education and prevention
  • harm to the individual
  • harm to the community.

It was currently in draft form and had been sent out for consultation with the timescale for final comments having been extended to the end of March 2012.  The Strategy aimed to build on current capacity of services by developing skills amongst the workforce at youth service and health service level to deal with presenting alcohol related issues and looked to work across partnerships to tackle and prevent alcohol related harm.

 

In considering the report Members referred to the timescales timetabled within the action plan in that some timescales had already passed and considered that the plan should be amended to incorporate the current position.  The Principal Community Safety Officer advised that all comments would be reported back to the Area Planning Board.  Councillor Sharpe requested that details of the units of alcohol be fully explained within the report and that this be fed back to the consultation group.  Members also requested that any changes to the action plan timescales be e-mailed as soon as possible to all Members and those involved in the consultation process in order that full consultation could still be effective. 

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the comments above be referred to the Area Planning Board for consideration and that any further comments on the Strategy by Members be referred to the Principal Community Safety Officer as part of the consultation process.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To enable the views of the Scrutiny Committee to be reported to the board.

 

 

963     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2011 TO 31ST JANUARY 2012 (DSS) -

 

The Committee was informed of the revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April 2011 to 31st January 2012 and advised that with regard to Children and Young People’s Services the projected overspend was £1.25m.  The main area of overspending was reported as the Children’s Placement budget but managers were currently reviewing the placements and considering options for alternative provision, both in the short and long term.  For Adult Services the projected overspend was £2.32m. with Committee being advised that existing Community Care packages were being examined in order to review the level of packages and their associated costs together with the method of service delivery.  Managers were also currently assessing all areas of the service to identify where further savings could be made.  For Children’s Services the overspend could be offset by the provision of £210k.  resulting in a requirement to find £1.04m. of savings by the end of the financial year. For Adult Services the overspend could be offset by the provision of £465k. resulting in a requirement to find £1.86m of savings. 

 

Overall the projected overspend for Social Services as a whole was reported as £3.57m.  The report highlighted that there were considerable pressures on Children’s and Adult Services from increasing demand, new requirements from the Welsh Government for which adequate funding had not been received and the need to achieve budget savings.  The overspend on Community Care packages could also increase further by the year end if the value of additional packages approved exceeded the value of packages that reduced.  Members were advised that the Director of Social Services was taking immediate action to curtail overspending within the Directorate and a Budget Action Recovery Plan had been presented to Cabinet.  The Budget Plan was currently being refined so that it demonstrated a viable plan to bring spending back to the base budget. 

 

With regard to the Capital Programme, Appendix 2 to the report detailed the financial progress as at 31st January 2012.  Reference was made to Day Care Reconfiguration and the refurbishment works at Gardenhurst that had been recently carried out, which included the reconfiguration of disabled toilets and the installation of new shower facilities.  A bid for 2012/13 capital funding for further health and safety works required at the property, such as a new fire alarm and safe egress for clients and staff alike, was successful and the sum of £100k. had been included in the Initial Capital Programme Proposals.  In order to minimise the disruption to clients within the centre who had already moved out once for the year’s work to proceed, it had been decided to bring the most invasive works scheduled for 2012/13 back into the current year to avoid moving clients again.  At Hen Goleg various refurbishment works had been ongoing but additional works had been incurred due to the need to replace the contractor for the scheme before its completion together and for some other changes in the agreed original specification for the scheme. 

 

Councillor Egan referred to the ongoing issue of the extra care facility within the Vale and the delay that had taken place in trying to establish this facility. It was requested that a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee on the matter to include details of funding promised / required and money spent to date.  The Head of Business Management and Innovation stated that with regard to the contract on the site of the Theatre Royal contract in Barry this had recently been signed and a work programme developed with the intention that the facility be up and running early in the calendar year of 2014. 

 

Further details were requested in relation to any savings made for Gardenhurst and Rondel House and that the details be e-mailed to Committee Members as soon as possible.

 

Following consideration of the report it was

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2011/12 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Director of Social Services takes the necessary steps to bring expenditure in line with the base budget.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That Members note the position with regard to the revenue and capital monitoring report.

 

(2)       To bring Social Services expenditure in line with the base budget.

 

 

964     AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) COMMUNITY MONITORING AND SUPPORT PROJECT (DSS) -

 

The report provided Members with an update on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Community Monitoring and Support Pilot Project and the outlined plans for further development.  In 2009 a Task and Finish Group sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government had issued a report recognising that service provision for adults with ASD in Wales could be “patchy”.  Local Authorities subsequently were invited to bid for grant funding to be used in establishing a low level information and advice service for adults with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger’s Syndrome (AS).  The Vale of Glamorgan Council had applied for funding to establish a Community Monitoring and Support Project across part of the South East Wales Region which had been by the Welsh Government in April 2011 with the funding being allocated indicatively until March 2014.  The funding had been specifically allocated for adults with HFA or AS who were at risk of social isolation, were vulnerable to mental ill health, including suicide and were currently not accessing or not eligible to access statutory services and traditional support systems.  The Council was employing two ASD Community Project Workers to establish and deliver the service across four local authority areas within the South East Wales Region i.e. the Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil.  The official launch for the service was due to be held in Barry Memorial Hall on 15th March 2012. 

 

The report further highlighted that although the target group was adults, the service recognised that young people who were making the transition to adulthood should also be eligible to receive information and advice where appropriate.  Local steering groups would receive reports on enquiry types and information on any gaps in service provision which would also be reported to the Welsh Government with the local steering groups considering any areas of unmet need or gaps in service provision as part of their respective local authority action plans. 

 

Members congratulated the department on the service and the leaflets that had been produced copies of which were tabled at the meeting for Members’ information.  Invitations to the launch on 15th March had been extended to a number of organisations and all Members of the Council.  With regard to funding, Members requested an update on the funding issue with the Director advising that for specific grants it was his view that if these had been deemed to be withdrawn by the Welsh Government, authorities would have been notified by now.  Members, in welcoming the report and its contents,

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the work being undertaken by the ASD Community Support Project Workers be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T a progress update on the service is presented to the Scrutiny Committee within six months or sooner if any funding issues became apparent.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To enable Members to exercise oversight of an important new service.

 

 

965     THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELLBEING BOARD (DSS) -

 

The report summarised the progress to date in establishing a Public Health and Wellbeing Board in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Section 40 of the National Health Service Wales Act 2006 placed a statutory duty on each local authority and each Local Health Board to prepare a Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Strategy (HSCWBS) for the local authority’s area.  It was noted that the HSCWBS had to comply with Welsh Government guidance but the detailed content and format and the way in which outcomes were to be achieved were a matter for local discretion.  The latest guidance received stated that the strategy should focus more narrowly on two important areas -

  • improving the provision, quality, integration and sustainability of “overlapping services”
  • improving health and wellbeing and reducing inequities.

To meet these new requirements the structure of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Partnership had been reformed to incorporate two new Boards, the Integrating Health and Social Care Services Board and the Public Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

To take forward the work the Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board had agreed to sponsor the creation of a Public Health and Wellbeing Board (PHWB), with the work of the PHWB guided by two key strategic documents.  The PHWB would be expected to provide strong leadership, set a strategic direction and provide a focus for work to prevent avoidable ill health or injury, lifestyle diseases and their determinants.  The Terms of Reference for the Board were detailed at Appendix 1 to the report and an organisational chart of the structures was attached at Appendix 2.  The report highlighted that the PHWB had held its first meeting in November 2011 with representation from Heads of Service in the Council, the UHB, the third sector and Public Health Wales.  The Board was meeting on a monthly basis and had considered already planned actions in respect of tobacco and food and physical activity.  An additional sub-group had been created to consider alcohol misuse in more detail.  The Board had also directly improved the sharing of information and the development of links between services. 

 

Having considered the report the Scrutiny Committee

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T  progress update reports on the work of the Public Health and Wellbeing Board be presented to the Scrutiny Committee on a six monthly basis.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To apprise Members and increase awareness of the area of work.

 

(2)       To ensure effective scrutiny of key developments in the delivery of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Strategy.

 

 

966     SOCIAL SERVICES CHANGE PLAN 2011-2014: PROGRESS REPORT (DSS) -

 

Members were informed of the progress to date in delivering the actions set out in the Social Services Change Plan 2011-2014.  The Change Plan which had come into effect in April 2011 dealt primarily with issues where a corporate approach across the Council Directorates was required to deliver appropriate action.  Copies of the current change plan itself had also been sent to all Members of the Committee prior to the meeting, were available on the website and further copies were also available at the meeting.

 

The Corporate Management Team sponsored the Change Plan as a key programme of work and there was a formal implementation group comprising officer representatives from across the Council.  Six monthly progress reports were submitted to the Corporate Management Team and consideration of the reports by Cabinet and the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) was intended to allow robust monitoring and oversight. A Change Co-ordination Group, which included external regulators, had also been developed to review the progress made with implementing the Plan and the implications for the regulatory programme for Social Services.  The second progress report that had been submitted to the Corporate Management Team on 8th February 2012 was attached at Annex A to the report and contained a summary report card in respect of the overall programme and project updates for each of the seven priority areas.  The Director advised that the report indicated good overall progress with the long term agenda for change and identified where delays in delivery were evident, with some suggested revisions to timescales to support completion of actions across all the work streams.

 

In considering the report reference was made to IHSC10, (within the change plan) the joint OM post with Cardiff, and whether the Council was on target for the integrated service to be effective from April 2012.  The Head of Service advised that the joint post had been recruited, and with regard to IHSC11 nine CMHT managers had been appointed and integration was on track.  With regard to IHSC 12, (finalise a s33 agreement) the action had slipped, particularly in relation to the fact that having taken legal advice, it had been agreed that a Section 33 agreement would be more advisable to be in place than a Service Level Agreement (SLA) but that due to its complex nature this would take some time to complete.  Members queried whether there would be any scope to agree a short term service level agreement in view of the likely delay but were informed that as an SLA would not give the Authority the strength required a Section 33 agreement had been advised to be the best course of action to take. 

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED  -

 

(1)       T H A T the progress made in delivering the actions in the Social Services Change Plan be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the areas of concern where implementation of particular actions had been delayed and the work being done to expedite the delivery be noted.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To provide an update on implementation of the Social Services Change Plan in accordance with agreed monitoring mechanisms.

 

 

967     3RD QUARTER PERFORMANCE MONITORING REPORTS (DSS) -

 

The Adult Services, Business Management and Innovation, and Children and Young People’s Services 3rd Quarter performance monitoring reports were presented for the Committee’s consideration which included the details in relation to the targets that had not been met within the third quarter.  The Chairman, in considering the report, noted the Council’s position in relation to the all-Wales figures and that the Council was on target to meet these. 

 

In view of the fact explanations were contained within the detail of the reports, it was

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the 3rd Quarter performance reports be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In order for the Committee to exercise effective scrutiny of the services.

 

 

968     SERVICE PLANS 2012/2013 (DSS) -

 

Service Plans for the following services were presented - Adult Services, Business Management and Innovation, Children and Young People’s Services. 

 

The Director advised that with regard to Adult and Children’s Services the Service Plans needed to be considered in relation to the Change Plan and the Director’s Annual Report.  Reference was made to resource management issues with the Director advising that in his view the Department was managing well within the budget it had been set but that funding would be an issue not just for the Vale but for all Local Authorities in Wales over the next five to six years.  He referred to the increasing demographic changes forecast for the Vale and that the RSG distribution was not in the Vale’s favour. For Children’s services Members were advised that the key focus would be on preventative services.  

 

With regard to the service area of Business Management and Innovation, Members were advised that the Division had recently taken on the responsibility for managing the residential care homes that were run by the Council and that for key areas of working i.e. partnership working and quality assurance the Department was learning from complaints received in order to provide quality services.

 

Having fully considered the reports, it was

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the content of the Service plan reports is noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the action in the Children and Young People’s service plan   “investigate further development of the key worker approach to working with disabled children and their families”  be deleted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In exercising effective scrutiny of the Service Plans for the service areas.

 

(2)       In light of the fact that the Committee was aware that the HSC Programme Board was looking to redesign service delivery models across the Vale, Cardiff and UHB services for Children and Young People with complex needs.