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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 16th April, 2012.

 

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

 

Also present: Councillors Mrs D. Turner and G.C. Kemp

 

 

1078               APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor Mrs M Randall.

 

 

1079               MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12th March, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

1080               DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

1081               WYN CAMPAIGN (VALE OF GLAMORGAN AND CARDIFF PARTNERSHIP OLDER PEOPLE’S PROJECT) -

 

Committee received a presentation from Fiona Jenkins (Executive Director) and Linda Chandler (Programme Manager) officers with the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.  Fiona Jenkins was also the senior responsible officer for the programme for older people.  The aim of the Wyn Campaign was to regain and retain independence, and had been entitled “Wyn”, as the campaign was for all people who lived in Cardiff and the Vale whether they were male or female.  The Campaign is part of the integrating health and social care programme agenda and focuses on delivering integrated services that supported independence with practical implementation rather than strategy.  It is about bringing all services together in light of the aging population that was forecast and to provide a different service than that which had been provided historically.  The Executive Officer advised that regaining and retaining independence is the programme’s aim as the current systems that existed did not get the best outcomes for older people, it also demoralised the people delivering services and did not deliver value for money for the public. 

 

The new model, it was reported, would include the following:

 

·         early signposting i.e. earlier intervention and diagnosis of issues

·         a community team around the person

·         effective reablement

·         longer term care that supported independence and

·         dignified end of life care that reflected personal choices.

 

It was recognised that if people stayed in hospital for more than 17 days some found it difficult to be rehabilitated back home following their stay. Therefore, the intention would be to support people early on in the process by assessing need and providing support to try to ensure that people did not go into hospital in the first place as well as making reablement more effective.  The programme would also involve targeted intervention by providing support for carers, “flagging” things up earlier in order that issues could be addressed at earlier stages.  A geriatrician would also be present at A&E in order that initial assessments could be undertaken and detailed requirements for patients can be dealt with and addressed earlier in the process.  Flexibility would also need to be built in to the programme with various organisations being part of the whole process, for example housing in order that older people’s housing needs could be assessed e.g. if someone lived upstairs whether arrangements could be made to arrange for downstairs accommodation.  Ms. Jenkins referred to the need to ensure that meaningful engagement took place with care groups, voluntary groups etc. and that a robust programme and performance management system was established together with invest to save bids for prime funding being made.  Some applications for funding had been made to date with the first round of funding anticipated to be received in summer 2012.  Reporting on the programme would be made on a monthly basis to the Project Board with copies of the information being made available for Scrutiny Committee Members in order to disseminate information to community groups etc. 

 

Members welcomed the approach that was being undertaken and were supportive to the programme’s aims and objectives but concern was expressed with regard to whether the programme would be successful and the “knock on” effect to Council budgets.  The Head of Adult Services advised that home care and reablement services would require significant investment with bids for funding being essential to the process.  He considered that the new initiative could assist Social Services with managing its budget although the programme would take time to complete.

 

Having considered the presentation it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T Fiona Jenkins and Linda Chandler be thanked for their report and that progress updates be presented to the Committee in due course.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To monitor progress.

 

 

1082               INSPECTION OF ADULT SERVICES BY THE CARE AND SOCIAL SERVICES INSPECTORATE WALES (CSSIW) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee was informed about the key findings of the CSSIW inspection and provided with an update on how the Council was responding to the recommendations that had been made. 

 

In March 2011, in accordance with the Care Standards Act 2000, CSSIW had inspected the Vale Intermediate Care Service and in October 2011 had returned to complete a wide-reaching and thorough inspection of Adult Services.  The inspection report was attached at Appendix 1 to the report and the Head of Service advised that, in his opinion, it was a fair and balanced overall view in keeping with the approach that had been adopted during the review itself.

 

Members were provided with a summary of the key findings as detailed below:

 

·         Inspectors had found significant improvement in the way services were planned and delivered by the Council’s Social Services Department,

·         the modernisation programme was achieving positive results for people using the service as, in partnership with local health services, the Council was improving its assessment, care planning and hospital discharge support services,

·         the Vale Community Resource Service demonstrated growing success (through quality early intervention and reablement services) in preventing inappropriate hospital admissions and also by reducing dependence upon long term intervention by social care services,

·         the locality model or framework developed with health partners was achieving positive results for people using services.  Access routes to both social work and direct service help and support were diverse and evidence indicated that they were effective,

·         improved relationships and joint working with health services were realising the achievement of some shared goals and objectives.  The creation of joint virtual teams was realising an integrated, whole-system approach in the delivery of community services. This was leading to fewer delays, greater responsiveness and an increased focus upon person centred care across organisational boundaries, and

·         inspectors had identified evidence of greater integration with health services - including improved dialogue and locality working amongst a broader range of professionals - which in turn supported improved intervention for people using services. 

 

It was however, clear from the report that more work was needed to improve services with priority areas for further development to include care planning, the management of timely reviews and ensuring that people who received services were afforded choice and flexibility.  Members were advised that the specific recommendations contained within the report would form the basis of an action plan a copy of which was tabled at the meeting for Members’ consideration.

 

The report also highlighted that the Directorate was pleased to note that the hard work and skilled interventions on the part of staff in Social Services had been recognised.  Adult Services operated in a very challenging context and it was welcome news that the inspectors recognised the Council's new approach as providing innovative and effective support for the people of the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Chairman stated that she was pleased to see the positive direction that the service was moving in and all Members agreed that it was important to note that the inspectors had confirmed how joint working between Social Services and health services was enabling the Council and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to achieve their shared goal - to provide the right care, at the right time and in the right place.

 

Having considered the report, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report and the action plan tabled at the meeting be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T congratulations be extended to the Adult Services section in recognition of progress to date in the service area.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure effective oversight of the key area of activity.

 

(2)       In recognition of the progress to date.

 

 

1083               EXTRA CARE HOUSING (DSS) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee had requested an update on the progress being made in relation to the development of Extra Care Housing in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Extra Care Housing refers to purpose-built housing premises which incorporate access to flexible support and social care services, including waking night staff.  The report highlighted that this form of accommodation was very popular amongst those living in such schemes for a range of reasons which included:

 

·         their capacity to promote independence for people within their own home

·         increased opportunities for social interaction

·         the availability of comprehensive on-site facilities

·         a physical environment specifically built to meet the needs of people with social care needs.

 

The Welsh Government had made funding available via the Social Housing Grant and in 2006 a competitive exercise had identified Hafod Care Association as the preferred provider to work with the Vale of Glamorgan in developing an Extra Care scheme.  A joint proposal had been submitted to the Welsh Government in February 2007 with confirmation in August 2007 that the bid for a Social Housing Grant had been successful.  The submission being based on a proposal to develop a 40 bed Extra Care scheme in Barry in which the units would be for rent.  The site in question was a former children’s home now used as office accommodation and a base for the Youth Offending Service.  When the funding was agreed a more detailed survey of the site was undertaken with the report concluding that the land available was not large enough to support the development of a 40 bed unit.  It was therefore agreed than an alternative site be identified in Barry.

 

The initial intention had been to find a vacant site but, given the range of criteria required by the Welsh Government, the size of plot required and the need to start the scheme as soon as possible, it was not possible until the Theatre Royal site in Barry had been identified as a strong option for the Extra Care scheme.  Progress in relation to purchase, demolition and rebuild at the site had been the responsibility of Hafod Care Association. To date, there had been a number of delays as detailed below:

 

·         A survey of the site prior to the purchase of the property identified significant levels of asbestos within the building which had influenced negotiations with the vendor and the need to remove the asbestos from the site had made the tendering process more protracted than originally planned

·         The Theatre Royal was owned by private individuals and the negotiations were complicated by their particular issues

·         On the recommendation of Planning and because it was a landmark site in the town, Hafod had referred the plans for the building to the Design Commission for Wales. Their report was favourable but this had delayed the plans being submitted to the Council for planning permission.

 

Hafod had however, confirmed that the contract for developing the site had now been agreed and the contractors were due to take possession of the site in April 2012.  The contract duration was anticipated to be 90 weeks and the funding from Welsh Government was secure.

 

The Head of Service advised that establishing additional Extra Care schemes had been made more challenging by the fact that the Welsh Government was not willing to make a commitment to further funding until it had outcomes from research being done to evaluate current facilities. The independent sector was interested in funding various forms of “accommodation with care” options, including older people villages and Extra Care.  However, these accommodation units were intended primarily for purchase by those who had considerable assets and any growth in schemes was limited by difficulties in getting bank loans and selling the properties currently occupied, etc.

 

In this difficult context, the Social Services Directorate had taken a lead within the South East Wales Improvement Collaborative (SEWIC) to explore the opportunities for a regional approach to developing Extra Care and other accommodation with care options.  SEWIC had chosen this area of work as one of its five priority workstreams (albeit one with a longer lead-in time than others), with the Director of Social Services from the Vale of Glamorgan as the responsible officer. A project development officer had been seconded from Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC who had already done considerable work to inform a scoping paper and an analysis of current provision within the ten local authorities which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

RECOMMENDED  - T H A T  the Scrutiny Committee receives a progress report on the issue in six months or earlier depending on the availability of  information.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To apprise Members.

 

 

1084               CORPORATE IMPROVEMENT OBJECTIVES 2012/13 (REF) -

 

The Cabinet on 28th March 2012 referred the report to all Scrutiny Committees for comment.  The report highlighted that the Corporate Plan was a key means of the Council complying with the Local Government Measure 2009 which required the Council to set improvement objectives annually and demonstrate continuous improvement.  The current Corporate Plan which had been approved in 2010 and set out a four year vision for the Council included a mixture of improvement objectives (defined as those areas where improvements were needed because of existing deficiencies) and other Council priorities.  Whilst Corporate Plan objectives would not be amended for 2012/13 a full review of the Corporate Plan 2010 -14 was planned during 2012 post the Local Government elections in May.  As an interim measure to address the issues raised by the Auditor General in his Annual Improvement Report an analysis of the Corporate Plan had been undertaken to identify the Council’s key improvement objectives for 2012/13 along with relevant actions and measures that contributed towards achieving those.  Eight Improvement Objectives were consequently proposed for 2012/13 following the analysis of the Corporate Plan and a review of service performance to date, corporate risks and findings from the recent Wales Audit Office reviews / improvement studies and other regulators’ inspections.  Tabled at the meeting were revised versions of Appendices 1 and 2 for inclusion in the agenda.  In considering the report and the key objectives Members agreed that the Welsh average detailed in key objective 2 should be achieved as a minimum, following which it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED  -

 

(1)       T H A T Corporate objective 2 be amended to read “To reduce the time taken to deliver disabled facilities grants to children and young people and to adults to achieve as a minimum the Welsh average performance of 2011-2012”.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to endorse Recommendation 1 above and refer same to Full Council.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In order to ensure further improvement.

 

(2)       For approval.

 

 

1085               SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS (DLPPHS) -

 

Members were informed of progress to date in relation to Scrutiny Committee recommendations for the period April 2010 to March 2011 (attached at Appendix A to the report ) and for the 4th Quarter (January to March 2012) which were attached at Appendix B. 

 

Following consideration of the report, it was

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the following recommendations be deemed completed:

 

13 December 2010

Min. No. 753 - Social Services Supervision Policy (DSS) - Recommended

(1)   That a local performance indicator be included in performance monitoring on an annual basis.

 

 

 

(2)   That the completion of the questionnaire be linked to the Council’s PDR process for staff.

 

 

 

(1)   That an audit of compliance with the Supervision Policy be undertaken and reported to the Scrutiny Committee on an annual basis.  Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(2)   Heads of Service to address via PDR process.

Completed

16 January 2012

Min. No. 779 - Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1st April 2011 to 30th November, 2011 (DSS) - Recommended

(1)   That the aforementioned information be forwarded expeditiously and that the position in relation to the 2011/12 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

[Written material which had been made available to Members at a briefing session held the previous week.]

 

 

 

 

Information e-mailed to Members.

Completed

Min. No. 780 - Protection of Vulnerable Adults: Six Monthly Update (DSS) - Recommended

(2)   That information concerning the work undertaken under the POVA arrangements continue to be reported to this Committee on a six monthly basis.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

06 February 2012

Min. No. 853 - Welsh Government Consultation - Shared Purpose - Shared Delivery (CX) - Recommended - That the “Shared Purpose - Shared Delivery” report be noted and the guidance awaited.

 

 

 

To be reported to Scrutiny Committee when available.  Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 855 - Sickness Absence Update (DSS and DFICTP) - Recommended

(2)   That the Committee continues to receive further summary reports in relation to the matter.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

12 March 2012

Min. No. 962 - Draft Alcohol Misuse Strategy Consultation (REF) - Recommended - That 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.

 

 

Referred to the Principal Community Safety Officer as requested.

Completed

Min. No. 964 - Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Community Monitoring and Support Project (DSS) - Recommended

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

 

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 965 - The Vale of Glamorgan Public Health and Wellbeing Board (DSS) - Recommended

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

 

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To maintain effective tracking of the Committee’s recommendations.