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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 14th January, 2013.

 

Present:  Councillor R.J. Bertin (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. M.E.J. Birch (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. R. Birch, Ms. K. Edmunds, K.J. Geary, Dr. I.J. Johnson, A. Parker, Ms. R. Probert, J.W. Thomas and S.T. Wiliam.

 

Also present: Councillor S.C. Egan, C.P.J. Elmore and N. Moore.

 

 

721     MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd December, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

722     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

723     REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION OF MATTER - TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR DR. I.J. JOHNSON - STANDARD RATE FOR CONTRACTING PLACES IN THE INDEPENDENT SECTOR -

 

Committee considered the contents of a “Request for Consideration of Matter”, submitted by Councillor Dr. I.J. Johnson, the contents of which were as follows:

 

"It had been intended that the standard rate for contracting places in the independent sector would be confirmed at the Cabinet meeting of 17th December, 2012.

 

The original date for an agreement on this matter was July 2012 but this had been postponed until September, and then finally brought to Cabinet in December.

 

However, the decision was deferred after receipt of a letter from solicitors representing the Vale of Glamorgan Care Homes Association.  What might be considered a decision was announced at the Cabinet meeting, although not recorded as such - That the Leader would be part of a Working Group to resolve the issue.  The Members and Terms of Reference for that Group are not minuted.

 

The Social Care Directorate is aiming for a balanced budget for this year, but modelling significant cuts for the future.  The current budget for this item in 2012/13 anticipates a 2% up-rating, which is below inflation.  If a different methodology was employed then this might lead to a greater cost increase and pressure upon the budget.

 

The 'decision' at Cabinet to defer and the creation of a Working Group are not being called-in because an early resolution is preferred, but a report to Scrutiny containing information on the Working Group's membership and terms of reference would be welcomed, as would more detailed budgetary information on the impact of any above-inflation agreement on costs on the budget this year and in meeting the challenge of a balanced budget in future years."

 

Councillor Egan, with the permission of the Committee, advised that it would not be possible to bring a report before today's meeting other than that which had been reported to Cabinet on 17th December, 2012.  The Working Group would comprise Cabinet Members, and would report back to the Cabinet. 

 

Since 17th December, 2012, the Leader had met with Mr. West, and formal meetings of the Working Group would commence as quickly as possible. 

 

It was appreciated that, whatever level of fees were determined, there would be an impact on the Social Services budgets.  There had been no delay on the part of the Administration. 

 

It was hoped that the negotiations would be resolved as soon as possible.

 

Committee were reminded that this process was an annual event and involved a contentious issue which was common to all local authorities, and which had resulted in judicial challenges.  The Vale of Glamorgan was anxious to avoid being involved in a similar situation.

 

Councillor Egan advised that it was not possible to predict a date for an outcome to the negotiations.  However, Councillor Egan assured Committee that it would be informed of the outcome of the negotiations as soon as they were concluded.

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the comments of Councillor S.C. Egan, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

Having regard to Councillor Egan's comments

 

 

724     SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS (DR) -

 

Members were advised of progress in relation to recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee for:

  • 2nd Quarter - July to September 2012
  • 3rd Quarter - October to December 2012.

Following discussions on the content of the report, it was

 

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

 

8 October 2012

Min. No. 396 - Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1st April, 2012 to 31st August, 2012 and Update on the Social Services Budget Programme (DSS) - Recommended

(1)   That the position with regard to the 2012/13 Revenue and Capital Monitoring be noted, and that the proposed amendment to the Day Care Re-Configuration Capital Scheme at Rondel House to increase the budget by £50,000 (funded from a transfer of £25,000 from the Rhoose Road Capital Budget and £25,000 contribution from revenue) be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, noted the Scrutiny Committee's request (Min. No. C1875 refers). Completed

(2)   That the progress made on the Social Services Budget Programme be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, noted the Scrutiny Committee's request (Min. No. C1875 refers). Completed

Min. No. 397 - Update Report: Managing Allegations of Professional Abuse - Compliance with Part IV of the All Wales Child Protection Procedures (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the Director of Social Services provide a report every six months about how allegations of professional abuse had been managed by the Council.

Added to work programme schedule.  Completed

Min. No. 398 - Social Services Representations and Complaints - Annual Report 2011/12 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That Committee continues to receive an Annual Report in relation to complaints and compliments received by the Social Services Directorate.

Added to work programme schedule.  Completed

Min. No. 399 - Commissioning Adult Social Care Services from the Independent Sector (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That Cabinet be requested to agree to users of services provided by the Independent Sector being consulted as part of the tendering process, wherever possible.

Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, resolved that the process of users of services being consulted on every occasion as part of the tendering process, not be acceded to, as current practice provided sufficient safeguards and choice (Min. No. C1874 refers).  Completed

(3)   That Cabinet be requested to agree that the Vale of Glamorgan ensures that all of its Independent Sector suppliers are CSSIW compliant, where appropriate.

This recommendation was agreed by Cabinet at its meeting on 5th November 2012 (Min. No. C1874 refers).  Completed

(4)   That Cabinet be requested to request CSSIW publish a list of their approved Independent Sector providers.

Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, resolved that the Leader write to SCCIW requesting that they publish a list of their approved Independent Sector providers (Min. No. C1874 refers).  Completed

(5)   That, when representatives of CSSIW address the Committee at their Annual Meeting, they be asked as to the frequency of their inspections of Independent Sector Care Providers.

Actioned at meeting of Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 3rd December 2012.

Completed

Min. No. 400 - Update Report on Bryneithin and Ty Dyfan (DSS) - Recommended

(2)   That a further report be brought to Scrutiny Committee once a plan had been developed with partner agencies who are using Ty Dyfan and other facilities to meet the overall need for residential care and nursing home placements for people with dementia related illnesses.

Added to work programme schedule.   Completed

(3)   That Cabinet be requested to give consideration to the future use of Bryneithin as a site for social care, subject to ongoing contractual commitments.

Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, resolved that the Council’s current position on Bryneithin was that it continue to operate as a registered care home for as long as necessary and consideration to further options of the future use of the site would be given as and when appropriate (Min. No. C1876 refers).  Completed

5 November 2012

Min. No. 482 - Scrutiny Committee Work Programme (DR) – Recommended

That the Work Programme schedule be published as detailed at Appendix 1 to the report.

Work programme published on the Council’s website.  Completed

Min. No. 483 - Proposed Merger of the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the report be referred to Cabinet and that Cabinet be recommended to endorse the principle of the merger.

Referred to Cabinet meeting on 3rd December 2012 who endorsed the merger, subject to a further report on arrangements for the merged LSCB and how it would function being submitted to Cabinet (Min. No. C1924 refers).  Completed

(3)   That Committee receives a further report when detailed proposals concerning arrangements for running a merged LSCB had been developed.

Added to work programme schedule.  Completed

(4)   That the principle of an Independent Chairman be endorsed and that Cabinet be informed accordingly.

Referred to Cabinet meeting on 3rd December 2012 who noted the recommendation but agreed that an endorsement in principle was premature at this stage (Min. No. C1924 refers).  Completed

Min. No. 484 - Social Services Change Plan 2011 – 2014: Progress Report (DSS) – Recommended

(3)   That the progress report be referred to Cabinet, with a recommendation that changes to the Plan be endorsed.

Referred to Cabinet on 3rd December 2012 who endorsed the Plan (Min. No. C1925 refers). Completed

3 December 2012

Min. No. 590 - Local Authority Social Services Inspection Evaluation and Review 2011-12 – Presentation by Representatives of CSSIW – Recommended

(2)   That the document be referred to Cabinet for information.

Referred to Cabinet meeting of 14th January 2013.  Completed

Min. No. 591 - Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2011/2012 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That Cabinet be recommended to endorse the improvement priorities for the Directorate as set out in the reports.

Referred to Cabinet meeting of 14th January 2013.  Completed

Min. No. 593 - Update on the Social Services Budget Programme (DSS) – Recommended

That the progress in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme be noted and that the report be referred to Cabinet for information.

Referred to Cabinet meeting of 14th January 2013.  Completed

Min. No. 594 - Initial Revenue Budget Proposals 2013/14 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee be informed that this Committee expressed concern that substantial cuts of the nature proposed in Paragraph 37 of the report, namely

Referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) meeting of 11th December 2012.  Completed

Annual Saving Target

2013/

14

£000

2014/

15

£000

2015/

16

£000

2016/

17

£000

Total

£000

Social Services

3,571

2,010

2,788

2,643

11,012

may negatively impact on the provision of services.

Min. No. 595 - Initial Capital Programme Proposals 2013/14 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee be informed that this Committee expressed concern that the cumulative effect of the substantial cuts of the nature proposed in the report may negatively impact on the provision of services.

Referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) meeting of 11th December 2012.  Completed

Min. No. 596 - Corporate Plan (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) be requested to recommend to Cabinet the inclusion of a request that users of wheelchairs be borne in mind when footpaths are designed.

Referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) meeting of 11th December 2012.  Completed

Min. No. 597 - Protection of Vulnerable Adults: Six–Monthly Update (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That information about the work undertaken to protect vulnerable adults continue to be reported to the Committee on a six monthly basis.

Added to the work programme schedule.  Completed

Min. No. 598 - Extra Care Housing (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That a further report be submitted to Committee in six months time.

Added to the work programme schedule.  Completed

     

 

 

725     GUIDANCE AND PRIORITIES FOR THE ADAPTATION OF HOMES OF PEOPLE WITH IMPAIRMENTS (DDS) -

 

Committee considered the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document.

 

Under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, the Council had a statutory duty to provide Disabled Facilities Grants.  These grants funded major adaptations to the homes of people with impairments to enable them to live as independently as possible.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Housing Renewal Policy 2011-13 detailed the Council’s policy for Disabled Facilities Grants.  During 2011/12 123 Disabled Facilities Grants were completed at an average cost of £9,744.

 

The delivery of this grant was monitored through a national Performance Indicator.  This considered the days it took to deliver the adaptations works from the first point of contact through to the time the works were certified complete.

 

Over the last few years, officer time and financial resources had been invested to secure improvements.  This investment had been reflected in a year-on-year improvement in the delivery of the service as the performance over the past 3 years demonstrated:

 

Financial year

Time to deliver a DFG from 1st point of contact to completion of work

(National Performance Indicator)

2009/10

802 days

2010/11

569 days

2011/12

399 days

2012/13 - Q2

333 days

 

The demand for major adaptation to peoples’ homes was likely to increase as the population of older people increased and medical advances improved life chances.  Against this increase in demand was the pressure to manage capital budget.

 

The proposed Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptations of Homes of People with Impairments document was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. 

 

The document set out guidance on the technical criteria for adaptations.  The aim of the document was to:

  • provide a consistent approach across all cases and enhance quality control
  • provide information to the public to ensure the Council’s decisions on eligible grant funded work were transparent
  • set out and detail an appeals procedure for service users who were not happy with a decision made on eligible grant funded work
  • help reduce the overall cost of major adaptations to enable the Council to manage pressures on the service.

The guidance would be used by the Occupational Therapist and the Disabled Facilities Team when determining what work would be eligible for grant assistance.  The guidance would also be made available to the public to help understanding on the decisions made regarding eligible works. 

 

It was proposed that any future changes to the document could be made by the Director of Development Services and Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, as necessary and appropriate.

 

Additional reports would be presented to Cabinet during 2013 recommending further changes to the service to continue to improve the quality and timeliness of the service.

 

Members welcomed the progress that had been made in reducing the timing to deliver Disabled Facility Grants, although it was recognised that further improvements were necessary. 

 

Committee were advised that further improvements were likely to arise as a result of the development of a “framework contract” with builders.  Furthermore, it was hoped that the NHS would become involved with assessing applicant’s needs by working with the Council’s Occupational Therapist Team. 

 

It was necessary to meet need, and not demand.  It was known that the population was increasing, but it was impossible to estimate the level of future need. 

 

In noting the recommendation that the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Housing Maintenance and Community Safety be granted delegated power to make any future changes to the document, it was the wish of the Committee that the Cabinet Members for Children’s and Adult Services be also involved in the process, and that this Committee be advised of any changes.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report be endorsed and be referred to Cabinet for consideration and approval of the following recommendations.

 

(2)       T H A T the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Development Services, in conjunction with the Cabinet Members Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, Children’s and Adult Services be given delegated authority to review and make changes to the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document, as appropriate.

 

(4)       T H A T Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) be advised of any changes to the document as the result of recommendation (3) above.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In order that the views of the Committee are sought and the report referred to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

 

(2)       To provide clear information to officers and the public on the criteria to be used when assessing and funding major adaptations.

 

(3)       To enable the guidance document to be amended quickly due to new legislation, case law, guidance, best practice and Local Government Ombudsman and similar rulings.

 

(4)       To advise the Committee.

 

 

726     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2012 TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2012 AND UPDATE ON THE SOCIAL SERVICES BUDGET PROGRAMME (DSS) –

 

Committee received a report which:

  • advised of the position in respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April 2012 to 30th November 2012 regarding those revenue and capital budgets within the Committee’s remit
  • requested a change to the Capital Programme
  • updated Committee on the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme.

The Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2012/13 were shown at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The current forecast for Social Services at year end was an underspend of £403k.  This was as a result of the savings identified for the year and anticipated to be achieved, being £403k in excess of the actual savings required for the year, set as part of the Social Services Budget Programme.  Whilst this was an achievement for the Directorate, it was noted that this was only a short term gain as the total savings target for the whole of the Budget Programme over the four year period had not yet been finalised.

 

Children and Young People’s Services – the year end projected outturn was an overspend of £123k.  An underspend in the Social Services Business Management and Innovation Division would reduce the recharge to Children and Young People’s Services and thus reduce the overspend.   The Service itself was actually projected to overspend by £177k.  There continued to be pressure on the Children’s Placements budget, specifically from children with especially complex needs.  There was also pressure on the budget in respect of accommodation costs for homeless young people and on the adoption budget due to a high cost post adoption support package.

 

Adult Services – the year end projected outturn was an underspend of £526k.  An underspend in the Social Services Business Management and Innovation Division would reduce the recharge to Adult Services and thus increase the underspend.  The Service itself was actually projecting to underspend by £391lk.  There was continuing pressure on the Community Care Packages budget.  This budget was extremely volatile and could be adversely affected by outside influences such as last year’s introduction of the First Steps Initiative by the Welsh Government which capped charging for non residential services to £50 per week.  The impact of this change would continue to be monitored as the year progressed and discussions with the Welsh Government regarding the issue would continue.  Another issue to affect the year end position would be the 2012/13 fee set in respect of personal care costs for residents placed by the Council in residential and nursing homes provided by the Independent Sector. 

 

Business Management and Innovation – the year end projected outturn was an underspend of £189k although this would be recharged to other areas of Social Services.  The reason for the underspend was mainly due to staff vacancies being held under the Protection and Policy heading pending a review of service provision.

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 30th November 2012. 

 

Day Care Re-configuration, Hen Goleg – refurbishment works commenced last year but were not completed by the end of March 2012.  As a significant proportion of the works were related to disabled access issues, it was proposed to transfer £37k to this budget to cover the remaining works from the Disabled Adaptations capital budget held within the Resources Directorate.

 

With regard to the Social Services Budget Programme Update, Committee were advised that the Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £8.5m by the of 2015/16.  Progress in identifying these savings had been made and the current position can be seen below.  Sufficient savings had been identified to meet the targets for 2012/13 and 2013/14 but there still remained £3.9m to be identified for 2014/15 and 2015/16.  The Director of Social Services had been requested to finalise actions for these periods by no later than January 2013 and the results would be reported to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee. 

 

Year

Savings Required

£000

Savings Identified

£000

In Year (Surplus)/Shortfall

£000

Cumulative (Surplus)/Shortfall

£000

2012/13

1,430

1,833

(403)

(403)

2013/14

2,150

2,040

110

(293)

2014/15

2,150

675

1,475

1,182

2015/16

2,757

25

2,732

3,914

TOTAL

8,487

4,573

3,914

 

           

Appendix 4 to the report provided the latest details of progress for each project currently identified.

 

The Social Services Directorate was committed to achieving a balanced budget.  The corporate programme board and project teams overseeing the plan would continue to develop it further and ensure delivery and progress.

 

It was noted that the initial revenue budget proposals for 2013/14 predicted a worsening financial position for the Council and included increased savings targets for the Directorate.  Directors had been requested to formulate additional options for savings, additional income, etc. over the next four years.

 

Members, in referring to Project Reference C8 of Appendix 4 to the report “Revocation of Care Orders” felt that Committee should be periodically advised of the outcomes. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2012/13 Revenue and Capital Monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the proposed amendment to the Hen Goleg Day Care Re-configuration Scheme, to include a budget of £37k, funded from a transfer from the Disabled Access Improvements Budget be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

 

(3)       T H A T the progress made on the Social Services Budget Programme be endorsed and referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and Cabinet for information.

 

(4)       T H A T Committee be advised periodically of the outcome of the Revocation of Care Orders as referred to in Reference C8 of Appendix 4 to the report.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2012/13 Revenue and Capital Monitoring.

 

(2)       That Cabinet approves the proposed amendment to the Capital Programme.

 

(3)       That Scrutiny and Cabinet Members are aware of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

(4)       To advise Committee.

 

 

727     SUSTAINABLE SOCIAL SERVICES FOR WALES: A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION (DSS) –

 

Committee received an update in respect of “Sustainable Social Services for Wales – A Framework for Action”, the Welsh Government policy document which set out plans “to renew social services and social care for the next decade”.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T consideration of this report be deferred to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In order that Members may receive a presentation on the contents of the document prior to arriving at a decision.

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