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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 5th January, 2015.

 

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

 

Also present: Councillor S.C. Egan.

 

 

742     MINUTES –

 

RECOMMENDED –  T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 1st December, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

743     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

Councillor Dr. I.J. Johnson indicated that for Agenda Item No. 5, as he was a Local Authority Trustee for the Alexander Community Centre, he had received dispensation from the Council’s Standards Committee and was able to speak on the related issues. 

 

 

744     CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENT –

 

With the sad passing away of Councillor Keith Geary, the Chairman paid tribute to the level of dedication given by Councillor Geary over the period he was an elected Member for Llantwit Major.  Subsequently, the Committee entered into a minute’s silence in dedication to the memory of Councillor Geary.

 

 

745     PRESENTATION – CSSIW NATIONAL INSPECTION OF SAFEGUARDING AND CARE PLANNING OF LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN AND CARE LEAVERS WHO EXHIBIT VULNERABLE OR RISKY BEHAVIOUR –

 

Ms. Pam Clutton, the Lead Inspector for the CSSIW, commenced the presentation by providing a brief background summary.  She advised that Members would be aware of national issues regarding sexual exploitation of children and young people that had recently been reported within the press.

 

This would be the first time since 2009 that all Local Authorities within Wales had been inspected.  The main focus was on Looked After Children aged 11+ who exhibited risky behaviour and, as part of the review, ten case files from each Local Authority had been inspected. 

 

Members were advised that the inspection methods had been changed with a new approach adopted that included meetings with all relevant partners in order to establish what worked and what could have been done better.  By adopting this approach, it was felt that this would help to better get the message across that corporate safeguarding was the responsibility of everyone. 

 

In evaluating the corporate leadership, the inspection had highlighted that this was an area of strength within the Vale of Glamorgan.  Safeguarding of vulnerable children and young people had been identified as a corporate priority.  Within the Vale of Glamorgan it had been acknowledged that the service had been able to show what differences child protection arrangements had made and were able to evidence real benefits to service users. 

 

There was also clear leadership and a positive culture within the management team.  The workforce had been stable with managers and staff evidencing a strong commitment to improving outcomes for Looked After Children and young people. 

 

Areas of development in relation to corporate parenting included the need to give greater consideration as to whether a more co-ordinated approach to implementing improvements for Looked After Children could be achieved from the development of a corporate parenting strategy.  There was also an identified gap around planning that could be filled by establishing a collective profile of vulnerable children and the risks they experience. 

 

In considering care and pathway planning within the Vale of Glamorgan, the inspection highlighted that there was a clear shared understanding and commitment from staff to safeguard young people in order to improve their outcomes.  There were also some good examples of risk assessments which were comprehensive and resulted in clear safety plans.  However, it was not always evident whether young people had been fully engaged in the process.

 

The Council had effectively identified and responded to the need to increase the range of placements available, especially for those young people with challenging behaviour and additional needs. 

 

The inspection had noted concerns around the capacity of services for children and adolescents with emotional and mental health issues and this was a common theme identified throughout the whole of Wales. 

 

Many care leavers had expressed a positive response in answering queries regarding support they had received from their personal advisors, which was timely and effective. However, some care leavers had expressed concerns about changes to their allocated social worker and who to go to when seeking support and guidance.

 

A further area of improvement had been identified which was the need to tackle some inconsistencies in the completion of core assessments which, in some cases, lacked analysis and were not routinely updated. 

 

The Police had expressed concerns around their level of engagement in the implementation of the protocol for missing young people and considered that this should be revisited to ensure that the arrangements were clearly understood and working effectively.  This may have been the consequence of changes in staffing within the local Police unit responsible.

 

The Committee was advised that, with regard to arrangements around safety and better outcomes for young people, the work of the Independent Reviewing Officer was an area of development.  Within the Vale of Glamorgan, most Independent Reviewing Officers had very good knowledge of the Looked After Children that they worked with.  However, in some cases, Independent Reviewing Officers appeared reluctant to refer concerns and issues up to higher authorities such as the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services (CAFCASS). 

 

Consideration should also be given to whether there could be a more consistent approach to support Looked After Children to engage in planning how to develop services. 

 

A Committee Member, referring to the need for better engagement with Looked After Children, queried whether there were any suggestions that the CSSIW could provide in order to improve this.  In response, the Lead Inspector advised that there was a need for more regular opportunities to sit down with the young people to discuss the range of issues affecting them and provide information around how they could access support when needed. 

 

In response to a question regarding the impact of budgetary pressures placed upon the Police service, the Lead Inspector voiced the opinion that this had had a negative impact.  Most young people were only truly comfortable talking to or engaging with individuals and professionals that they fully knew and trusted.  Changes to individual Police Officers had meant that many young people did not have full confidence to openly engage with the Police.

 

A Committee Member queried whether the CSSIW had had the opportunity to review the service’s action plan and asked whether there were any areas within the action plan that the service should prioritise over the next few months.  The Lead Inspector advised that this was a difficult question to answer as the inspection was very focussed on a small cohort of children and it was difficult for the CSSIW to monitor and comment on each individual action plan.  She went on to advise that, even with the most rigorous arrangements, things could still go wrong.  The key was around ensuring that social workers, who would usually be working on their own, were fully supported and supervised within their role. 

 

Further to this, the Committee was advised that the CSSIW will be monitoring and tracking the performance of individual local authorities through its routine arrangements and the CSSIW will react and respond should any concerns be identified.

 

The Chairman queried whether it was fair to say that not all young people wanted to engage.  In response the Lead Inspector stated that, yes, she would accept this.  However, it was useful to continually talk about child protection arrangements with young people in order to get the message across to them that there was someone that cared for them and provided support during stressful and emotional times.  There was a need for Councils to have confidence to engage with young people at that level and to continually ensure that young people were fully aware of the support network that was available to them. 

 

The Chairman, in highlighting the Committee’s concerns around mental health services offered to children and adolescents, queried as to when a strategy to tackle these issues would be devised.  In response, the Lead Inspector advised that from the perspective of the CSSIW, they had observed that most Local Authorities worked within their own arrangements and guidelines and that levels of support offered were generally very good.  There however was an issue around clinical diagnosis of mental health issues and there was a clear need for improvements to be made around the provision and the range of services available.  This clearly came back to the level of investment and funding made available to the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service. 

 

At this point, the Director of Social Services stated that the Welsh Government was looking at ways forward to develop the mental health services for children and adolescents.  A national report covering the inspection of all the 22 Authorities in Wales was to be published imminently and the Vale of Glamorgan had proactively developed an action plan to tackle some of these issues at a local level.  There was a need to wait for the national picture in order to strengthen some of the recommendations contained within the Local Authority’s action plan produced in response to its own inspection.  It was right to say that there was a new level of urgency following cases of sexual exploitation and that the Police were keen to look at issues around missing people.  He further advised that there was a need to build upon the momentum generated by the work of CSSIW and that the service in the Vale needed to be vigilant in all cases.  He commended the work of staff involved with working with Looked After Children and this had given the service a position of strength on which to build. 

 

The Committee was keen to receive an update to the action plan, particularly in relation to the level of engagement with Looked After Children. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the key messages to emerge from the inspection, including areas of progress and areas for improvement, and the action plan produced in response to the recommendations be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the report and presentation of the National Inspection of Safeguarding and Care Planning for Looked After Children and Care Leavers who exhibit vulnerable and risky behaviours, be referred to Cabinet.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure that Members are kept informed about outcomes from independent inspection of Social Services’ performance in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(2)       To update Cabinet of the key messages to emerge from the inspection.

 

 

746     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2014 TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2014 (DSS) –

 

The Operational Manager, Accountancy, presented the report, the purpose of which was to update Members of the position in respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 30th November 2014.  Members were advised that the current year end forecast for the Social Services budget was an overspend of £400,000.  A table and graph setting out the variance between profiled budget and actual expenditure to date and the projected position at year end were attached at Appendix 1 to the report. 

 

Children and Young People Services – this service was currently anticipated to outturn £400,000 under budget at year end.  The major issue concerning this service continued to be the pressure on the children’s placements budget.  However, it was currently projected that the Joint Budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children could outturn with a £100,000 underspend at year end.  Work had been ongoing to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements, however, it should be noted that due to the high cost of such placements, the outturn  position could fluctuate.  There were potential underspends elsewhere in Children's Services relating to team budgets of £52,000, £54,000 relating to administrative staff, £50,000 on legal expenses, £60,000 due to additional adoption income and £84,000 on alternative means of provision and accommodation costs required for the current cohort of children.

 

Adult Services – this service was currently anticipated to outturn £800,000 over budget at year end.  This was due to a projected overspend on Community Care Packages of £1.0m as a result of increased demand for services, particularly for frail older clients.  The service would strive to manage demand, not only to avoid a further increase in the overspend, but also to reduce the overspend.  Whilst every effort would be made to improve this position, it could not be guaranteed that this position would not deteriorate further by year end as this budget was extremely volatile and the impact of winter pressures would need to be assessed.  The annual deferred income budget for 2014/15 had been set at £725,000 and at 30th November 2014 income received to date was £24,000 under-recovered.  The year-end projection had been maintained at a £100,000 under-recovery.  This position was included as part of the projected overspend on the Community Care packages budget.  There were potential underspends elsewhere in Adult Services of around £200,000 which could be used to offset this position.  These areas were £114,000 on staffing, £19,000 on transport, £38,000 on premises and £29,000 on supplies and services.

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 30th November 2014.

 

Bryneithin Marketing and Disposal – it had been requested that the 2014/15 Capital Programme be increased by £22,000 to fund costs associated with marketing and disposal of the former Bryneithin Site.  This scheme would be funded via a contribution from Capital Receipts.

 

Woodlands Demolition – it had been requested that £25,000 be carried forward into the  2015/16 Capital Programme for the release of retention in line with the contract.

 

Castle Avenue External Structures Works – this budget would not be required for the Castle Avenue Scheme and it had therefore been requested that the budget of £1,000 be transferred to the Hen Goleg Boiler Replacement Scheme.

 

Flying Start Grants – a grant award of £25,000 had been approved by Welsh Government for outside works at Alexander Community Centre.    Despite best efforts it had not been possible to address all of the difficulties presented by the outdoor space and therefore only indoor space would be provided at the Centre.  As a result, Welsh Government had been asked to vire this sum to the Colcot Scheme, which would allow further work to be undertaken such as the provision of a canopy, basic equipment and an internal folding door.  This would now bring the budget for the Colcot element of the scheme to £315,000.

 

For all schemes where it was evident that the full year's budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall and this would be taken to the earliest available Cabinet.

 

Appendix 3 to the report provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes.

 

On 5th March 2014, Council approved the savings targets for 2014/15 and the initial savings targets for 2015/16 and 2016/17. 

 

As part of the Medium Term Financial Plan, approved by Cabinet on 11th August 2014, it was agreed that the service remodelling savings, included in 2015/16 and 2016/17 would be re-phased and were now set as £320,000 in 2017/18, £320,000 in 2018/19 and £330,000 in 2019/20.

 

The Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £3.97m by the end of 2019/20.  The surplus shown was as a result of the foster carer recruitment project and could be used to mitigate any additional savings to be found in future years.

 

The following table shows the approved savings targets and the savings identified by year.  It includes the £293,000 identified in 2012/13 in excess of the saving target for that year.

 

Year

Savings Required £000

Savings Identified £000

In Year Surplus/ (Shortfall) £000

Cumulative Surplus/   (Shortfall) £000

Previously Identified Savings

 

293

293

293

2014/15

713

454

(259)

34

2015/16

1,125

1,201

76

110

2016/17

1,162

1,238

76

186

2017/18

320

320

0

186

2018/19

320

320

0

186

2019/20

330

330

0

186

TOTAL

3,970

4,156

 

 

 

Appendix 4 to the report detailed the latest progress for each savings project currently identified. 

 

The Chairman asked if officers could expand upon potential areas of underspend within Adult Services, the Committee was advised that an underspend of around £200,000 had been identified within Adult Services, the main element of this was in respect of staffing, for which the service was ahead of schedule compared to service budget plans. 

 

A Committee Member queried whether the service had seen significant winter pressures.  In response, the Head of Adult Service advised that it was too early to identify these from the budgetary position, but he confirmed that the Local Health Board had experienced significant pressures. 

 

In response to a query regarding a review of residential services, the Committee was advised that the RED RAG status had been applied due to the complexities of the review and the contractual arrangements with providers.  Outcomes of the review were still awaited and thus the level of savings anticipated could not be guaranteed. 

 

A Committee Member queried whether in-house or external consultants would be used to progress the Reshaping Services Strategy.  In reply Members were advised that the total savings identified within the Reshaping Services Strategy amounted to £970,000 over a three year period.  There was a broad umbrella of considerations such as closer integration and working with health, also more detailed service information would be available as the Reshaping Services Strategy developed. 

 

The Chairman queried as to what level of reduction would be apportioned to the Regional Collaborative Fund (RCF).  In response, the Operational Manager, Accountancy, advised that early indications had shown that funding for the RCF would reduce by 50% but no official confirmation had been received.  Further to this the Chairman queried whether there were any contingency plans in place.  In answer to this the Director of Social Services reiterated the point that no definitive answer had been received from the Welsh Government in respect of funding.  He further advised that the Council’s Leader had written to Welsh Government on behalf of all the key partners to highlight the issues from the reduction in funding.  He alluded to the possibility of additional funding being diverted from health to help fund some aspects supported by the RCF grant.  As a final point, the Director of Social Services advised that there would need to be a greater emphasis placed upon preventative services. 

 

A Committee Member, referring to the relatively low level of savings apportioned to this financial year compared to previous years, queried whether the service had achieved the right level of balance.  The Director of Social Services advised that it was fair to say that budget saving actions had been nominally apportioned to financial years but the service had been able to bring some savings from next year into the current financial year.  This would be an important part in the service being able to achieve a balanced budget but he acknowledged that there was a need to ensure that the right pace for savings was achieved in order to manage expectations. 

 

In response to a query regarding a reduction to the short breaks service, the Head of Children and Young People Services advised that the short break and respite service had received a lot of attention.  The service was closely looking at how service provision could continue, particularly for disabled children, and part of the savings plans have included changes to the start and finish times for overnight respite without impacting on the number of nights respite a service user receives.  Overall, however, it was too early to be definitive on what exactly the service would look like following the review. 

 

In clarification of plans in relation to local residential placements for Looked After Children, the Committee was advised that a three bed facility had recently opened in Barry and that there were plans for another residential facility to be opened in a more rural part of the Vale. 

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2014/15 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme be noted and referred to Cabinet for information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2014/15 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to this Committee.

 

(2)       That Members are aware of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

 

747     ESTABLISHING THE VALE, VALLEYS AND CARDIFF REGIONAL ADOPTION COLLABORATIVE (REF) –

 

On 28th November 2014, Cabinet had approved plans establishing the Vale, Valley and Cardiff Regional Adoption Collaborative.  The report had been referred to the Scrutiny Committee in order for its views to be considered.

 

Set out in the report were the results of the detailed work undertaken by the Councils to date on developing proposals for the Regional Collaborative.  The business case which supported the implementation of the Regional Collaborative and contained the proposed service delivery model was attached at Appendix 4 to the covering report.

 

The Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Regional Collaborative was one of five regional collaboratives created within Wales.  These sit underneath the National Adoption Service, the structure of which was attached at Appendix 3 to the report.  It had been agreed that the Vale of Glamorgan would act as the Host Authority for the new Regional Collaborative. 

 

The anticipated timescale had presented a challenge in terms of developing an agreed service delivery model across the four Authorities which best delivered the aims of the Collaborative in delivering an integrated, comprehensive service which would promote service priorities and ensure performance measures were met. A number of proposed service delivery models were considered as set out in the business case.

 

It was proposed that the current model of delivering adoption services across the four Local Authority areas involved in this Regional Collaborative would change from four generic teams to services being provided by three co-located specialist functions. It was envisaged that the specialist focus would improve service delivery and outcomes, particularly in respect of the recruitment and assessment of adopters and increase placement opportunities for children requiring adoptive placements.  It would also ensure that, through the creation of a specialist function specifically for adoption support services, this function would be afforded the same priority as other functions.

 

Reorganising teams and amalgamating staff in one location may result initially in short term disruption to service delivery.  However, it was intended that staff would retain their own caseload upon transfer to the Host Authority until the reorganisation took place.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council believed that the immediate impact upon service delivery would be outweighed by longer term benefits and efficiencies as a result of collaborative working.

 

The proposed service delivery model and staffing structure in respect of the Collaborative had formed part of the consultation process and was based upon a detailed analysis of the service needs over a period of three years and likely projected future service needs.  A summary of the relevant data was contained in the business case.  The Regional Collaborative would be enhanced by the creation of two new posts, the Regional Adoption Manager and Business Support Manager.  The ability to recruit to these posts will be a key milestone in establishing the Collaborative and the proposed transfer of staff.  This was reflected elsewhere in other Collaboratives in Wales which had already established similar regional management arrangements.

 

In deciding the number and type of posts required (both at a managerial and practitioner level), the need to streamline the number of managerial posts within the new structure had been considered.  It was recognised that practitioners working in adoption generally had more experience than newly qualified practitioners and so they needed less supervisory oversight.  The proposed structure did not retain the Senior Practitioner posts which currently existed in two Authorities; however, only two of these individuals were 'in scope’ for transfer.  The rationale for this was outlined in detail in the business case but was derived from a lack of uniformity in the role across the four Authorities and the potential for duplication with other roles within the structure.

 

The proposed accommodation for the Collaborative at Ty Pennant, Pontypridd had been costed and leasing arrangements would be agreed via the respective Estates Department of the Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

 

The IT requirements of the Collaborative and the provision of support to an offsite office location by the Vale of Glamorgan Council have been scoped and costed and were included in the proposed budgets previously shown.

 

The Human Resources (HR) and Employment Law Technical Group had considered all staff transfer options and it was agreed that the principles of TUPE apply.  Staff and recognised trade unions had been advised of this as part of the consultation process.

 

Work had been undertaken to determine contractual terms and conditions and differences which may apply.  HR representatives had also identified those staff in scope for transfer It was acknowledged that there would be a change of staff location for some.  Terms and conditions would be maintained on the whole.  Some staff might see some changes to existing work arrangements due to operational or organisational issues.  For example, some payroll dates might change.  Such matters would be considered as part of the ongoing consultation with staff.

 

The staff consultation process began on 20th August 2014 following discussions with the recognised trade unions.  All affected staff had received written correspondence informing them of the process.  Consultation meetings for all staff in scope for transfer to the Collaborative had been held during the week commencing 13th October 2014 in each of the Authorities and were planned again for the first week in December 2014.  Trade union representatives had been involved in these meetings.

 

The new posts of Regional Adoption Manager and Business Support Manager were key to the establishment of the Collaborative and it was envisaged that these posts would be recruited to via a competitive process ring-fenced initially to the four Local Authority areas.  Other management posts would be appointed via a matching process.

 

The transfer date for staff would take effect after the appointment of the Regional Adoption Manager, enabling the Collaborative to become fully operational.  As part of the consultation process, staff had been asked to indicate a preference for a particular function and these would be considered as part of the selection process for the teams.  It was anticipated that there would be no surplus staff in the restructure and that recruitment of new staff would be required.

 

In querying the scrutiny arrangements, the Committee was advised that each Local Authority would retain individual Scrutiny responsibility.  A covering report would be presented to each Committee by the Head of Service either on a six monthly or annual basis. 

 

A Committee Member enquired whether adoption social workers would cover all geographical areas.  In response, the Head of Children and Young People’s Services advised that social workers would be working to a functional model, and would work in areas depending on the function and support required. 

 

In querying whether the Children’s Commissioner had been involved during the consultation process around the creation of the National Adoption Service, the Committee was informed that the Children’s Commissioner was present during the launch and that the Commissioner was aware of all comments made by the relevant parties and had raised no concerns.

 

A Committee Member queried as to why on average and in comparison to the other four Local Authorities, it took a longer period of time for the Vale of Glamorgan to place children with adopters.  In response, the Head of Children and Young People Services advised that the Vale of Glamorgan’s performance did not compare unfavourably to the other Local Authorities and that this was dependent upon the particular children being placed for adoption and how easily they could be placed. 

 

The Director of Social Services further advised, that a new national performance framework was to be introduced which would make it easier to identify in which areas each Local Authority was performing well.

 

Having considered the report and proposals for the new Regional Collaborative, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the business case, service delivery model and implementation plan for the creation of the Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Regional Adoption Collaborate be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure the views of the Scrutiny Committee are considered.

 

 

748     SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES: DAY OPPORTUNITIES STRATEGY 2014-2017 (REF) –

 

Cabinet, on 28th November 2014, had approved the Day Opportunities Strategy 2014 - 2017 for Adults with Learning Disabilities.  The report had been referred to the Scrutiny Committee for information purposes.

 

The Operational Manager (Learning Disabilities) presented the report and began by advising Members that the Day Opportunities Strategy for Adults with Learning Disabilities ('the Strategy') had been developed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Learning Disabilities Service in partnership with Cardiff Council, service users, carers and the third and independent sectors.  Attached at Appendix 1 to the report was the Strategy that provided the Council with a coherent approach to planning, developing and improving. 

 

The Strategy complied with the Welsh Government’s Learning Disability Strategy – Section 7 Guidance, which set out the service principles and responses that Local Authorities should adopt across a range of issues affecting adults and older people with learning disabilities.

 

The Strategy also took into account Welsh Government’s policy statement which emphasised the need for Local Authorities to determine the priorities which it expects providers of social are to deliver to ensure that a public service ethos was at the heart of values for delivering services and to give adults and their carers who use services a stronger voice.  The fundamental principles of the new statutory framework system included:

  • People – putting an individual and their needs at the centre of their care, and giving them a voice in, and control over, reaching the outcomes that help them achieve wellbeing.
  • Wellbeing – supporting people to achieve their own wellbeing and measuring the success of this care and support.
  • Earlier intervention – increasing preventative services within the community, to minimise the escalation of critical need.
  • Collaboration – strong partnership working between all agencies and organisations.

The Strategy contained an analysis of demand, supply and service gaps which set out priorities and actions needed to ensure effective implementation.  It would assist the Council, working in partnership with Cardiff Council, to deliver a modernised, outcome focused day service that will look to deliver creatively day opportunities via support planning, including a range of choices involving social enterprises and other social models of delivery. 

 

The Chairman, in querying the estimated 4.2% rise in demand for services out to 2026, asked how the level of savings could be achieved when this level of service demand had been identified.  In response, the Operational Manager (Learning Disabilities) advised that the Learning Disability Day Service could still deliver better value for money.  A review of all day services contracts had been undertaken as services commissioned had created a level of over dependency. 

 

A Committee Member queried as to why the Strategy would be implemented within Cardiff first.  In response, the Committee was advised that there were very different issues between the two areas.  There were structural issues within Cardiff that needed to be addressed and a pilot and evaluation in Cardiff would help inform how the Strategy would be applied to the Vale of Glamorgan.  Services between the two Authorities were configured differently and there are issues within the Vale of Glamorgan that needed to be addressed prior to the implementation of the Strategy. 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Day Opportunities Strategy for People with Learning Disabilities be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure that the Scrutiny Committee was able to exercise effective oversight of this key area of activity.

 

 

749     CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING (REF) –

 

On 1st December 2014, Cabinet had received a report the purpose of which was to update Cabinet Members on the work undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protection of children and adults who required specific Council services.  Cabinet had also approved changes to the Safer Recruitment Policy and Procedure.  The report was referred to the scrutiny Committee for the purpose of consideration.

 

In 2011, the CSSIW and Estyn published a report following their joint investigation into the handling and management of allegations of professional abuse and the arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children in education services in Pembrokeshire County Council.   Concerns were raised about the quality of corporate working to safeguard and protect children by the Local Authority.

 

Following that report, a Corporate Safeguarding Working Group had been established in this Authority to learn lessons from the Pembrokeshire report and to ensure that arrangements for protecting children and young people in the Vale were robust.

 

The Group produced an action plan to improve safeguarding across the Council and Cabinet agreed a Safer Recruitment Policy for the Council and Schools (January 2013).   The Policy was implemented in April 2013 and had been adopted by all Vale schools and throughout the Council.   However, since implementation, there had been a number of changes in DBS eligibility and administrative arrangements that required changes to the existing policy.

 

The Corporate Safeguarding Group continued to monitor the safeguarding arrangements within the Local Authority, including recruitment within the Council and schools.   Monitoring the Safer Recruitment Policy in respect of new and existing employees was undertaken by Transact and Human Resources on a scheduled basis and by Internal Audit as part of their ongoing audit programme.

 

Monitoring safeguards in respect of volunteers and contractors, to ensure compliance with the policy, was undertaken by Internal Audit as part of the scheduled audit programme of schools.   Internal Audit would continue to report their findings to the Director of Learning and Skills, who would provide future updates to Members.

 

As requested by Members, Human Resources conducted a further audit of new appointments to the Council and schools during the period between March and June 2014.  As before, the focus of the audit was to identify any areas of non-compliance with the Safer Recruitment Policy and to implement any measures to improve consistent application.

 

From the perspective of Social Services, it had been encouraging that appointments had been administered with full compliance of the Policy requirements.  This was also the case in the majority of schools, however, improvements were needed within some schools to ensure that risk assessments were completed and measures in place before an employee started work. 

 

Overall, the audit showed that 18.6% of those posts subject to the Safer Recruitment Policy had started work where documentation remained outstanding.  This represented an average of 6.5 employees per month, compared to 6.3 per month as reported in the previous audit report.  Over half of these posts had signed risk assessment forms in place prior to the employee starting employment as required under the Policy; all outstanding documents had now subsequently been received.

 

Following the audit there had been a review and formalisation of procedures.  A new procedure had been implemented to ensure that Transact advised Human Resources and the Director of Learning and Skills on a weekly basis of any non-compliance with the Policy.  This would promote timely intervention and provide a means to respond to any frequent inaction / infringements to the Policy requirements.  The report noted that it was disappointing that a greater percentage of new starters started work without full checks in place in comparison to the previous report received.  However, this could be attributed in part to the changes that had occurred to the DBS administrative procedures and, in particular, recent delays in administrating applications by the DBS – alongside the need to rely on the employee to produce their DBS disclosure for validation by the Council.

 

In summary of the proposed changes to the Safer Recruitment Policy as shown under Appendix A to the report, these included the following:

 

·         Reference to the DBS Update Service process and procedure

·         Recent updated guidance from the Welsh Government in relation to the additional pre-employment checks necessary to cover mid-career changes and changes from permanent to temporary or supply / relief work

·         Note the withdrawal of the management advice legal matrix on DBS disclosure outcomes and actions as determined by the category of offence pending ongoing review (interim arrangements have been implemented to cover the review period)

·         A number of administrative changes, for example to reflect changes to Directorate Safeguarding representatives.

 

Investigations under Part 4 of the All Wales Child Protection Procedures (2008) (AWCPP)

 

Part 4 of the AWCPP provided the framework of actions to be taken when there were child protection concerns in specific circumstances.  Between April and September 2014 there were 14 referrals which met the threshold for consideration under Section 4.3 (which concerns allegations of abuse of children by professionals / employees).  In this context, the allegations of abuse may involve professionals, employees and volunteers working for or accredited by a public, voluntary, private agency, place of worship or faith organisation or independent contractor whose work brings them into contact with children. 

 

Of the 14 referrals, 11 had been concluded and three were ongoing. 

 

The Head of Business Management and Innovation in the Social Services Directorate had oversight of the investigative processes and it had been confirmed that the Council continued to comply with all procedural requirements. 

 

The Chairman queried the leadership of corporate safeguarding within the Council.  In response, the Director of Social Services advised that there was clarity and that, in his role as statutory Director of Social Services, he had acquired additional responsibilities for this area of work.  Leadership was also provided by the Corporate Management Team and by Cabinet.  Leadership around the scrutiny of corporate safeguarding was a bit more complicated as there was no lead Scrutiny Committee for this area of activity and he advised that there may be a need to consider whether this Committee might wish to inform Cabinet about the need for a lead Scrutiny Committee. 

 

A Committee Member commented that he was pleased that there were no infringements of the Policy within Social Services and queried how the number of referrals under Part 4 (AWCPP) compared in terms of numbers to those previously reported.  In response, the Operational Manager (Safeguarding and Performance) advised that there had not been any significant differences between the two quarters and numbers reported.  She did not have the actual comparative data at hand, but advised that these would be sent to Members accordingly. 

 

Referring to the issues within schools, a Committee Member queried as to what was causing the delays.  In response, the Operational Manager (Human Resources) advised that there was a combination of issues.  The first was in relation to DBS disclosure certificates now being sent directly to individuals with no copy being sent to the Local Authority.  This had been coupled with the changes to administrative procedures within the DBS that had caused delays to the issuing of certificates.  Members were advised that this issue had now been rectified.  Members were further advised that the completion of risk assessments was key in negating risks within schools.  Most schools had now signed up to the new DBS procedures and there was a requirement for Headteachers to apply the policies before a person was recruited.  This situation was being closely monitored. 

 

Further to the issues related to schools, the Chairman queried whether, if something was to go wrong, schools would be the most likely area.  In response, the Lead Officer (Inclusion) stated that this was a difficult question to answer or to make comments on other service areas.  He advised that school procedures had been improved over the past two to three years and that schools had responded well to increased expectations.  Within the area of schools, the service had been playing catch up and schools had become extremely vigilant in ensuring that the policies and procedures were adhered to.  Schools were much safer now and a lot had been achieved over the past few years, particularly around the increase in training offered to each Governing Body. 

 

A Committee Member, in questioning further the issue of compliance within schools, was advised that the Corporate Safeguarding Policy stipulates that after 12 weeks the offer of employment should be rescinded if the proper checks and disclosures had not been made.  Schools were being encouraged to adhere to the policies but there was also a responsibility on individuals to provide information around references.  The culture within schools was changing and the situation had improved. 

 

In referring to the role of the Governing Bodies within schools, a Committee Member commented that it was the role of Governors to challenge the Headteacher and that much more responsibility was being placed upon Governors.  The Member considered that it was important to ensure that all Governing Bodies and Governors had the tools and training required to undertake the necessary level of challenge.  In response to this, the Lead Officer (Inclusion) advised that much more rigorous safeguarding training for Governors had been undertaken.  Feedback received had been very positive and Governors acknowledged the increased level and awareness of their responsibilities around corporate safeguarding. 

 

Having considered the reference and report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the work undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To allow Members to exercise effective oversight of this key area of corporate working.

 

 

750     CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE SERVICES – COMMISSIONING STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN 2013-2013 (REF) –

 

At its meeting on 15th December 2014, Cabinet received an update report on progress made in implementing the Children and Young People Services’ Commissioning Strategy and Action Plan 2013-18.  The report had been referred to the Scrutiny Committee for information purposes. 

 

On 4th March 2013, Cabinet considered the draft Children and Young People Services Commissioning Strategy and Action Plan.  A copy of the Strategy was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  As recommended by the (Scrutiny Committee) Social Care and Health, Cabinet endorsed the objectives and principles it contained and asked for regular progress updates on delivery of the action plan.

 

Mindful of the need for the Council to meet statutory responsibilities and to deal with significant financial pressures, the Strategy contained four key objectives:

 

·         To support families to stay together and reduce the need for children to be looked after by ensuring a focus on early intervention and preventative action across all service provision for children, including statutory and independent providers. 

·         To manage risk confidently and provide support at the 'edge of care’ by making sure that need and risk are accurately assessed and receive the proper response, so that the right children are accommodated at the right time.  This included supporting families by making private arrangements within their wider family networks.

·         To provide and commission a flexible and affordable mix of high quality placements that met the diverse range of children’s needs.

·         To give children clearly planned journeys through care which remained focused on achieving care plans; prevent drift; enabled them to be reunited with family and friends where possible; provided them with stable placements and opportunities to exit the care system positively.

 

Increasing demand for children and young people to become looked after and the need to find appropriate placements for them were noted as putting the budget for Children and Young People Services under severe pressure. 

 

To ensure that the Strategy was implemented effectively, work had been focused on the following key areas:

 

·         preventing children and young people becoming looked after where this was not necessary to safeguard their welfare;

·         enabling those who did come into care to be rehabilitated back to their family network, where it was safe to do so;

·         providing the best possible outcomes for those who remained accommodated; and

·         increasing the range of placement options available for Looked After Children.

 

An updated Action Plan was attached at Appendix 1 to the report (pages 38 to 46) and confirmed good progress in the first 18 months of the Strategy.  Many of the actions had been completed; other ongoing and longer-term measures were on track and on time.  It would be important to ensure continuing and co-ordinated efforts that built on the achievements to date.

 

At this stage, no additional actions had been included in the Plan but the Council would continue to deliver on those in place, focusing on: 

 

·         increasing the number of foster carers who could provide respite, with a view to supporting families to stay together;

·         through the Permanency Panel, ensuring that plans for permanency considered the range of available options and that children did not remain looked after for longer than necessary and that those who needed to remain looked after were appropriately matched in their placements;

·         developing the multi-disciplinary 'team around the child' approach to providing placement support, to increase stability and reduce disruption.

 

This work would continue against the backdrop of ongoing robust arrangements in the Placement Panel and Complex Needs Panel that seek to ensure all admissions to care were appropriate in the first instance and that, where possible, children were supported to remain within their families.

 

Related reports regarding the Annual Report of the Fostering Service and the Annual Placement Review were presented to Scrutiny Committee in June and July and provided more detailed information about the Council’s activities in this area.  Alongside all 22 Local Authorities, the Vale of Glamorgan was subject to inspection this year by CSSIW.   The 'Inspection of Safeguarding and Care Planning of Looked after Children and Care Leavers who exhibit vulnerable or risky behaviours' was intended to  evaluate and provide assurance in respect of the quality of safeguarding and care planning practice across Wales.   The inspection report had now been received by the Authority and an action plan was being developed.   A copy of the inspection report could be found at Appendix 2.

 

A Committee Member enquired as to whether the facility in St. Mary’s Avenue was fully operational and whether the Women’s Aid Hostel had been completed.  In answer to both queries, the Committee was advised that yes, both facilities were up and running.  In order to increase the number of beds for vulnerable young people, an arrangement had been made with the same landlord to offer a similar facility to that within St. Mary’s Avenue.

 

The Committee, in querying the frequency of update reports, was advised that the nature of reporting arrangements would mean that Members may receive updates in various reports and updates.  Some updates would be provided with regular performance monitoring reports while others would be received through six monthly and annual updates.  The annual placement review report for example, would provide more detailed information to the quarterly performance monitoring reports and would provide Members with a better understanding of service plans and areas of expenditure.  At this point, the Director of Social Services advised that the Directorate needed to evidence how services were changing and how well strategies were working.  Consideration would need to be made of the planning of reports to Scrutiny and that it may be more beneficial for reports to be presented based upon themes. 

 

A Committee Member queried as to how many out of county foster care placements were currently placed by the Authority.  In response Members were advised that information would be relayed as soon as possible.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the progress made in delivering the Children and Young People Services Commissioning Strategy and Action Plan be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To provide Members with oversight of a key strategic document for the Council.

 

 

751     TOGETHER FOR MENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY (DSS) –

 

The Operational Manager (Mental Health) presented the report the purpose of which was to update Members on the local response to the National Together for Mental Health Strategy and implementation of the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Together for Mental Health Delivery Plan.

 

In October 2012, Welsh Government introduced the together for Mental Health Strategy, which set out an ambitious programme of improvements and outcomes for the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental illness.  The Strategy recognised the significant impact of mental health problems on the individual, the family, the local community and more widely on the economy.

 

Through taking an overarching view of the impact of poor mental health and mental illness in Wales, the strategy clearly acknowledged that promoting a mentally healthy Wales required a cross departmental, cross-organisational and multi-disciplinary approach.  To this end, the Strategy brought together strategic outcomes for people of all ages and places responsibility for promoting mental health and preventing mental illness across all national and local public bodies.

 

The Strategy introduced local Mental Health Partnership Boards which brought together representatives from a wide range of NHS Clinical Boards, police, probation and prisons, third sector organisations, service users and carers as well as officers from Local Authority Adult Services, Children's Services and Housing.

 

The Strategy was focused around the six high level outcomes which should be achieved:

 

·         The mental health and wellbeing of the whole population was improved.

·         The impact of mental health problems and / or mental illness on individuals of all ages, their families and carers, communities and the economy more widely, was better recognised and reduced.

·         Inequalities, stigma and discrimination suffered by people experiencing mental health problems and mental illness were reduced.

·         Individuals had a better experience of the support and treatment they received and had an increased feeling of input and control over related decisions.

·         Access to, and the quality of preventative measures, early interventions and treatment services were improved and more people recovered as a result.

·         The values, attitudes and skills of those treating or supporting individuals of all ages with mental health problems or mental illness were improved.

 

The Cardiff and Vale Mental Health Partnership Board was set up in 2013, to lead on developing the local Together for Mental Health Strategy.  Its first Annual Report was presented to this Scrutiny Committee in June, 2014 and the draft second Annual Report (for 2014/15) was submitted to Welsh Government in October.

 

The Board has developed the Cardiff and Vale Delivery Plan in line with the outcomes defined in the national strategy. 

 

This was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  It was set out in chapters:

 

a.         Promoting better mental wellbeing and preventing mental health problems

 

The Local Mental Health Partnership would strengthen existing arrangements within the 'Time to Change' intentions and will develop new partnerships to deliver a better range of integrated services.

 

Achievements

 

·         The three year Dementia Plan had been launched and it included initiatives such as Dementia Champions and Friends, to raise awareness within services and across the partnership.

·         A range of mental health awareness events had been co-ordinated by third sector organisations to promote mental and physical wellbeing.

·         A Suicide and Self Harm Group had been set up to oversee the next phase of the 'Talk to Me' programme.

·         In line with Veterans NHA Wales, the partnership had supported awareness raising and support meetings for veterans and older people with mental health problems that has reached over 110 people.

 

Priorities for next 12 months:

 

·         Promotion and training around dementia care and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in hospital settings.

·         All partners to identify Time to Change Champions with specific responsibilities for raising awareness of mental health and promoting positive images of mental health when developing services.

·         Further development of the suicide prevention strategy and Talk to Me Action Plan.

·         Build better networks for veterans needing to access services.

 

b.         A new partnership with the public

 

The Partnership Board acknowledged the value of involving service users and carers and the wider public in strategic development and continued to explore new approaches to developing a 'co-production' ethos throughout the partnership.

 

Achievements:

 

·         Continued to contract with Cardiff and Vale Action for Mental Health and Hafal to provide support and opportunities for service users and carers becoming involved in the co-production of service provision, through the Sefyll and Nexus projects.

·         Consultation and Engagement events had enabled over 140 service users and carers to have their say in identifying priorities for services, including specific work on engaging people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups.

 

Priorities for the next 12 months:

 

·         Increased availability of mental health workers able to provide services to people with sensory needs.

·         Provision of services available through the Welsh language.

·         Improved accessibility of services for people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups.

 

c.         A well designed, fully integrated network of care.

 

The Partnership Board is responsible for developing a fully integrated network of care and support as well as influencing universal community opportunities and activities that are inclusive and promote mental wellbeing (such as leisure, education, employment, housing and general medical services).

 

Achievements:

 

·         Embedding the Mental Health Measure into secondary and primary mental health care has acted as a lever to promote further a recovery ethos into the spectrum of child, adult and older people's mental health services.

·         The Co-creating Healthy Change initiative has strengthened service user involvement across adult Community Mental Health Teams by developing methodologies for greater involvement in care and treatment planning.

·         Community and Inpatient Crisis Intervention Services had been strengthened, to reduce the number and length of hospital admissions.

·         The Dementia Plan sets out an integrated approach to dementia care and seeks to promote awareness of dementia across all areas of health and social care.

·         Vale of Glamorgan adult mental health services had a very favourable review from the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales in October 2014.  While acknowledging the limited resources available. CSSIW described many of our services as outstanding.  The final report was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

Priorities for the next 12 months:

 

·         Improve availability and accessibility to psychological therapies in primary and secondary care services, particularly around:

          -    Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

          -    Early Interventions in Psychosis

          -    Post-Traumatic Stress

          -    Psychological input supporting physical health conditions.

·         Quality audit of care planning to ensure that a recovery-focused and person-centred approach was set as a standard across all settings.

·         Improved accessibility to Primary Mental Health Services.

·         Implementation of the Primary Mental Health model and the Risky Behaviour model for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

 

 

d.         One system to improve Mental Health

 

The Partnership Board was aware that health, social care and other public services needed to operate a unified approach if there was to be an holistic response to people's needs.  It acknowledged the need to take a broader perspective when working with people and to build stronger partnerships.

 

Achievements:

 

·         Improved communication and shared protocols with the Housing department has led to reduced delayed transfers of care and the development of creative housing solutions.

·         Promoted awareness of mental health at the Housing Conference.

 

Priorities for the next 12 months:

 

·         Promotion of the 'Out of Work' Peer Mentoring Programme, to support the employment of people with mental health problems.

·         Develop integrated models of support to enable people's move on from institutional care into independent living arrangements.

 

e.         Delivering for Mental Health

 

The Minister for Health and Social Services had said that 2014 was the year of 'Prudent Healthcare', avoiding waste and duplication.  In delivering this commitment, the Partnership Board must tackle the challenges from a service user and carer perspective.

 

Achievements:

 

·         Leading on the development of the All Wales Mental Health Core Data-set.

·         Re-organisation of the Partnership Board to take a themed approach to explore, in detail, the innovations and areas for development of the mental health service providers.

 

Priorities for the next 12 months:

 

·         Pilot the core data-set throughout the mental health collaborative.

·         Consider unmet need in the planning and delivery of services.

·         Development of Action Plan to consider outcomes of Service User Workshops held throughout 2014.

 

In answer to the Chairman’s question regarding services to those with a military service background suffering from post-traumatic stress, the Committee was advised that this was not an area that the Mental Health Service was currently engaged with actively enough.  The service would not seek out veterans but there were clear pathways in place and services available following referral from a person’s GP.  Within the Vale of Glamorgan, the MIND support group would offer support and a wide range of services to individuals suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

 

A Committee Member sought clarification as to what was being progressed for Black and Minority Ethnic groups and for Welsh speakers.  In response, the Committee was advised that these were areas in which the Mental Health Services needed to promote awareness and to increase the level of engagement.  The service was able to assess and engage individuals in a range of languages but there was a need to promote the whole range of services available and for the service to be more inclusive.  Further to this, the Head of Adult Services advised that Outcomes 4 and 5 within the Action Plan were specific to improving the engagement of Ethnic Groups and Welsh speakers.  Within social care, while a small part of the whole service, there was an emphasis placed on interviewing people appropriately and through their preferred language.  Translation services are available and utilised.

 

The Chairman asked if officers could provide an update as to developments around improvements to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health services.  In response, the Director of Social Services began by advising Members that the Local Safeguarding Children Board had been looking at ways of improving services to children and young people requiring the support of mental health services.  There would be a need for a more consistent approach to encourage frontline staff to deal with issues in a more effective way.  There would also be a more increased focus on children exhibiting risky behaviours, particularly around missing children, with greater emphasis on those missing from schools.  A multi-agency, multi-professional approach was crucial. 

 

Further to this, the Operational Manager (Mental Health) stated that there was a misconception among a lot of people regarding the requirement for a diagnosis prior to the input of mental health services.  Services would be available depending upon a person’s ability to manage their day to day lives.  He also advised that a service level agreement was being developed to improve the issues relating to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  The first part of this was through employment of a full time Community Psychiatric Nurse in order to focus on mental health services brokered through the GP referral process.  He admitted that this was a tiny resource for a big problem, but it was a step in the right direction. 

 

In querying the general content and the format of the action plan, the Committee was advised that the document included the input from around 20 different organisations, all of which desired to have their say detailing progress and future developments.  Although the action plan was not very user friendly and some of its contents did not appear to offer real solutions, it was important to balance the usefulness of the action plan and the need to retain a high level of engagement with all necessary parties.  Members were asked to note that the Committee would be able to feed into next year’s action plan, but that the Mental Health Service was restricted by Welsh Government guidelines regarding the interpretation of the Red, Amber or Green statuses.  Members also noted that the action plan mainly sat within the responsibility of the Local Health Board and there was limited opportunity to change its format and content. 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the content of the report be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To inform Scrutiny Committee of the work being done in collaboration with other agencies and organisations, to develop services that would deliver the ambitious outcomes defined in the Together for Mental Health Strategy.

 

 

752     SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2014/15 (DR) –

 

The Committee was advised of progress in relation to the Committee’s recommendations and to confirm the updated / amended Work Programme Schedule for the Scrutiny Committee for 2014/15. 

 

Attached at Appendix A to the report was decision tracking of recommendations for the second quarter, July to September 2014, while at Appendix B was decision tracking for the third quarter, October to December 2014.  The Committee’s Work Programme Schedule for 2014/15 was attached at Appendix C.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations be noted and that the following recommendations be agreed as completed.

 

06 October 2014

Min. No. 475 – Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1st April 2014 to 31st August 2014 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme be noted and referred to Cabinet for information.

 

 

 

Cabinet, on 17th November 2014, noted the contents of the report.

(Min. No. C2523 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 477 – Outcome Agreement 2013-2016: End Of Year Report For 2013/14 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That closer scrutiny during 2014/15 of those areas where the Council had not achieved its actions and targets be undertaken.

(4)   That the Service’s future quarterly performance reports reflect and consider the Performance Indicators included within the Outcome Agreement for 2013-2016.

 

 

 

(2)   Will be considered under regular quarterly monitoring to Committee.

Completed

(4)   Will be considered under regular quarterly monitoring to Committee.

Completed


 

Min. No. 479 – Update on the Regional Collaboration Fund and Intermediate Care Fund Programmes (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the report be referred to Cabinet in order to highlight the good work and positive outcomes that have been made in relation to the Regional Collaboration Fund and Intermediate Care Fund and highlight the Committee’s concern over the short term funding arrangements.

 

 

 

Cabinet, on 17th November 2014, noted the Committee’s comments and confirmed that the Intermediate Care Fund was no longer available for 2015/16 as part of the Welsh Government’s budget strategy.

(Min. No. C2522 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 480 – Service User and Carer Consultation 2013-2014 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That information about consultation activity be reported to the Scrutiny Committee annually each July.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 481 – Workforce Challenges Facing Providers of Social Care (DSS and DR) – Recommended

(3)   That Cabinet consider the possibility of the Council seeking to achieve an Investor in People accreditation.

 

 

 

Cabinet, on 17th November, 2014, noted the contents of the report but agreed not to participate in the Investor in People accreditation scheme and noted that other alternatives of staff accreditation were in place within the Social Services Directorate.

(Min. No. C2521 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 482 – Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Work Programme Schedule 2014/15 (DR) – Recommended

(3)   That a presentation in relation to the Vale Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) be presented to a future Committee meeting and be added to the Scrutiny Committee’s work programme.

(4)   That the work programme be updated to show that a representative from the Local Health Board be asked to make a presentation in relation to diabetes.

(5)   That the updated / amended forward work programme schedule attached at Appendix D be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

 

 

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

 

 

(4)   Representative is scheduled to attend Scrutiny meeting on 2nd February 2015.

Completed

 

(5)   Work programme schedule updated and uploaded to Council’s website on 3rd November 2014.

Completed

03 November 2014

Min. No. 555 – Minutes – Recommended that the minutes of the meeting held on 6th October, 2014 be approved as a correct record, it being noted that the Committee’s views and comments in respect of the Improvement Plan Part 2 be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for information purposes. 

Referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) meeting on 9th  December, 2014, which noted the Committee’s views and comments.

(Min. No. 677 refers)

Completed

Min. No.  559 – Implementation of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That regular updates about implementing the Act be received.

(3)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(3)   Cabinet, on 15th December 2014, noted the contents of the report and resolved

[2]   That Cabinet receive regular update reports about implementing the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act).

(Min. No. C2574 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 561 – Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Community Monitoring and Support Project (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That annual updates on the work of the project be received by the Committee.

(3)   That the report be referred to Cabinet and that Cabinet be requested to ensure that adequate resources are available for the ongoing work carried out by the project to continue.

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(3)   Cabinet, on 15th December 2014, noted the contents of the report and resolved

[2]   That Cabinet were mindful of the budget pressures in Social Services and would expect the Directorate to review its spending accordingly and within its allocated resources.

(Min. No. C2575 refers)

Completed

01 December 2014

Min. No. 641 – Request for Consideration – Association of Directors of Social Services Conference 2014 – Recommended

(2)   That the Scrutiny Committee receives an annual report concerning the themes and topics discussed within the Conference.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 644 – Update on How the Council is Managing Increased Demand for Family Support Services (DSS) – Recommended

(3)   That the Scrutiny Committee receives a further update report in six months’ time.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the updated work programme schedule be uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

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

 

(2)       For information.

 

 

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